By the Grade. A monthly newsletter from the Notre Dame Counseling Department.

This month ...

  • May 2 / Spring Band Concert
  • May 3 / Athletic Signing Day
  • May 4 - 6 / Search 154
  • May 7 - 17 / AP Exams
  • May 9 / Academic Signing Day
  • May 9 / Last Day of Classes for Seniors
  • May 11 / College Transition Day
  • May 15 / Underclassmen Awards Night
  • May 18 / Senior Awards Night
  • May 19 / Baccalaureate Mass
  • May 20 / Graduation
  • May 21 / Exams, Periods 1 & 2
  • May 22 / Exams, Periods 3 & 4
  • May 23 / Exams, Periods 5 & 6
  • May 24 / Exams, Periods 7 & 8
  • May 25 / Exam make up - must be administratively approved
  • May 25 / End of 4th Quarter
  • May 28 / Memorial Day
  • May 29 / In-Service Day
  • May 30 / Administrative Day
  • May 31 / Administrative Day
  • May 28 - Aug. 8 / Summer Break
Final Exams
Effective study strategies for Final Exams
  1. Start early. Give yourself at least 2-weeks of prep/study time.
  2. Meet with your teacher. They, above anyone, can give you helpful tips for what to study and ways to prepare for their final exam.
  3. Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize. Evaluate and identify which exams will require the most amount of study time (i.e. Algebra exam > IT exam). Study accordingly.
  4. Yes. Maybe. Probably Not. Identify early what will be on the exam, might be on the exam, and will probably not be on the exam. A quick meeting with your teacher can help with this easy but important process.
  5. Stay rested. Avoid "all-nighters" or cramming for exams. Again, start early!
Your final "to-do" list:
  • If you are wait-listed by a college you really want to attend, visit, call, and write the admission office to make your interest clear. Ask how you can strengthen your application!
  • Sign up for the earliest Orientation possible for your best chance at registering for classes.
  • TN Promise Students: Don't forget to complete your 8 hours of Community Service and complete the form by July 1! Click --> http://www.tnpromise.gov/community-service.shtml
  • Give your classes and exams your best shot to end high school on a positive note!
When "working-out" the college search process, consider:

The summer between your Junior and Senior year is the perfect time to start working thru the college search process. Be sure to consider the below when doing so ...

  • Academic: What are the average scores (ACT/SAT) of students admitted to the school?
  • Size: Do you want a smaller campus with smaller class sizes or a larger campus with a wider variety of programs (i.e. a state university)?
  • Graduation Rate: What is the school's graduate rate? Also, do most student's graduate in four year or five years? If so, why?
  • Academic Resources: What academic resources does the college have on campus (i.e. tutors, writing centers, technology labs)? Does the library meet your needs?
  • Campus Life and Services: What support services are available on campus to help with social, health, academic, and financial challenges? Also, are there social activities, cultural events, clubs or athletics that interest you? Lastly, what are the housing options?
  • Majors: Does the college offer a variety of majors that interest you?
A summer of growth:

Sophomores, whatever you do this summer don't be stagnant. Yes, take a break and recover from school, but shortly after doing so be sure to identify "opportunities for growth". What do some of these opportunities look like:

  • Summer employment: Preferably in a career of interest (i.e. camp counselor for those interested in teaching), but take what you can get. Opportunities exist if you are willing to hustle and work a job that is simply that ... a job! A lot can be learned by adding to your plate of responsibilities this summer: work-ethic, grit, money-management, and more!
  • Volunteer: Give back while getting a head start on next school year's volunteer hours.
  • Contribute to the household: Sit down with your parents/caretakers and ask them how you can better contribute around the house. This will probably lead to work, but it will also lead to a greater sense of contribution and ownership. Have days of vegging-out and devouring the fridge, but more so have days of contributing to the overall team ... your family! Remember, you are a part of the team ... not the team. Here are some suggestions: garbage, yard work, cleaning, laundry.
  • Partake in a summer enrichment program: From a Drama Camp to an ACT Prep Camp, check out these summer enrichment opportunities at the University of Tennessee:
Reflect and Recharge:

Each May we communicate the same message to the freshman class - Reflect and Recharge! Taking a step back and reflecting on your freshman year experience is necessary. Not only does it allow you to marvel at your accomplishment (getting thru), but it also allows you to better understand the lessons learned. Lessons from navigating a social dilemma to learning how to effectively communicate with your teachers. The lessons are an inch wide, but a mile deep ... you just have to look!

After reflecting, take those learned freshman experiences and better apply them to your sophomore year. Did you come out of the gate too slow in August? If so, how do you become more prepared this August at the start of your sophomore year? A ready binder per class, broken down into the following sections: Notes, Homework, Quiz/Test?! A planner? Did you email or meet with your teachers enough during your freshman year? If not, can you set a goal to email or meet with your teachers weekly during your sophomore year? Whatever it is, learn from this past school year and improve next school year!

Created By
Rocco Mansueto

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