Message from the Guidance Counselor
The Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High Guidance Office desires to create a welcoming environment where each young person is seen as an individual, with unique needs and aspirations. It is our intention to provide clear direction, encouraging all students to realize their full potential as they move through their grade school days and transition into the world beyond. We welcome all students and their families to come by the guidance office with any questions or concerns. Mrs. Peak and I will do our best to assist each student in order that his or her school experience can be both positive and meaningful.
Micah Peak, Guidance Counselor
The guidance department endeavors to assist our students in better understanding themselves in the light of their abilities, aptitudes, and interests. It is our desire to see our students evolve into independent young adults who are capable of making well-reasoned decisions. Guidance services include: assisting in the creation of a master schedule and individualized student schedules, the maintenance of all regular education and special education records, both academic and psychological counseling, coordination of standardized testing, and a variety of other services to help meet the comprehensive needs of our students. The counselor is available to assist teachers and serves as a liaison between home and school.
Contacting the Counselor:
If you are a PARENT or GUARDIAN
- If you have a question about your student’s current grade or content in a course, contact the teacher directly (teacher emails are listed on school website)
- If you have a general counseling question or concern, the most effective way to contact your student’s counselor is via phone (850-229-8813) and/or her e-mail address ([email protected]). Please keep in mind that if the issue you wish to discuss is teacher-related, you should consider first contacting the teacher. Email is always a very effective way to contact your student’s teachers.
Contact Counselor for STUDENTS
If you are a STUDENT, and you want to meet with your counselor, you have several options.
- OPEN OFFICE HOURS – Before school (often, we are here earlier, but there will be someone in the office between 7:45 and 7:55 before school), during lunch, or after school until 3:15 (no appointment is necessary). This method is best for students who have a minor concern or question that can be addressed quickly.
- Fill out the “counselor hall pass” form (available in the front office at the secretary station or with your teachers). This method is best for students who have a minor concern or question that may take more time to address.
- Walk in anytime. This method is ONLY for students who have a concern or situation that needs immediate attention. This is for emergencies that absolutely cannot wait.
Please be aware that some things you may need to see the counselor for will require appointments to be set up in order to address.
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Graduates, Honor & High Honor
Gulf County high schools recognize honor graduates, high honor graduates, a valedictorian, and salutatorians. Students on a standard diploma track graduating with a weighted 3.5 – 3.849 GPA will graduate with honors, and those having a weighted GPA of 3.85 and higher will graduate with high honors and will be given the privilege of being on the commencement program or otherwise recognized as outstanding students. The average will be determined by the following point system: A (90–100) – 4; B (80–89) – 3; C (70–79) – 2; D (60–69) – 1; F (0–59) – 0. The term grades for grades 9-12 will be used in computing this average. Honors and High Honor graduates are determined using the weighted numeric GPA.
Graduation and Baccalaureate Activities
Graduation is a special occasion planned and conducted by the graduating class. Class officers and the valedictorian and salutatorian have the privilege of taking part in the program. Baccalaureate activities are under the direction of the Ministerial Association and all graduation activities are under the direction of the administration. Dress code for graduation and Baccalaureate is as follows: Ladies– Light colored dress and white dress shoes (no sandals unless there is a strap on the heel). Gentlemen– Navy blue or black
Dress pants, white dress shirt, dark tie, and black dress shoes. No light-colored socks. Failure or refusal to abide by the required dress will result in the student not being allowed to participate in these activities.
The PSAT is a “practice” SAT test that is useful for many reasons. First, it is a way for you to experience taking a test very similar to the SAT so that you get familiar with the questions/subjects that will be asked of you on the SAT. This will better prepare you for the SAT. Second, you will be given a score report a couple months after you take the test which will explain your areas of strength and those that may need more improvement. This will help you know what you need to study more of before the next test.
FAQ regarding the SAT and ACT:
Do all colleges require the SAT and ACT? You do not have to take the SAT or ACT if you plan on attending a community college. There are also some 4-year schools that de-emphasize the tests. See a list of these schools here: http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional. However, it is important to remember that it is better to take the tests and not need them than not take them and need them. Keep your options open!
How many times can I take these tests? You can take the SAT and ACT as many times as you like, and most colleges will look at your best score.
What is the difference between the SAT and ACT? How do I know which one to take? Due to the differences in the tests, we encourage you to visit https://www.princetonreview.com/college/sat-act to fully understand all of the differences between the tests. It is hard to know which test a particular student will score better on so it is recommended to take both.
Where can I get test preparation material? Test prep information can be found online on the SAT and ACT websites as well. These sites offer free practice tests, scoring keys, writing prompts with sample essays, daily questions, etc. Additional prep options –
- Collegeboard: sat.collegeboard.org/practice
- New SAT App: sat.org/scoring
- Khan Academy www.khanacademy.org/sat
- ACT: www.actstudent.org/sampletest/
Additional prep options- you can Purchase test prep books:
ACT Register at: www.actstudent.org
Students should take the ACT in the spring of their 11th-grade year and again (if desired) in the fall of their 12th-grade year. The ACT test includes multiple choice English, reading, math, and science parts, as well as an essay component. Fee waivers are available in counseling if applicable.
2020-2021 Testing Schedule will change as more information becomes available.
2020-2021 ACT Schedule
|Test Date @ PSJHS|
|October 24, 2020|
|December 12, 2020|
|April 17, 2021|
*Administered at PSJHS. For more information visit ActStudent.org
Testing Center and Codes
|City||Center Name||Center Code|
|Port St. Joe||Port Saint Joe High School||178340|
|Panama City||Bay High School||172830|
|Panama City||Rutherford High School||230590|
SAT and SAT Subject Tests Dates
More information about SAT exams at SAT Homepage
Date @ PSJHS
|August 29, 2020|
|May 8, 2021|
ASVAB Career Exploration Program (CEP)
The ASVAB test will be conducted on the morning of (not yet scheduled). It is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. in the commons area of the school. Please contact the Guidance Office for more information regarding this vocational aptitude battery.
Transcript requests are handled by the guidance department. Transcript request forms are located in the guidance lobby; please allow two to three business days to process a request form.
How to sign up for FLVS:
1. Go to www.flvs.net
2. Click, “sign- up”
3. Choose, “county virtual schools” grades 6-12
4. Click, “I live in Florida”
5. Choose county from drop down menu
6. Choose “public school” from drop down menu
7. Click continue
8. Now it is time to choose which course you want to take
9. Choose preferred start date
10. Choose the virtual school they would like to take—Here is where you have to choose FLVS Franchise @ PAEC
11. Click continue and answer questions 1-2-3
12. Click Continue
13. Now create your account and put in all of your personal information, email, password, DOB, etc.
Once the account has been created, Mrs. Brock will be sent notification to verify you for the course. I will NOT verify you if you did not choose PAEC at step #12. Most all courses are offered under PAEC. In the event a course is not, I will verify it. Our district gets reimbursed for students taking under the PAEC option, as we have an agreement with them.
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Scholarships are announced on the Morning Broadcast and Afternoon Announcements. Copies of all scholarships are available in Guidance.
Local College Links:
- University of Florida
- Florida State University
- Florida State University- Panama City
- Gulf Coast State College
- Tallahassee Community College
- Troy University
- University of Central Florida
- University of South Florida
- University of West Florida
What is FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The federal government uses this form to determine your eligibility for aid, including: grants, work-study, scholarships and loans. FAFSA on the Web is the online version of a paper FAFSA.
Why would I want to complete my FAFSA on the Web instead of on paper?
The process is quicker and it is what the federal government prefers.
How do I get started?
**PSJHS will host a lab night October 2nd at 5:30 in labs 207 and 208, so that you can complete your FAFSA application with a representative present to help with this process.
Before the lab night please do the following:
- Make sure the parent has or creates an email that will be used.
- Make sure the student has or creates an email that will be used.
- Student needs to create FSA ID – see link below
- Parent needs to create a FSA ID – see link below
- RECORD YOUR FSA ID – you will need it to log in to your FAFSA
- Bring the following information
- Social Security Numbers
- Driver’s License
- W-2 Forms
- Prior Year Federal Tax Return (can upload directly from IRS website, but it is helpful to have a copy in hand)
- Bank Statements
- Investment Records
- Untaxed income records
- Dependent students will need parent information
- If you want to create an FSA ID now, go for it!
Visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov and click “Before Beginning a FAFSA” to get started.
FAFSA Web Tips
- Use a sample FAFSA worksheet: Click “Before Beginning a FAFSA,” then “Print a Pre-Application Worksheet.” Use the printout as a guide before committing answers online. Do not enter online answers directly from the paper FAFSA. Web vs. paper FAFSA questions are in a different order.
- Save your FAFSA online if you can’t finish it in one session: Click the “Save” button at the bottom of each step to save info for 45 days. Use a password (which you select at the start of the process) to retrieve your information later.
- Fill out a FAFSA even if you don’t think you will qualify for aid: You may qualify even if you don’t think you do, and if your circumstances change during the year, you may have the ability to get aid later. Also, many private scholarships require the FAFSA.
- Follow the instructions: Take your time and get help if you need it. Your counselors are a great resource for this!
- Accurately list your information: Do not enter false information as a way to qualify for more aid. Doing so is a federal crime.
- Print out a copy: Keep a completed copy for your records.
Signing the FAFSA
You will be required to provide your signature (and parent’s signature if you are a dependent student). Information on the FAFSA website explains how students and parents apply for an FSA ID.
Your FSA ID will be your electronic identifier that enables you to:
- Complete, sign, and submit your FAFSA online, and
- Access your personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems.
Dual Enrollment Guidelines
In order to be eligible to dual enroll, you must have a 3.0 UNWEIGHTED high school GPA. Math and English classes require specific test scores. Also, some classes require prerequisite courses and this is something you should check when searching courses on the GCSC website. You must maintain a 2.5 college GPA in order to remain in the dual enrollment program.
You MUST check the college’s deadlines when registering for classes. We have to adhere to their registration and drop/add deadlines.
It is VERY important to turn in your yellow dual enrollment form to the guidance office well before the registration deadline for 3 reasons:
- Guidance may not be able to fax it to the college the day you turn it in.
- Classes offered at the college or web based courses fill up quickly due to the fact that college students are also registering for those classes.
- BOOKS: We have dual enrollment books on hand, but those go quickly. If guidance does not have a book you need, it will have to be ordered. It takes approximately a week to a week and half from the date the book is ordered to receive it. Books are not ordered until the student is registered for the class.
Once your yellow form is faxed to the college, you are in the class unless their dual enrollment liaison contacts the guidance counselor and states otherwise. If you are ever unsure, call the college and ask if you were enrolled. They will have this information more readily available.
Once you are enrolled in the class, the guidance counselor has no control or access to anything regarding the class or Gulf Coast State College’s grading portal. Any questions you have will require you to contact the college. Often times the college will not even speak to a parent, because they follow the college confidentiality guidelines.
DROPPING A CLASS
If you decide that you do NOT want to take the class after signing up for it, you MUST drop the class within the college’s drop/add timeframe. If you drop it after this time, you will receive a “W” on your college transcript and some colleges accept this as an “F”.
Also, once you turn in your yellow form, you are enrolled in the class unless there was an issue. The guidance counselor will let you know if there was an issue as soon as he/she is notified by the college. Remember: It is ALWAYS a good idea to contact the college if you are unsure. If you are enrolled in the class and did not go through the proper procedure to officially drop the class and do not attend, you will be marked as a no show (NS), on your transcript, which can translate to a “WF” withdrawn failing. This remains on your transcript forever.
Please be aware that a “C” on a college transcript does not look good when applying to colleges. Also, please be aware that if you receive below a “C”, you will not receive credit for the class. Your college grades will go on your college transcript, as well as your high school transcript and they are weighted as honors classes.
RETAKING A CLASS
You are allowed to retake a class only once. You cannot retake a class to earn grade forgiveness unless you earned a grade of a “D” or “F” in the course.