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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 be able to 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 email your counselor, sign up on the clipboard outside his or her office, or return at another time 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 cannot sign until the course has been selected. Please remember to make sure you meet the prerequisites to join the course. See your counselor for further guidance on courses and granting credit.


I'd like to take online classes to advance in a subject and/or earn credits for graduation.

With the introduction of Personalized Learning Initiatives by the district, students have more options when planning their education. Students can take classes online or through a community college to earn credits for graduation or to more quickly dance through a subject. It is imperative that students and families understand the procedures and policies governing these options before registering for a non-district course. Please see the Personalized Learning page on the district website for more information. 


It seems like everyone is taking a class over the summer or online, do I have to do this to graduate or get into college?

NO!! Students at Cal High have all of the classes and time they need right here on our campus to graduate on time and to be accepted into college. We prefer that students take all of their classes with us to ensure that they keep a balanced life and schedule while in high school. Online learning is not for everyone and often a lot harder than students anticipate. Please carefully consider your learning style, schedule, and motives before taking a class online or anywhere outside of Cal High. It is quality that colleges are looking for, not quantity. Please don't think you have to always do more to be successful -you don't. 


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 ahead of time. Please email your assigned counselor to schedule an appointment. Our counseling secretary and counselor tech do not have access to our individual calendars, so they are unable to help with scheduling an appointment. 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 UC and CSU 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 counseling. 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 Career Center. See Mrs. Lenaburg in counseling 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 3 weeks to drop a class from the beginning of the semester with no penalty. After the 3rd 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). In most situations, the only class that can be added after the 3 week deadline in Teacher's Aid. 


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.


 How do I sign up for Athletic PE?

Athletic Physical Education (APE) is offered by the San Ramon Valley Unified School District for students who are wanting to receive 10 Physical Education credits on their high school transcript for their participation on their high school athletics/sports teams.  In order to be eligible for ten credits of PE through APE, students must complete the request form, including signatures by student-athlete, parent/guardian, and coach.  The APE request form must be turned into the Athletic Director prior to the end of the regular athletic season for which the student is wanting to earn PE credit.  Upon verification by the Athletic Director of athletic season completion, the student-athlete will receive 10 credits of PE on her/his high school transcript. For any questions about Athletic PE, please see the Athletic Director.