Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Senior Meetings

Sorry for the blog hiatus, I was off with ElRo Model UN in Beijing, China. We got back last week and I can't believe how quickly summer is coming to an end!

I want to make this post about Senior Meetings because I started them this week in a new initiative to get a head start on this year's historic senior class (140 students!). Many thanks to the students and families that have signed up for these early meetings, I'm so glad that it was something you all were interested in.

What is a Senior Meeting?

Senior Meetings are the second of two meetings that each ElRo student will have with me. The first one, the Junior Meeting, is a time for me to get to know you and a time for us to go over the characteristics you think you want in a school. The Senior Meeting is a time for us to have a much more concrete conversation about the exact list of schools you plan to apply to and for me to give you feedback about your choices. I've always maintained that I'm a guide, not a decision maker. I'll give you advice that you certainly don't have to take. But remember, I'm really trying to give you suggestions that will maximize your success. A list with 8 reaches and one likely may sound like a good idea now but history shows that it isn't such a hot idea when decisions come out. Bottom line: you construct your list, I just give you feedback.

When can I have my senior meeting?

Students and parents were sent out an email earlier this summer with a link to a nifty new Gmail feature that allows you to log in and schedule yourself for a summer meeting. This has worked great so far and I will continue using this method for the fall meetings. I've gone ahead and added a few other afternoon slots and will continue to add more slots around the first day of school. The reason for this is, as always, students can't miss class for their meeting so I want you to know your program before you sign up for a meeting. Everyone will have a meeting, I promise. They will take place during September, October, and November.

Can I start applying to college now?

While it is ok (and probably a good idea) to start applications now, please hold off on actually clicking submit until AFTER your senior meeting. Why? I want to be sure we have touched base about your plan of action. If I discover that you are a little off the mark I want you to have not wasted lots of time and money on applications that won't work for you. As you might imagine, this means that I recommend the September meetings go to people who are seriously considering Early Action or Early Decision, that way we can talk well before your first deadlines. Regular decision applications to private colleges are normally not due until January. As a rule of thumb, I recommend filing public school applications by no later than Thanksgiving (or sometimes earlier at unique places like Maryland with priority deadlines). If you happen to be a person that doesn't get a Senior Meeting slot on the early side, but need to file a couple public school applications please just shoot me an email so we can be on the same page. It is an exception to the policy that I'm happy to make.

What should I bring to my Senior Meeting?

Just you and your parent/guardian if they are able to attend. I also ask that you go into Naviance  beforehand and update your active application list to include the schools you would like to talk about and that you are seriously considering. Other than that just come with an open mind ready to hearing feedback.