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Counseling FAQ

What are the deadlines for adding or dropping a class?

What are the deadlines for adding or dropping a class?

Students may add a new course up until the end of the third week of the semester. Level transfers can only take place prior to the end of the sixth week of the semester. Students who drop a course after six weeks from the start of the semester will receive a "W" (“withdraw” mark) on their transcript.
 
The corresponding dates would be:
  • Add a new class: up until the end of the 3rd week (for 1st semester 2019: 9/6/19)    
  • Level change (up or down): up until the end of the 6th week (for 1st semester 2019: 9/27/19) 
  • Drop a class without a W: up until the end of the 6th week (for 1st semester 2019: 9/27/19)
 
What are the SAT Subject tests? Do I have to take them?

What are the SAT Subject tests? Do I have to take them?

The SAT Subject tests are content-specific exams designed to measure a student's knowledge in a particular subject area, such as Mathematics, World History, Biology, and so on.  Many colleges and universities will require that students take two or three SAT Subject test for admission purposes.The MVHS Counseling Department recommends students take subject tests in areas of strength at the end of an academic year.  For example, if a sophomore is doing particularly well in Biology or Biology Honors, we might suggest that student take the Biology SAT-S in either May or June of the same year. *In January 2009, the UC system announced that beginning with the Class of 2013, they will no longer require the SAT Subject tests for admission.
 
When is the best time to take the SAT/ACT?

When is the best time to take the SAT/ACT?

In general, the MVHS Counseling Department recommends that students begin testing no earlier than January of their junior year.  The more practice students have in math, critical reading, and essay writing in advance of the tests, the better their scores will be.
 
 
 
What is the difference between the SAT and ACT?

What is the difference between the SAT and ACT?

Both the SAT and ACT are standardized tests that are used by nearly all colleges and universities in their admission processes.  The SAT includes three sections (math, critical reading, writing) and is scored on a 2400-point scale.  The ACT includes five sections (math, reading, science, English, writing) and is scored on a 36-point scale.
 
What are a-g approved courses and why should I take them?

What are a-g approved courses and why should I take them?

A-g courses are the courses accepted by the UC and CSU systems for satisfying their subject matter requirements. We encourage all students to complete the a-g sequence, which makes them eligible for most 4-year colleges and universities, even those outside of California.  Many students do not know what they plan to do after high school when they are freshmen or sophomores, so counselors encourage students to plan for every eventuality.
 
Can I take classes at a local community college? If so, how?

Can I take classes at a local community college? If so, how?

Yes.  Students who are at least 16 years of age and a junior or senior may enroll in classes at local community colleges.  Students who wish to enroll must complete an online application and high school permission form in order to register.  Consult your counselor for questions about what courses might be appropriate for your interest or needed requirements.
 
Do 9th grade classes count in high school?

Do 9th grade classes count in high school?

Absolutely yes! This is a source of confusion for many students and families, as (from a technical standpoint) most of the UCs and CSUs begin calculating a college GPA in 10th grade. However, they still scrutinize a student's 9th grade year to ensure that all grades are "C" or better in any college-prep courses taken that year. Furthermore, many private universities and scholarships will use the 9-12 GPA to evaluate candidates for admission and awards, so it's essential that students take all four years of high school seriously.
 
What's a weighted GPA?

What's a weighted GPA?

All honors and AP courses at MVHS in which students earn grades of "C" or better are weighted.  An extra point is added when computing the average.  Thus, an "A" in an AP/H course earns 5 grade points, a "B" earns 4, and a "C" earns 3.  Grades of "D" or "F" are not weighted.  While MVHS does not limit the amount of weighted grade points a student can accure, the UC/CSU systems do place limits on the number of weighted grades that they will count toward a student's GPA.
 
My student is struggling in one or more of his/her courses? What can I do to help?

My student is struggling in one or more of his/her courses? What can I do to help?

Firstly, talk with your student.  What does he/she think is the problem?  Homework completion?  Test preparation? Next, make sure you are logging into and monitoring grades on SIS/AERIES.  Here you can view past, current, and upcoming assignments; grades on individual assessments, and overall grades.  This information can help you in identifying particular areas in which your student is struggling.From there, you may wish to contact your student's teacher(s) directly.  Email is typically the best way to contact MVHS teachers, and you may do so directly from SIS/AERIES.  Your student's teacher(s) can provide invaluable insight in your student's performance in his/her/their class. If the above steps don't seem to be yielding improvements, please contact your student's counselor to see what other suggestions he/she might have for assisting your student.
 
When do I need to repeat a course?

When do I need to repeat a course?

If a student earns a "D" or an "F" in a course that is required for 4-year college admission, the student should repeat the course, as universities will only accept grades of "C" or better. A student may repeat the course the next academic year, take the course in MVLA summer school, or take the course at a local community college. Please speak with a counselor regarding the best options for remediating a particular course.
 
How long do I have to drop a course without penalty?

How long do I have to drop a course without penalty?

Per district policy, a student has six weeks at the beginning of a semester to drop a course without penalty. After that time, a student may withdraw and incur a withdrawal grade (Withdraw Pass or Withdraw Fail), which will appear on the transcript. However, if a student believes that he or she is not in the proper course, we encourage the student to see a counselor before that date so as not to miss important instruction in the desired course.