Parents Learn ABCs of College Admission

by L.B. Editor Feb. 5, 2015 A panelist with experience navigating college entry provided reassuring advice about an anxiety-ridden rite of passage for parents and their children at the PTA’s Coffee Break talk last week. Participants included representatives of the high school counseling department and community college, a private college counselor and author, and a private standardized test prep provider. Parents learned that Laguna Beach High School provides ample help navigating the process if they can take advantage of the annual College Round Up, which hosts more than 100 college representatives for an open-house in Dugger Gym. Additionally, nearly 90 college reps visit the school for more intimate meetings with interested students. Each student can also take advantage of an online tool, Naviance, to stay organized, take interest inventories, research colleges or enrichment programs, sign-up for meetings with visiting college reps, or standardized tests, etc. Push button for full...

Coffee Break: How to Get Into College

Kate Rogers/Coastline Pilot February 5, 2015 Getting into college can be one of the most anxiety-producing rites of passage for parents and their children. In response, PTA’s Coffee Break hosted a panel Wednesday to discuss college acceptance tips. Participants included two representatives of Laguna Beach High School’s counseling department, a local community college counseling official, a private college counselor and author, and a private provider of standardized-test preparation. Dawn Hunnicut, a college and career specialist, emphasized the value of campus visits that provide an opportunity to start a relationship with someone from one’s dream school. Read the full...

Three Steps to Raising a Whole Child

Jenn Curtis / Thrively Blog January 28, 2015 I don’t know about you, but I tend to associate the month of January with cutting back: I vow to slow down, promise to rid my life of this, resolve to stop doing that. Year after year, inevitably I try…and inevitably I come up short.   Read the Full...

Exploring Ways to Develop Successful Students

By Kate Rogers, Special to the Independent Educational consultant Cindy Muchnick described practical can-do philosophies for parents to put into practice as they support their kids through high school during last week’s PTA-sponsored parent seminar, Coffee Break. She was preceded by high school Principal Joanne Culverhouse, who introduced Naviance, an online college search service provided by the high school. Meanwhile, Muchnick, an author, former college admissions counselor and mother of four, launched into her own divergent philosophy: stay focused on the business of high school. She warned that the college search can become a “huge distraction” from the hard work needed in high school to attain the prize of college and personal freedom. She describes high school as a student’s “job,” along with the responsibility to serve the interests of six to eight teacher bosses. GPA should not be a gauge success as much as the more subjective goal of how one is doing at the job, she said. Pressing for the highest GPA adds unnecessary and unproductive stress to kids’ lives, she said. As a college admissions counselor, Muchnick said student evaluations go beyond transcripts and GPA, and offered specific recommendations to parents: Get kids to agree to sit in the first three rows of class for life. Urge students to take advantage of extra credit, which she described as “free money.”  Don’t leave it on the table. Create a study space at home free from distractions. Challenge kids to develop relationships with their teachers outside of class. To befriend upper classmen; learn the ropes through their experience. Be a joiner or a leader.  Parents can help brain-storm...