Do you have a concern about a student? If it is an immediate concern:Call Soora on 14000 - she will find one of us pretty quickly. Or come directly to the counselor suite. If it is not an immediate concern:Email the student's counselor. Wanna talk in person? Come and visit us or let us know that you want to talk, and we will come over to your classroom. We like to visit you too!!
Seminar Schedule - this is where you find out what is happening in seminar classes
Teacher Letters of Recommendation (2019-2020 Academic Year)
Students will ask you to write a recommendation letter for them. If you agree then they will ask you to sign their SFS Teacher Letter of Recommendation Agreement Form. You keep the bottom part of the form and the student submits the upper part to their counselor by March 15, 2019. Students have been asked to approach you in person at least a few weeks before the deadline to ask if you would be willing to write a letter for them. Please remember to keep some form of record of whom you have signed an agreement with. It might surprise you, but teachers do ask us every year to remind them of whom they have an agreement with. To help you write a really good recommendation, students will give you their SFS Student Resume (also by March 15, 2019). You can also choosea resume specific to your subject (see links at the bottom of this page)or a resumethat you have developed yourself. Please think about this carefully. The resume is supposed to help you write a favorable letter, so the items included should elicit the information that you feel is helpful in this regard. Please only ask the student to complete one resume, and please give it to them (email a copy or a link) when they approach you the first time, so that they have enough time to complete it. You decide how you want the student to submit the resume. It could be submitted as an email attachment, hardcopy, or uploaded to a google doc.
Recommendation letters will be uploaded to Maia Learning this year and we will provide clear and detailed instructions ahead of time. Leaving teachers will complete and upload their recommendation letters and the Common App Evaluation Form to Maia Learning by Friday May 17, 2019.
Returning teachers will complete and upload their recommendation letters to Maia Learning byFriday October 18, 2019. There are a few US universities (5 as far as we know) with October 15 deadline. If any of your students are applying to any of these 5 universities then we will let you know beforehand and ask you to provide these letters by October 4. Please write your letter using the SFS Letterhead or use this SFS Recommendation Letter Template. Remember to add your signature to the recommendation. Here is a guide on how to do that on your Mac.
Below are some supporting resources that we hope will be useful for you as you sit down to write your letters.
Do colleges read these letters? Yes, usually twice and sometimes three times. If they ask for them, they want them.
Do they make a difference? Absolutely. It helps colleges put a student in context and understand how they learn and what they contribute to a class.
Will students see this letter? No. We request that students “waive their rights” to see the recommendation letters. Colleges believe they get a more honest appraisal when students waive their rights.
Can I refuse to write a letter? Yes. It is a recommendation. Can you, in good faith, recommend a student for college admissions purposes? If the answer is no, you should decline. If the answer is maybe, let’s talk.
What if the university is not in the USA? Prepare your letter as always and upload it to Naviance. Some Asian universities require an additional form. The students will bring that to you. Please give it directly to the counselor, not to the student or parents!
Teachers at SFS do not write school references for students applying to the UK. These references are written by the counselors based on supporting comments from teachers.
Subject Specific Resumes (you can modify and use these instead of the SFS Student Resume if you like):
By Friday March 15, 2019, we will present you with a list of all Juniors applying to the UK next year as well as their chosen course (find students and their course under the item "The student you are submitting comments for" usingthis link). If you teach one or more of these students then you need to submit supporting comments (TOK and EE comments are optional). Your comments will be used by the HS counselors when we write the School Reference which is sent through UCAS (UK application portal) as part of the student's application to UK universities. New teachers (as of August 2019) are not required to submit UK Supporting Comments for students graduating in May 2020, but if you feel that you have something valuable to say about the student within your context then, by all means, do submit a paragraph.
The deadline for leaving teachers to submitting their Supporting Comments is Friday May 17, 2019. The deadline for returning teachers is Monday October 18, 2019.
Please be as detailed and comprehensive as possible when you write your comments. If you teach a subject that relates directly to the course the student is applying to then please provide at least two paragraphs with specific examples of the student’s performance/contributions in your course. If your are teaching Biology/Chemistry and your student is applying to Medicine then we would like a full recommendation letter from you. We might also request full letters for students that are applying to Oxbridge if your subject is directly related to the course the student is applying to. In that case, the counselor will reach out to you.
Use this link to provide your comments. You probably want to write your comments in a word document first and then paste the comments onto the form using the link above.
Teachers are requested to produce predicted grades for students four times per year.
October 15 for Seniors (these are final, and can't be updated). They are sent with all UK and all US Early Action/Early Decision applications.
Mid-January for Seniors - These are sent to all US universities as part of the Midyear Report.
March/April for Seniors - these are not sent to universities. They are sent to the IBO, and they not shared with students
Early June for Juniors - these are not sent to universities. Students keep them in mind when they do their university research.
Fall Semester Process and Timeline (2019-2020 Academic Year):
October 1: PGs for students applying to Oxbridge and Medicine/Veterinary Science in the UK are collected from teachers individually. October 15: PGs are due from all teachers. See screenshot below on how to add the PGs to PowerSchool.
October 21-25: HS Counselors meet with all studentsapplying to the UK individually to discuss how the PGs relate to their 5 UK course choice requirements.Why are these meetings so important? UK universities base their conditional offers mainly on the student’s PGs. The personal statement and school reference also plays a part, but if students don’t meet the university’s minimum requirements then it is highly unlikely that they get a conditional offer. November 25: Internal SFS deadline for all US/UK university applications
Teachers and students should have sound, educational discussions based on students' past demonstrated performance (numerical data is needed for these discussions). Teachers decide when and how these discussions will take place.
Under the G11 Counseling Page you will find PG Template forms for each subject which can be used to simplify and demystify the PG process for both students and teachers. These forms are introduced and explained to G11 students through seminars in January.
If a student gets emotional when finding out about their PGs then the teacher will let the student’s counselor know so that we can follow up with the student
If a student disagrees with the PG and gets into a conflicting situation with the teacher then the teacher and/or student should approach the counselor so we can help mediate
Begging, bargaining, or pressurizing is not acceptable and must be reported to Mr. Holcomb
If a teacher finds it difficult to decide on PGs then he/she should contact Mr. Gilmore for guidance
Below is an illustration on how to enter your predicted grades to PowerSchool. You can also use this PDF, which has better resolution.