• A practical guide for parents: Boost your student’s success with tutorials

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 5/6/2019

    It’s the final countdown: just a few weeks of school left, and students are facing a multitude of tests. STAAR tests, AP tests, and of course, finals. There’s also the pressure of keeping up GPA’s in their classes, finishing assignments and projects, and making test corrections.

    How can students keep up in their classes and prepare for their exams?

    Photo - Emily Delgado Teachers offer tutorials to help their students succeed. Mrs. Emily Delgado, Associate Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, offers insight on how students can get the most out of tutorials. Join us in our discussion of how to improve your student’s performance with tutorials.

    Of course, students first need to know when tutorials are held. Mrs. Delgado explains that they are held at different times, before or after school. Every teacher is required to have at least 30 minutes a day, 4 times a week. Tutorial schedules can be found on the PHS website under the “STAFF” tab on the left side. You can click here for a direct link.

    Mrs. Delgado notes how tutorials benefit students. “Teachers can give individual lesson instruction only to a certain level with a class of up to 30 students, so not all students can get the help they need. If they need more individualized attention, tutorials are the time to get that.”

    What happens during tutorials? Teachers make themselves available during their scheduled tutorial times. Students can meet with the teachers and ask questions. “Every class is different: Some teachers have a more structured setting and guide it toward the students; others expect students to self-advocate and ask questions to get the help they need.”

    How can students get the most out of tutorials? Mrs. Delgado suggests that students come prepared with questions and understand where they’re lost. “Teachers are happy if students just attend tutorials, but if they come prepared that’s even better.” What can parents do to help students prepare for tutorials? “Parents can help students think things through ahead of time. Ask: what happened? What don’t they understand? Walk them through the steps to help them see where they get lost, and that will help give them an idea of questions to ask.”

    She emphasizes that students should not be afraid to reach out for help. “If a student is confused, they should tell the teacher. If they don’t understand, they should ask questions. Don’t waste time just sitting in the room and not getting help.”

    A great help in students’ improving their grades is re-teach, re-test. How does that work? Mrs. Delgado explains: “If a student fails a test, district policy gives them the opportunity to take the test again after they have been given targeted instruction. Re-teach, re-test is available only in tutorials. In the tutorial, the teacher will review with the student the information that wasn’t understood, then they can come to another tutorial to retake the test after they have been retaught the information. If students take advantage of this, they shouldn’t have any failing quiz or test grades for their classes.”

    What if my student’s teacher is not available for tutorials? “If teachers are not available at their posted times, please inform the grade-level Assistant Principal. Parents can keep an open communication with their student’s teachers. If their student needs help, they can call or email the teacher to let them know that the student will be attending tutorials. That way the teacher and student will both be prepared, and their time will be better spent during tutorials.”

    PHS also has the PAW Center, which is student-led tutoring for all core subjects at all levels. If students need help with homework, exam corrections, essays, or if they have questions about their classes, they can come to the PAW Center. During the school year, regular hours are Monday - Thursday 8:00-8:55 am and 4:30-5:15 pm in the E215 Computer lab.

    Please note: Since we are nearing the end of the school year and have limited staffing, the PAW Center has a different format for the last few weeks of school. During the weeks of May 5 (afternoons) and May 12 (mornings and afternoons), it is open for AP Café, which is is an informal version of PAW Center where AP students are encouraged to gather together and form student-led study groups. May 19 through May 23 (mornings and afternoons) will be PAW Center 911, where students can come by to get assistance in last minute assignments and corrections. Please note that they won’t be able to be fully staffed due to end of year commitments, so there will be a limited numbers of tutors during these weeks. Hot drinks – coffee, tea and hot chocolate – will be available for purchase every day until they run out.

    Mrs. Delgado summarizes the secret of successful tutorials: “Parents, be proactive. Don’t wait for a failed test to get help. Start right away when there is homework that the student doesn’t understand. Students, don’t wait to get help. Advocate for yourself and ask questions to get the help you need. During ACE period, you can coordinate with teachers to get help. We want our students to succeed, and tutorials can play an important part in that.”

    Comments (-1)
  • 2019 BrightBytes Technology Survey

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 4/25/2019

    We are partnering with BrightBytes, an educational software company, in order to learn more about our students’ school and home technology use for learning. For that reason, we are reaching out to ask you to take part in the Clarity questionnaire. Your participation is essential in helping us form a more complete picture of technology use for learning in your students’ lives.

    If you have students at multiple campuses, please complete one survey for each campus using the link provided by the campus. This process ensures each campus has the appropriate information for their student population. Multiple responses are not necessary for siblings on the same campus.

    The survey will take approximately 5 minutes. Please know that all of your responses will remain anonymous to protect your privacy. PfISD values parent feedback and we appreciate your input.

    Please use this link to begin the survey for PHS: PHS Parent Survey

    Sincerely,

    Pflugerville ISD Technology

     

    Hacemos equipo con BrightBytes, una compañía de software educativa. Deseamos aprender más sobre el uso de la tecnología para la enseñanza de nuestros estudiantes en la escuela y el hogar. Por eso, le pedimos participar en esta encuesta Clarity. Su participación es fundamental en ayudarnos entender mejor el rol de la tecnología para la enseñanza en las vidas de sus hijos. 

    Si tienen estudiantes inscritos en múltiples escuelas, favor de completar una encuesta para cada escuela utilizando el enlace proporcionado por cada escuela. Este proceso asegura que cada escuela tenga la información apropiada para su población estudiantil. Respuestas múltiples no son necesarias para hermanos que asisten a la misma escuela.

    La encuesta tomará aproximadamente 5 minutos en completar. Sus respuestas serán anónimas para proteger su privacidad. PfISD valora y aprecia los comentarios y las contribuciones de padres.

    Por favor, use el siguiente enlace para comenzar la encuesta de PHS: Encuesta para padres de PHS. (Usted puede cambiar el idioma en la parte superior a la derecha de la página.) 

    Atentamente,

    Pflugerville ISD Technology

    Comments (-1)
  • Information for Parents on overcoming obstacles to student success: Student’s lack of organization and time management

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 3/15/2019

    Parents, does your student struggle with getting organized and using their time effectively? This can be one of the biggest obstacles to students’ success, but we have an amazing team of counselors ready to help:Photo of counselors and staff

    Geminesse Scott – 9th grade counselor

    Christina Powell – 10th grade counselor

    Mark Canales – 11th grade counselor

    Lindsay Saylor-Carroll – 12th grade counselor

    Sarah Cable – Lead/AVID counselor

    Ana Bowie – Social Worker

    The team offers suggestions so students can get organized and manage their time effectively. Read on to find simple, practical advice that parents and students can put into practice.

    How can students be better organized?

    One of the best ways to start getting organized is to use planners and agendas effectively. AVID planners are especially useful. They have study tips, note-taking suggestions (including a sample of Cornell notes), ideas on how to stay productive all day long, and more. They help you set weekly and monthly goals. Best of all, the counselors have a supply of AVID planners available for any student who wants one (even if they are not in AVID) – all you need to do is ask!

    If students prefer to use electronic planners, they can use the calendar on their phone or find an app that works well for them. Be sure to make regular updates and check your phone often!

    Set goals. If students have the end goal in mind, it will help them stay focused and not get distracted. Set intermediate goals to work toward the end goal.

    Prioritize. Make a list of everything you have to do and decide what’s most important. Start with the most important thing first, then work down the list.

    Plan your time, then follow your plan. But also come up with a Plan B; in other words, have a strategy if you don’t complete what you planned in the time allowed.

    Designate a study time for when you get home. For example, take a 30-minute break when you get home (4:30 – 5:00), then hit the books (5:00 – 6:00). Repeat with another short break, then back to studying. Make it a habit, and as it becomes part of your routine it will be easier to stick with.

    Write down your teachers’ tutorial schedules so you’ll have them handy, and go to tutorials when you need to. Schedule them in your planner or put a reminder on phone to make it happen.

    Write deadlines on bathroom or bedroom mirror – important things for that week or month.

    How can parents help students with organization and time management?

    Help your student set up routines for study and homework. Parents should provide a safe study space and time, without interruptions. That can include taking the phone away to remove distractions.

    Work together with your student to make up a tutorial schedule. Plan which teachers your student will see in the morning and after school, then put that plan in a page protector. Students really like having a nicely-designed schedule, so help them type it out and personalize it.

    You can also make up a sign-in sheet for teachers to hold your student accountable. Converse with your student and ask what they did in tutorials.

    What things interfere with good organization, and how can these obstacles be overcome?

    The counselors observe that cell phones are a huge distraction, so they need to be put away during study time. Also, remember that students are not born with time management skills; they need to be learned. ACE period teachers help students learn study techniques that AVID students use, and those techniques can be reinforced at home.

    Where can students get more help with organization and time management?

    ·         Counselors are a great resource. View them as your academic coaches. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, because they’ll help you in a non-judgmental way. They’ll help you look at whole picture and get organized.

    ·         ACE teachers – or any teachers. They have the techniques and skills that students can learn to get organized and manage their time successfully.

    ·         Online/electronic agendas. Google it and find something that works for you. (Make sure you ask the teacher if you can use it in class.) If you find something that makes your agenda fun, you’re more likely to use it.

    ·         Read the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. It’s kid-centered and easy to read. (In fact, the counselors recommend that parents read it, too!)

    ·         Take the initiative: use the internet for resources. For example, if you’re short on time, check out John and Hank Green’s Crash Course on YouTube for a fun and effective way to learn about a variety of subjects.

    Takeaway: To keep from being overwhelmed, choose just a couple ideas to start with and try them out this week (take advantage of time off during spring break to catch up or get ahead!). After you’ve gotten them down, try another idea or two, and so on. You’ll soon be more organized and on your way to reaching your goals.

    Comments (-1)
  • Parent Seminar on Job Skills held March 5

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 3/14/2019

    Photo Jay Cruz Jay Cruz of Texas Workforce Solutions and Griselda Valerio of ACC Career Pathways participated in a parent workshop on job skills and career training on March 5.

    Mr. Cruz presented information on resources available at the Texas Workforce Solutions offices for residents of Travis County and provided an overview of the Career Center. He shared a packet of information that included a schedule of Career MAPS Workshops held every week, a list of helpful links for job seekers and a career center overview with available programs. Click here for a copy of the Workshop schedule. Copies of the Career Center overview packet are available in the PHS front office.

    He also shared handouts listing free income-based Community Financial Centers that provide tax services (including tax prep), health insurance assistance, college financial aid information and financial coaching. The handouts for Community Financial Centers and tax services are available here

    Ms. Valerio discussed ACC’s Career Pathways, a program that includes free career training, certification testing and academic support. Their Adult Education Division provides free High School Equivalency classes (GED), English language classes, and College prep. You can access a copy of their brochure here.

    Photo Griselda Valerio

     

    Comments (-1)
  • For Parents: Helping Students with Homework

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 2/18/2019

    Homework - girl writing There’s no getting around it: homework is a big part of students’ life. And learning to manage it successfully can lead to overall success in school.

    How can parents support their students with homework? Marisa Ramos and Bonnie Nichols, Instructional Coaches (IC’s) for Science and English, respectively, provide suggestions for parents on how to help with homework.

    Ms. Nichols starts by discussing the environment at home. “It’s important to provide a time and place that’s conducive to studying so students have their own space. But parents should also check up on their student’s progress. They can look on their Focus account to see current grades and check if there is any missing homework. If teachers use Google Classroom, parents can connect to it for access to worksheets. They should also ask their student about homework and class assignments.”

    What can parents do to make students’ homework sessions more productive? Ms. Ramos speaks from her own experience. “My mom set her expectations for me – homework before fun – and that helped me learn to set priorities. I took advantage of class time and did homework in class so I didn’t have to take it home. Parents should likewise teach their students to set priorities. If students are organized and focused, homework shouldn’t take the entire night.” Ms. Nichols adds, “If students get stuck on homework, they should get help the next morning from their teacher. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

    Parents may run into a roadblock if they aren’t familiar with the subject their student is studying. Ms. Nichols suggests asking your student to show you their notes, or ask them to tell you what they do know. “It’s actually a great bonding experience. Even if you just get bits and pieces that can help, and the student can advocate for themselves the next morning with the teacher.”

    What should parents avoid doing? The IC’s advise the following:

    • Don’t do the work or project for the student. Parents aren’t doing their students any favors because it’s obvious who did the majority of work when test time comes.
    • Avoid distractions during homework time. Turn off the TV. That’s a great model for the student. Understanding the importance of homework starts at home. If parents set a good example and are willing to sacrifice their own TV time, that really impresses the point on the student.
    • Don’t be hyper-judgmental or critical. The student may already feel bad because he realizes he doesn’t understand the material. Don’t try to place blame on the teacher, student, or someone else. Rather, try to figure out what you and the student can do to find the solution and explore resources together.

    It can be frustrating if expectations on homework are unclear. Each class is different, so students need to ask questions. Expectations and deadlines can vary depending on the teacher, so it’s important to communicate with each teacher.

    In addition, it’s important that parents have daily conversations with their students about what they’re learning. Discuss the stresses that they are facing. Check to see where they are. Since teenagers may struggle with time management, help them to manage their responsibilities. Ms. Ramos notes that athletes especially may need help in balancing everything. Suggest they use time on the bus going to games to squeeze in some studying or homework. Guide them in setting goals and making a schedule.Homework - on computer

    Although parents should teach students to be responsible for their learning, parents should not hesitate to reach out to teachers by calling or emailing them. That gives students an example of advocating for themselves and taking the initiative. Help your student search for answers: use class resources and online searches (including Google), and guide them to ask teachers for help. Students’ success is the result of a team effort: teachers, parents, and students supporting each other.

    We also have a great resource online for parents to see what students of Pflugerville ISD are working on. You can find it by clicking here and selecting a subject under "Year at a Glance." Or you can navigate to it by going to the District website (www.pfisd.net) and clicking on the “Staff” tab. In the left column, click Curriculum, then PfISD High School Curriculum. Then you can select one of the subjects under the heading “Year at a Glance” for details. 

    Ms. Nichols and Ms. Ramos summarized by emphasizing the importance of relationships. Students learn better from teachers that they form a relationship with. Although parents may not always agree with the teachers, if they support the teachers and work together to unite as a team, everyone will benefit, and they will set the tone for their students. Students will learn from their example of how to work together, and that will contribute to their success in school and in life.

    Comments (-1)
  • News for Parents: Budgeting Basics workshop presented on February 12

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 2/15/2019

    budgeting

    Desiree Lopez, Amanise Coleman and Isabella Saenz of A+ Federal Credit Union presented a workshop for parents on budgeting on February 12 in the PHS Library. They discussed how our values guide and motivate us as well as help us set goals. 

    They explained that a budget is simply a spending and saving plan that helps you gain control of your financial future. They then introduced the steps to creating a practical, realistic budget.

    Step 1 – Determine where you are now

    • Identify income and expenses

    Step 2 – Organize & plan

    • Organize your expenses: Essential expenses, Financial Priorities, Lifestyle choices

    Step 3 – Implement

    • Choose a system: paper and pen, envelope system, electronic/online system

    Step 4 – Modify

    • Take small steps; pick one change and implement it, then make another, etc.

    They gave suggestions on how to increase your income or decrease your spending and showed the impact that even small changes can make over time.

    The handout helped participants figure their income and expenses and take action to start creating their own budget.

    Our next Personal Finance workshop for parents will be held Tuesday, March 26. We would love to have you join us! Watch for further details.

    Comments (-1)
  • Top question from parents: How can I help my student prepare for college?

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 1/7/2019

    Whether you have a freshman just starting their high school career or an upperclassman starting to apply for college, navigating your way through the process can seem confusing and overwhelming.

    Our college and career counselor, Mr. Christopher Haywood, provides guidance and insight for every phase of the journey. He is 100% focused on helping students reach the next step after high school.Portrait of Mr. Haywood, College and Career Counselor

    I spoke with him to get some practical suggestions on how to start students on their journey through high school, keep them focused on their goal, and prepare them for the next chapter in their education.

    One of the things parents need to know is when college preparation starts. According to Mr. Haywood, it actually starts in 8th grade. “One of the biggest things parents can do is to try to get students into Algebra in 8th grade, because it changes their whole trajectory in high school. It puts them in a higher math when they graduate, and they’ll generally test higher on the ACT and across the board.” However, if students don’t get into Algebra in 8th grade, it’s not too late. They should just start as soon as they can when they get into high school.

    Once a student gets to high school, they have to find a delicate balance in maintaining academic rigor by choosing classes that are challenging and setting academic goals for grades. Mr. Haywood explained that this will put them in a position to have as many options as possible available to them. “What we find is that underclassmen don’t know how their grades impact their opportunities as a senior, so they start putting in effort at the end of their junior or senior year, and that’s too late. College applications require grades for the first three years of high school, so senior year is too late to start ramping up your efforts. The first two years are the most important because your GPA can move much easier when you have fewer classes.”

    So what role do GPA and Class Rank play? “Colleges admit based on academic rigor and competition. The way you push yourself up in the ranking is to do well in the harder classes. Students ranked in the top 10% of the class get automatic admission to any public university (besides UT, which is top 6%).

    “Also, scholarships are the best way to pay for college, and the biggest scholarships come from universities. They often to go the top 10% – 25% of the class. For example, if you’re in the top 25% and you have a certain score on SAT, you may get automatic money – and that money is renewable – of perhaps $3,000 to $8,000 for the entire school year ($12,000 to $32,000 total for four years). The local scholarships are a lot lower, $500 to $1,000, so we’re talking about much, much bigger scholarships, so you can literally see your grades paying for school in that top range.”

    How can students stay on track throughout their high school career? Mr. Haywood advises that they meet with their counselor and college advisor on a regular basis: at least once a year, but meeting every semester is even better, just to check in.

    I asked Mr. Haywood to explain what the FAFSA is, who should apply, and when. “FAFSA is the free application for federal student aid for graduating seniors to obtain a grant, loan, and/or work-study (it does not include scholarships). It opens October 1 for seniors to apply. There is a priority deadline in January. There is no deadline for submitting it, but the earlier the better.” Students and parents who need help in completing the FAFSA can contact Mr. Haywood for assistance.

    What are the TSI, SAT and ACT tests, and how can students prepare for them? Mr. Haywood explained that colleges want you to graduate from high school with benchmarks that prove you’re ready for college-level classes, and by means of these tests you can achieve those benchmarks through certain scores. That way you avoid taking remediation classes, which add cost and time to your college career and don’t count toward your degree. Also, as he already mentioned, your score on the SAT and your class rank can qualify you for automatic scholarships.

    What’s the best way for a student to get accepted by the college they want to attend? By being in the top 10% of your class (top 6% for UT), students get automatic admission to public universities. If they are not in the top 10% (or 6%), there are also automatic admissions based on class rank combined with ACT or SAT score. (Check with the individual college for requirements.)

    Students who don’t qualify for automatic admissions will go through the review process. Colleges take into account the student’s full body of work, as well as their essay, resume, and letters of recommendation. It takes longer for students to find out if they are accepted, so it’s best if they can get automatic acceptance.

    What if a student is undecided on what they will pursue after high school? They should definitely meet with their college and career counselor. As Mr. Haywood observes, “Students have a limited scope because they haven’t been exposed to a lot of options, and they don’t have enough information to make such a big decision. It’s hard to be what you can’t see and hard to pursue something you haven’t been exposed to.” That’s where the college and career counselor comes in. He can provide value assessments not only by student’s interest but also by market; he has data on growing and decreasing fields to help them make an informed decision.

    Mr. Haywood offers additional advice to students on preparing for college: “Along with academics, being a well-rounded student is important. Find something at school that you’re excited about and that helps you be connected to your school. Sports are great, but finding other ways to build leadership and give back to the school is honestly going to help your academics as well. It’s been shown that those who are connected to the school are likely to do well academically. So what you put into the school is what you’re going to get out of it.”

    For parents, Mr. Haywood points out that there’s a difference between support and involvement. “Involvement from a parent’s perspective means helping your student be accountable for their grades and checking on them. Make sure students are doing what’s suggested, such as meeting with their college and career counselor. There’s a lot of correspondence that goes out from the school, so parents should make sure that they’re keeping up with it and communicating with the school. Knowing and meeting with their student’s counselor shows their involvement. We know parents support their kids, but really being involved in their education gives them the knowledge to help students execute.

    “Parents set the standard of expectations for their students,” Mr. Haywood continues. “Standards for grades should be set at ‘B’ or higher. Help students carve out quiet study time. Parents play a key role in breaking down barriers to student performance and guiding their students to success.”

    Mr. Haywood serves as a liaison between the school and the community. “I feel like the school is kind of in a bubble, and I am the person bringing outside perspective and resources within the school, because a lot of times life in school and outside is not the same. I can help students find resources, scholarships, internships, and job opportunities. I have companies calling me wanting to come to the table, and I can connect those companies with students.”

    The best way to contact Mr. Haywood is through email. Also, sign up for class Reminds and Facebook pages through the grade-level counselors, because Mr. Haywood gives them information to post.

    Following is the contact information:

    Mr. Haywood’s email: Christopher.Haywood@pfisd.net

    Principal Hunt's Blog/Alert:  Text @phsinf to 81010

    Class of 2019

    Remind Text Updates : text @mrssaylorc to 81010

    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/PHSClassof2019 

    Class of 2020

    Remind Text Updates: Text @k6af3e to 81010

    FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/PHS2020/ 

    Class of 2021

    Remind Text Updates: Text @mrsholmesP to 81010

    FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/PHS2021

    Class of 2022

    Remind Text Updates: Text @scott22 to 81010

    FACEBOOK: fb.me/PHSPanthers2022

    Comments (-1)
  • Important information for parents: Improving Academic Skills

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 12/14/2018

    Just in time for Mid-term exams, two of our instructional coaches offer suggestions on improving academic skills. Marisa Ramos is the Instructional Coach for Science, and Bonnie Nichols is the Instructional Coach for English. Following are some of their best tips for helping your student succeed.

    According to Ms. Ramos and Ms. Nichols, one of the best ways for students to improve academic skills is to be prepared and know the teachers’ expectations. Students need to be their own advocates and not be afraid to ask for help. Making a connection with the teacher shows that a student wants to do well, and the teachers will work with them. Students may not realize how important relationships with teachers are; if they don’t ask for help it may appear to the teacher that they don’t care.

    Teachers have the supplies and techniques to help students do well in their class, and they’re more than willing to share what they have in order to help students succeed. Know the tutorial schedule for your teachers (see the website here) and make up a written plan for attending tutorials.

    Another great help is to study with friends. Exchange emails or phone numbers with someone who can be your study buddy. This is especially helpful when the teacher is not there, such as evenings and weekends.

    One of the most common mistakes students make when studying is not being organized or not knowing what to focus on. How can they overcome this?

    *  Use your notebook or binder to keep yourself organized. Keep a daily journal or notebook. (Note: counselors have AVID agendas available for any students that would like one. Just ask.)

    *  Use the review from your teacher before tests. Make sure you do it in time to get your questions answered before the test. Make the most of your review. Parents: if you’re helping your student study, have the student give you three things they do know and three things they don’t know. Ask questions.

    *  Know where you’re going and what your objective is. Look beyond the moment and think: will what I’m doing now get me where I want to be?

    How important is it for students to set goals? According to Ms. Nichols, success is not an accident; it requires a plan, so you need to set goals. Sometimes we’re our own worst critics, so goals help us see the progress we’re actually making. Ms. Ramos adds that goal setting helps with motivation and moves students to take action. Goals can help them start doing things they haven’t done before. Parents should teach children always to set goals, even outside of school. When they set and reach goals, they see what they can achieve. That boosts their confidence and self-esteem, which in turn helps them see their potential. Goal setting may sound intimidating, but it’s not; students actually set goals all the time without realizing it in small things in life.

    Tutorials are a great way for students improve their academic skills. Both teachers agree that the smaller group setting can be a big advantage. It’s less intimidating for students, and they may be more willing to take a risk and be wrong in order to learn. Also, teachers can see where students are struggling and tailor individual support for their needs.

    What can students do if they feel overwhelmed? First, prioritize. Make a list so you’ll be organized. In addition, as already mentioned, communication with teachers is huge. When kids talk to teachers, teachers really value that and know that the kids care. They are more than willing to help students who advocate for themselves. Also, if students know they’re going to be absent, they should plan ahead and ask for homework before they leave.

    Effective notes are essential to academic success. How can students take effective notes?

    *  First, take them!

    *  Second, don’t write everything the teacher says, or everything that’s on the slides. Really listen to the teacher and summarize. Don’t just copy; engage.

    *  Write down also what you don’t understand.

    *  For math, you need to take note of all the steps of the example, plus your own notes.

    *  Go back to your notes when you’re studying for an exam.

    Students: remember that notes are for you, and they’re a valuable resource. Take them and use them.

    With midterms on the horizon, how can students best prepare for them (or any other exams)? Don’t wait till the last minute. Preparation really needs to be ongoing throughout the entire year; you can’t cram the night before and pass your midterm. Study to understand, not just to cover material. Stay organized. Review old quizzes and tests before midterms. Take the opportunity to make up work and do corrections one or two weeks before the test.

    Ms. Ramos and Ms. Nichols offer suggestions for students and parents on how to improve concentration skills when studying:

    *         Students: put the phone the away, in another room. Set a goal of not looking at phone for a certain period of time, such as 30 minutes. Focus completely on studying, then take a small phone break.

    *         Parents: make sure the home environment supports studying – no TV during study time, have student study at the table, not in the bedroom.

    Finally, if students need more help, there are numerous resources they can use:

    *  Teachers – they have subject-specific resources, such as EBooks, supplemental materials and interactive programs.

    *  Websites

    *  Google classroom

    *  PAW Center (peer-led tutoring before and after school Monday through Thursday). Often kids understand kids their age better than an adult

    *  Study buddy – reach out to classmates in the evening

    *  Khan Academy (online resource).

    *  Google.

    We hope these tips will help your students succeed. We wish you the best on your mid-terms and throughout the rest of the school year!

    Comments (-1)
  • December 11 Parent Seminar featured Personal Finance session on Credit

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 12/13/2018

    Sophia Uribe - A+ Credit Union Sophia Uribe and Desiree Lopez of A+ Federal Credit Union presented a seminar for parents on credit. They discussed recognizing the importance of credit and identifying factors that creditors look at.

    Parents learned that credit scores can determine if you’re able to get a loan and how much interest you’ll pay. Surprisingly, it can also affect other areas of your life, such as insurance rates, renting an apartment and obtaining employment.

    The representatives explained what factors determine your credit score. Their handout included a sample credit report to show participants what kind of information is included in their credit report. They gave suggestions on checking your credit report, correcting errors on it, and improving your credit score.

    Throughout the program, they answered parents’ questions, both on general topics and specific situations.

    Desiree Lopez - A+ Credit Union They will be offering more workshops with valuable information on other Personal Finance topics in the spring semester, so watch for announcements.

    Comments (-1)
  • Parent Seminars on Cooking held November 6 and December 4

    Posted by Kristen Hernandez on 12/7/2018

    Chef Patrick discussing cooking Parents of PHS students enjoyed two seminars by Chef Patrick of Aramark in the FCCLA room at PHS. 

    On November 6, Chef Patrick presented a program on nutrition, which included a discussion of how to roast vegetables and how to create an amazing salsa. Parents got to savor samples of his delicious vegetables and salsa with chips. 

    At the end of the evening, five happy winners of a drawing were presented with a $10 Target gift card.

    The December 4 program featured Cooking on a Budget. The presentation included a demonstration of how to make a quick and easy stir-fry. Chef Patrick gave the following practical tips for attendees to make their own stir-fry at home:

    *         The best kind of oil to use (spoiler alert: it’s regular olive oil, not extra-virgin)

    *         How to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan (the secret is to make sure the pan is hot before adding ingredients)

    Chef Patrick demonstrating stir-fry *         How to make the best fried rice (hint: use brown rice and cook it the day before and refrigerate it; that gives it a chance to dry out a little so it will have a better texture when you stir-fry it).

    The winner of the door prize drawing received a $50 gift card to the Grand Lux Café in the Domain.

    Watch the website and Remind texts for announcements, because we will have new topics for future parent seminars in the Spring semester!

    Comments (-1)