Counseling Advisory Committee (CAC)

2021-2022

Chairpersons: Karen Greenfeld and Debby Orsak            Email:  wjhs.ptsa.cac@gmail.com

The Counseling Advisory Committee (CAC) is a PTSA-sponsored committee that works with the Counseling Services Department to increase communication among parents, students, and the school. Together with the Counseling Services Department, the CAC sponsors parent and student meetings that provide information on academic and social issues to help students succeed at WJ and beyond.  The CAC is comprised of parents, students, Counseling Services staff, and administrators.  

Events

Resources

College Saturday
 
2021 Fall2022 Winter&Spring
College Preparedness Resources
Mock Exams 
Join the WJPTSA Listerve 
Alphabetized List & Descriptions
 
 

Events Schedule

2021 Fall Events 

[Back to Events and Resources]

Date

Time

Event

Location

Recorded Presentation

Meeting Materials

9/13

7:00-9:00 pm

Senior Parent Meeting

 Virtual

Recorded Presentation

Meeting Materials

9/18

10:00am-3:00pm

College Saturday

Virtual

Recorded Presentations

 

9/20

7:00pm- 9:00pm

Freshman Parent Meeting

Virtual

Recorded Presentation

Slide Presentation

Freshman Handouts

9/27

7:00- 9:00pm

Sophomore Parent Meeting

Virtual

Recorded Presentation

Slide Presentation & Handouts

9/29

7:00- 9:00pm

Transitioning Back To The "New Normal"

Virtual

Recorded Presentation

Handout

10/4

7:00- 9:00pm

Junior Parent Meeting

Virtual

Recorded Presentation

Slide Presentation & Handouts

10/11

7:00-8:00pm

College Admissions Testing Q&A

Virtual

Recorded Presentation

 

10/14

7:00-9:00pm

Admissions 101

Virtual

Recorded Presentation

Slide Presentation

10/16

8:30am- 1:00pm

Mock ACT

Cafeteria, Media Center

 

 

10/18

7:00-9:00pm

How to Think About Extracurriculars

Virtual

Recorded Presentation

Slide Presentation

10/21

7:00- 9:00pm

College Financial Aid

Virtual

Recorded Presentation

Slide Presentation

10/25

7:00-9:00pm

Executive Functioning Skills

Virtual

   

11/8

7:00- 9:00pm

Understanding AP Classes

Virtual

   

11/20

8:30am- 1:00pm

Mock SAT

Cafeteria, Media Center

 

 

11/29

7:00- 9:00pm

PSAT and Mock SAT/ACT Test Results Meeting

Virtual

   

12/6

7:00- 9:00pm

Dual Enrollment: Earning College Credit in High School

Virtual

   

12/21

Lunch 11:12-11:54am

Alumni College Lunch for Seniors

College/Career Center

 

 

 

CAC Sponsored 2021-2022 Mock ACT & SAT Testing   

[Back to Events and Resources]

Mock ACT - Oct. 16, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Mock SAT - Nov. 20, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Mock SAT - Feb. 12, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Mock ACT - March 19, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Mock Tests Description and FAQs

Mock Test Registration

Register here for a mock exam using Pay4schoolstuff.com for the first time 

Register here if you already have a Pay4schoolstuff.com account

 

 

MEETING DESCRIPTIONS

[Back to Events and Resources]

 

Admissions 101 - Fall

This seminar will help families separate college admissions fact from fiction and enjoy the college process a little more. We’ll discuss grades, test scores, activities, and everything else colleges evaluate. Attendees will get straight answers about what college admissions committees really look for and how they ultimately decide who gets in. We think kids and parents will be pleasantly surprised to learn that kids don’t have to be trilingual, opera-singing rocket scientists to get into college today.

[Back to Fall Events]

Alumni College Luncheon - Fall

This annual event sponsored by WJ Counseling Services invites recent WJ graduates to chat about their college experiences with current seniors. Alumni interested in speaking to WJ seniors should contact Counseling Services.

[Back to Fall Events]

College Admissions Panel Night for Juniors - Winter/Spring

An informative night presented by a panel of college admission representatives from a variety of colleges and universities.  Each College Rep presents important information on: how to determine to which colleges one should apply; the college application, selection, and acceptance process; what colleges value in an applicant; why a college tour is important, and so much more.  One of the most important meetings you can attend if your student is considering attending college.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

College Admissions Testing Q&A - Fall

This is an informal meeting which provides information on the SAT and ACT exams.  Topics include comparison of the SAT and ACT (test focus, structure, and timing), exam grading, exam calendars, score reporting to colleges, information on the SAT Subject Tests and more.

[Back to Fall Events]

 College Financial Aid - Fall

The college financial aid meeting is designed to help parents understand the Financial Aid Process (FAFSA), the Cost of Attendance (COA), understand the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and help determine financial need and the types and sources of financial aid.

[Back to Fall Events]

Colleges that Change Lives - Winter/Spring

This meeting is co-sponsored by WJ PTSA and several other area high school PTAs.  Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families and students understand how to use the college search process to find the best college fit. Too often the media stories scare students and parents as they approach the college search process.  This should be a joyful time, not a high stakes game which neglects the individual fit.  Find out why this happens and how the process can be approached with a focus on the student--not the rankings and ratings--in order to determine a great college choice. Admission is free and there is no need to RSVP.  Feel free to invite friends from other schools. You may also want to view the Colleges That Change Lives website: www.ctcl.org.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Dual Enrollment:  Earning College Credit in High School -Fall

This meeting will discuss Dual Enrollment (taking college courses while still attending high school). The topics will include, but are not limited to the following: Jump Start to College & traditional Dual Enrollment, benefits of Dual Enrollment (including cost), differences between Montgomery College (MC) and AP classes, transfer of MC credit to other institutions, dual credit option (receiving HS credit for college courses), eligibility requirements, and steps of enrollment.

[Back to Fall Events]

Executive Functioning Skills: Motivation, Goal Setting & Planning - Fall

By the time we reach October, the excitement of the start of the year will have worn off and students can begin to assess their progress in the school year.  This workshop will consider how to sustain motivation, what it means to set realistic goals that still push us to be our best and how planning can save students time and allow them to perform better.  Jenna Prada, Private Prep's Director of Executive Functioning and Special Education, will offer practical tips and tools that students can apply immediately and will take your questions about executive functioning.

[Back to Fall Events]

Fall Parent Grade Level Meetings - Fall

One meeting per grade (9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th) is held during the first few weeks of school. The purpose of each meeting is to provide parents with grade level information related to academics, extracurricular activities, and social issues.  Those present at the meeting include the WJHS Principal, Grade Level Administrator, Counseling Services Director, and others who can help parents and students know what to expect during the school year. 

[Back to Fall Events]

Highly Selective College Admissions - Winter/Spring

Grades, test scores, and impressive activities alone won't get a student admitted to schools that reject almost all of their applicants. So how do students who get accepted to the Ivy Leagues, Stanford, Tufts and the rest of the nation’s most selective colleges set themselves apart from the rest of the applicant pool?  We'll show you at this seminar.  We’ll also reveal some Collegewise strategies to improve a student’s chances of admission at the most selective schools.  While we don't believe that prestigious colleges are necessarily better colleges, we want students who are interested in these schools to have straight answers about what it will really take to have a shot at getting in.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

How to Write a Great College Essay - Fall and Winter/Spring

How to Write a Great College Essay - Fall and Winter/Spring

Many great kids write average (even bad) college essays - essays about "life lessons learned from football" or "how my trip to Europe broadened my cultural horizons."  Better tales are there for the writing.  This workshop will show you what admissions officers really look for in great college essays, and offer suggestions for finding and sharing your best stories.

[Back to Fall Events]      [Back to Winter/Spring Events]

How to Navigate the College Search and Application Process - Winter/Spring

The college search process is a personal and exciting journey, it can also be a very overwhelming time for families. Students are expected to maintain their academic performance, remain dedicated to extracurricular commitments – even during a pandemic, and take time to research multiple college options in their spare time. To help navigate this process we will be offering an insider’s view of college admission and strategies that will help with your college search.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

How to Think About Extracurriculars - Fall

Colleges want students that are active, contributing members of their communities, and who are developing their talents and passions. What should students consider as they decide how they choose to spend their time outside of class? Learn some guidelines to help students in making decisions about extracurriculars. These guidelines are meant not only to help students preserve quality of life, but also to position them well for college admissions.

[Back to Fall Events] 

Little Know Secrets for Paying for College - Winter/Spring

The cost of a college education is higher than ever. How will you afford this expense? What if your children attend elite or out-of-state schools? What if they don’t graduate in four years? The costs can be monumental. This workshop will teach you how to send your children to the college of their dreams without bankrupting your retirement nest egg. You’ll discover strategies that may enable you to qualify for financial aid, sources for scholarships, and strategies for maximizing your wealth and minimizing your tax exposure, giving you greater cash flow for funding a college education.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Optimizing the College Visit - Winter/Spring

Learn how to get the most out of your college campus visit and how best to understand the culture of a school and explore academic options.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Naviance Parent Meeting & Coffee - Winter/Spring

A valuable meeting for sophomores, juniors and their parents on the use of the Naviance/Family Connection software package to navigate the college and career process.  Learn about the wealth of information on colleges and universities available to all WJ students as they move through the college selection process. In addition, Naviance/Family Connection is used to inform WJ students about upcoming visits by college reps and to send teacher references and transcript electronically to colleges.   Each student has a login and password to the system so that the research done uses personal data and selection criteria.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Paying for College by Finding the Right Fit  - Winter/Spring

Students who find colleges that fit aren't just more likely to get in - they're more likely to get financial aid and scholarships.  This seminar will explore how to find the schools that are the best for you while being mindful of economics.  Speaker discusses the various ways to lower your cost of attendance - including merit aid, co-op schools and identifying great colleges that don't hurl you into debt for the next 20 years, all while staying true to the idea that the best college is one where our student is both happy and successful.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Safe Teen Driving - Winter/Spring

A presentation through I Drive Smart's Community Education Initiative called the "Smart Six Program," which educates parents and teens on the known six causative factors of teen deaths in vehicle collisions and how to prevent them. 

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Senior Class Graduation - Winter/Spring

A meeting for the senior class and their parents. Important information on graduation requirements, prom activities, and the graduation ceremony is presented.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Ten Things Professors Wish Every Freshman Knew - Winter/Spring

Collegebound students are invited to a lunchtime presentation to learn what professors would like every college freshman to know.

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Transition Smoothly to College - Winter

The shift from high school to college means much more freedom and much more responsibility for graduating seniors.  Join this webinar to identify systems you can put in place now which will make it easier to tackle that transition successfully.  We'll talk about how to build independence over the next semester as well as how to create a reasonable schedule to manage classes, homework, extracurriculars and social life next fall.  

[Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Transitioning Back to the New Normal - Fall

This fall will be a school year like no other as teens, parents, and teachers adjust to the "new normal" of returning to WJ. This past year has been great for some teens, agonizing for others. The one thing all of us at WJ can be sure of is that this fall will bring new challenges. Many families struggled with pandemic stressors such as grief, anxiety, unhealthy habits, loneliness and academic underperformance. Our teens are still reeling from a year of stress and social unrest. Dr. Rebecca Resnik will be speaking about common issues on the minds of teens and parents during this challenging time. She will give practical, actionable strategies for helping your teen adjust to the return to school this fall. Dr. Resnik will address issues including how to keep lines of communication open and positive, how to re-write expectations for this new "phase" of the pandemic, and how to promote resilience in your teenager.

[Back to Fall Events]

Understanding AP Classes  - Fall

 A meeting focused on discussing the demands of AP Courses, when a student might take an AP course, AP tests, college credit and other questions parents and students may have about AP Courses offered at Walter Johnson.
 

Mock Exams - Fall and Winter/Spring

Mock Test Regstration Information

 

[Back to Fall Events]      [Back to Winter/Spring Events]

Mock Exams Fall and Winter/Spring 2021-2022

WJCAC is pleased to partner with Capital Educators for our mock SAT and ACT testing.  

Each year the WJ PTSA Counseling Advisory Committee (CAC) sponsors full length mock testing of both the ACT & SAT exams to provide practice for interested students. Both tests are offered with accommodations for those students who request it. Until school reopens, the Mock exams will take place remotely but they will mirror the actual exam experience.  The scores from mock exams are not seen by anyone other than the student.  Cost is $15 per student for each test – all proceeds benefit the WJ PTSA. Please contact your student's counselor if financial assistance is needed.  Each student must register at least 48 hours before the exam. Exam materials will be sent out via email the day before the exam. The exam will begin at 9 am. A results meeting will take place following the tests to provide information and explanation about the scores. 

Please read the following FAQ’s and their answers. If you have additional questions email Naira Darius at dariustrio@gmail.com.

Q: What time should students login for the mock exams?

A: The exam begins at 9am. Students should report at 8:45am with a final time of 8:55am.

Q: How will I take the test at home?

A: Test materials will be emailed the day before the test.

  • If students print out the materials, they'll be filling out their answers in pencil on their Scantron forms, and they'll be using the test booklet as scratch paper;
  • If students do not print out materials, they'll be reading the test on-screen and filling out their answers in pencil on a separate sheet of paper.  Students reading the exam online will need scratch paper.

Q.: How and where do I send my test answers?

A: All students should be prepared to take photos of their answer sheets and email them directly to Phil Pine, Capital Educators (philpine@capitaleducators.com) before they leave the virtual testing room.

Q: What does my student need during the test?

A: Students should have pencils, a calculator, a snack and water. 

Q: Are the mock tests required?

A: No. The mock tests are not required at all. The WJPTSA provides these mock tests as a service for students who wish to practice taking the ACT and SAT before they take the actual tests. We offer the mock tests twice a year - once in the fall and once in the spring. The mock test scores do not “count” for any school applications or scholarships. They are for information purposes only such as to see how the student tests, which test would be a better choice and to get accustomed to sitting for a test that is approximately 4 hours long.

Q: Who can take the mock tests?

A: The mock tests are open to all Walter Johnson students. The majority of students who take these mock tests are 10th and 11th graders. 

Q: What is the cost of the mock exam?

A: The mock ACT and mock SAT are $15 each.

Q: How do I register for the mock exams?

A: Go to the  Mock Tests section of this page. 

Q: Is the mock SAT the same thing as the PSAT?

A: No, the PSAT is administered by the school through the counseling office. The mock ACT/SAT is a service provided by the WJ PTSA CAC for students to practice taking the ACT/SAT before taking the actual ACT/SAT.

Q: How do I get my score?

A: There will be a mock test results meeting on November 23, 2020 at 7pm via Zoom. Scores will be emailed prior to the meeting and Capital Educators will explain what the results mean.

Q:  Can students do anything to prepare for the mock?

A:  The College Board and the nonprofit Khan Academy® have teamed up to provide free, personalized SAT study resources for all students.  

To link your College Board and Khan Academy accounts:  

*Go to satpractice.org, create an account on Khan Academy or sign into your existing account.   

*When prompted, agree to link your Khan Academy and College Board Accounts.   

*Log into your College Board account and hit "Send" to get a personalized practice plan.