Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to make an appointment to see my counselor?
No, you do not need to make an appointment to see your counselor. We make every effort to create an open door policy in our department and encourage you to come by before and after school, during brunch and lunch. However, there will be times your counselor is unavailable and may not meet with you at your selected drop-in time. For these purposes, we have clipboards outside of our offices where students can sign up for an appointment and we will make sure to call these students in.
My counselor isn't here today. Can I see another counselor?
As counselors, we enjoy working with our students and building a positive rapport with each of you. We do understand there may be times we are not present and an issue must be resolved immediately. If this is the case, any available counselor would be happy to help you. If, perhaps, the matter is not urgent and can wait, we encourage you to e-mail your counselor or return when appropriate to discuss the matter.
I need to sign up for a DVC class, but I don't know how.
Many students opt to take additional courses to supplement their education at nearby community colleges. We are happy to assist students in making this happen. First, students must fill out an application through DVC. Follow the directions on their web site by filling out the application and also filling out the Special Admission Recommendation Form. Prior to bringing this form to your counselor, you must know what course you plan to take. Your counselor must approve the course and it will be your responsibility to have an assistant principal or Mr. Corti sign off on the form. Please remember to make sure you meet the prerequisites to join the course. See your counselor for further guidance on courses and granting credit.
Can I change teachers?
We believe all of our teachers have something very positive to offer and have the best interest of students in mind. However, we understand certain circumstances and situations arise such as personality conflicts and different teaching/learning styles, creating a difficult environment for the student and/or the teacher. It is our intention to help students work through these challenges rather than avoid them. We have a formal policy regarding teacher changes, outlined by our administration, which we must follow precisely. First, if a student requests a teacher change, s/he must first agree to meeting with the teacher and parent to discuss the issues that concern him/her. It is the goal to develop a plan to improve the situation during the initial meeting. If, after a fair amount of time has passed, the parent and/or student are still not satisfied with the situation, an administrator will intervene and determine the next step. If you would like to go through the process of a teacher change, please contact your counselor.
I'm worried I might fail a class. What happens if I do?
It is a misconception that students will repeat a grade if they fail to meet the necessary credit requirements during the school year. At the high school level, students still progress to the next grade level, but remain deficient in credits. Therefore, it is important that students make up courses as soon as they are able (i.e. summer school or adding an A period) to make sure they are on track to graduate within four years. Certain classes, such as math and world language, require students to maintain an acceptable grade before allowing them to move forward to the next level. If you are worried about possibly failing a class, please talk with your counselor to discuss a plan of action.
My parent(s) would like to meet with you. Do they need to make an appointment?
We will happily meet with your parent(s); however, we do request that parents make an appointment with their respective counselor. We try our best to make ourselves as accessible as possible to students throughout the school day, so it is important we are not unavailable more than necessary. We also prefer to schedule appointments so we may block out a specific amount of time and ensure the meeting is given our absolute attention. Lastly, we prefer to be prepared. It is a much more productive meeting when we are able to plan, gather the necessary materials, and invite the necessary individuals to our scheduled meeting.
How do I sign up for the SATs and/or ACTs? When should I take them? Do I need to take them if I know I'm attending a community college first?
Students who hope to attend a 4-year college/university must take either the SAT or the ACT. If a student plans to attend a community college first, the exams are not required. Most students take the SAT and/or ACT during the spring of their junior year. Typically, most students end up taking these exams twice in hopes to improve their score after the first time. Sometimes students try as early as their sophomore year, but we feel it is best for students to have as much English and math under their belt before taking the exam for the first time. It is helpful to also take the PSAT (typically given in October) as a practice prior to signing up for the official SAT. To sign up, please go to their respective web sites at College Board (SAT) and ACT. Dates vary between the two tests, so please plan accordingly.
What are the A-G requirements? Does this relate to graduation?
Most students are aware of the subject requirements for graduation and college entrance, but they are technically termed the A-G requirements as outlined by the U.C. and C.S.U. Visit our course handbook to find more detailed information regarding these subjects. The A-G requirements do not relate to graduation from California High School, so please note this difference when determining your future plans.
I really need someone to talk to. Can I talk to my counselor about non-academic stuff?
Many students work with counselors to discuss their academic needs and goals. However, as counselors, we are specifically trained to work with students dealing with numerous issues (i.e. personal, social, emotional). We are happy to meet with students and hope to provide a supportive and nurturing environment. Most importantly, we are professional counselors and maintain the rights of privacy for our students in most situations.
How can I get a work permit?
Request for Work Permits forms may be picked up in the career center located in the library. The State of California requires that employers have a current work permit on file for employees under the age of 18. Instructions for completion of this form are posted in the library. See Mrs. Grimm in the library if you have any questions.
How late can I drop a class? What are my options?
Technically, you may drop a class up until the week of finals. However, you only have 6 weeks to drop a class from the beginning of the semester with no penalty. After the 6th week, teachers must either give the student a NM (No Mark, no effect to GPA but still present on transcript) or an F (will affect GPA and also present on transcript). Also, after the 6th week, student will lose credits even if they pick up a T.A. position. Depending on when a class is dropped, the T.A. position will only earn .5 - 4.5 credits.
I'd like to volunteer, but I don't know where to start. Can you help me?
There are many wonderful service clubs on campus, so we encourage students to join a club within our school community. These clubs have developed great relationships with our community and give back in such a positive way. In addition, please visit our Community Resources page to find other ways of getting involved.