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News from the Guidance Department

Mrs. Patricia Walter, Guidance Counselor Grades 8-12:  twalter@mcgrawschools.org
Ms. Kathleen Laffoon, Guidance Counselor Grades K-7:  klaffoon@mcgrawschools.org
Kristy Forkey, Secretary


The New York State Education Department has provided two brochures with key information on Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential.  See http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/2015-memos/CDOS-memo-August-2015.html.

Questions and Answers regarding the CDOS Commencement Credential are available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/gradrequirements/documents/CDOS-QA-Feb15revisions8-24-15.pdf.

Course Guide
Students may register online at SUNY
 To complete the FAFSA form:
Obtain a PIN number at www.pin.ed.gov in order to electronically sign the FAFSA.
Complete the FAFSA on-line at www.FAFSA.ED.GOV   Free help is available from the FAFSA web site or by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID. SUNY Cortland and TC-3 also offer help with filling out the FAFSA forms no matter what college your student plans on attending. Call the Financial Aid Offices of these colleges for help in filling out the forms on- line.
Seniors:  Class of 2016
Steps to applying to colleges
College applications should be sent to prospective colleges by late December.  If you intend to apply and have not yet come to the Guidance office, please make an appointment with Mrs. Walter.
Once you have applied to college request a copy of your high school transcript from the Guidance Office to be sent to the prospective colleges.
View potential scholarships of the colleges to which you have applied but also be sure to look in the Scholarship book located in the Guidance Office.  To find more scholarships available take one of the scholarship website lists from the book. 
All colleges have different financial aid deadlines.  Find out financial aid deadlines.
In order to receive any financial assistance from the federal programs parents must  complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form after January 1, 2016.  The information on the FAFSA is used to generate New York State grants and financial awards.  To be eligible for any New York State grants the FAFSA must be completed www.FAFSA.ED.Gov.
Juniors: Class of 2017
College Entrance Exams
Most four year colleges require a student to take a college entrance exam to be considered for college admission. These college entrance exams are known as the SAT and ACT exams.  Students in their   Junior year are encouraged to take the SAT and/or the ACT.  These exams are offered in the Spring and Fall.  Most students take the exam in the Spring of their Junior year to enable them to retake an exam if the student chooses to in the Fall.  The website of prospective colleges will have the information whether the college  accepts SAT and/or ACT scores for admission. Mrs. Walter will be going into classes to discuss the difference between the SAT and ACT. The SAT exam schedule, fee, and registration are located at www.collegeboard.com and the ACT exam schedule, fee, and registration are located at www.actstudent.org      
Scheduling for 2016-17
Classroom presentations for grades 8-11 regarding scheduling for next year will begin in January. Students will be given information regarding required and elective courses.  The school website has the course catalog online to view course descriptions.  Parents are encouraged to discuss course selections with their students.  Students in grades 8-11 (11th graders first) will be meeting with Mrs. Walter to choose course selections for next year.  If you would like to attend your student’s meeting with Mrs.  Walter please call the Guidance Office. 
A.C.E. Access to College Education
A program through Cortland State, Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College to help students learn more about the next step after high school to include college admissions, financial aid, and careers.  Please complete an application in the Guidance Office if you and your student are interested in this program. 
A.C.E. students strive for specific levels of academic achievement and participate in ACE sponsored events throughout their years in high school.  ACE programs are designed to open students' minds to the idea of college in their future and to help them begin to dream about what kind of career they would like to have.
Benefits include: Skill training and academic support, Access to college resources while in high school, College based programs including campus tours, theater presentations, lectures, conferences, sporting events, and social events.
Informative workshops such as: securing financial aid, Study Skills or Time Management
Special admissions consideration for those who acquire the ACE recommendation and fulfill the college admission  criteria.           
Goals of ACE:  Identify capable students who may not be thinking about college for academic or  social reasons
Help students access higher education by providing programs to raise their levels of expectations and achievement
Increase students probability of success in college by developing appropriate attitudes, study skills, and life skills
Involve parents in their children's education so parents can provide much needed support
Encourage collaboration among educators at all levels of education in support of ACE goals
Visit A.C.E. at www.cortland.edu/ace
If you are interested in signing up please call the Guidance Office at 836.3610

Here is a list of college/career related activities to help you discover ideas for your future!  
Established by the NY Department of Labor this website offers a career interest inventory, career task search, and other links to help you research different careers.     
Prepare for the PSAT and SAT, conduct scholarship and college searches.  
A college search engine helps you to learn about different college majors and the colleges or technical schools which offer them.  
One of many scholarship search engines. 
When researching scholarships always remember scholarships are meant to be free. Never pay toward finding out or applying for a scholarship.
Ask someone about their profession. What is their job title? What specific duties do they have? Do they like what they do? If it sounds interesting ask if you could visit for a day.   
Volunteer-provide a service to others, many scholarships require some volunteering, this always looks great on a resume and you could get a terrific college reference out of the experience.  
Visit Cortland Career Works on Main Street in Cortland. They help teens and adults find employment.


Melinda McCool , Superintendent
McGraw School District
10 West Academy Street
McGraw, NY 13101

Phone: 607-836-3636


Elementary School
Susan Prince, Principal
50 West Academy Street
McGraw NY 13101
Phone: 607-836-3650

High School
Mark Dimorier, Principal
10 West Academy Street
McGraw NY 13101
Phone: 607-836-3601