October 6th Meeting Notes

Check out what was discussed at the meeting.

  1. College Night in the Spring
    1. How do we attract a crowd?
    2. First we need the date, and the College Team at FMHS will get back to us so we can work on this.
  1. Test Prep
    1. Contact organizations for an off-site ACT prep program for FMHS students.
    2. Ann Marie contacted iBID prep and Marilyn Lee is contacting other organizations to start
  1. College Trips/Visits
    1. The College Team at school is interested in having parent chaperones for in-house visits, trips, and college fairs.
    2. The CRC had a number of questions:
      1. How many colleges visited FMHS last year? Is there a list of which ones?  Who is coming this year?
      2. How do we sign up?  Can there be an electronic sign-up on the FMHS website?
  1. Resources
    1. The PTA provided guide books for the advisories
      1. Upper House – Fiske College Guide, and Colleges that Change Lives
      2. Lower House – (sophomores so far), the Fisk Countdown
    2. The College Team at FMHS would like the CRC’s input into the development of a College Corner in the library.
      1. Feedback from parents: kids work electronically, so having a central place to go is wonderful, but not to put too much effort into this.
      2. Timeline.  Post a timeline for kids
  1. Naviance
    1. There were senior parents at the CRC who had never heard of Naviance.  The CRC would like to highlight this to the College Team at FMHS to encourage more communication with the parents.  Naviance is the central tool for the admissions process and all parents should be able to login.
  1. CollegeNow
    1. We discussed publicizing the dates for enrollment and adding parents to the distribution list.
    2. The parents on would like to know how many students are enrolled in CollegeNow this semester, and in previous semesters.
    3. Once we have this information, Jaclin Singer will prepare a quick survey to distribute to students who have taken classes for feedback about the class so that those enrolling next term will have more information.
  1. College Panel (highlighting outgoing Seniors)
    1. The CRC and Student Government hosted this panel last year and as the year progresses, will look to organize this again.  Seniors who had just been accepted were able to give advice to Freshmen, Sophomores, and Seniors (and their parents) about the process.
  1. CUNY application fee waivers
    1. The PTA pays for these waivers every year and we expect to do so again.  There was discussion of how unfair it is that each school is only granted a few waivers for CUNY applicants who qualify for aid.  This expense was approximately $2,600 last year.
  1. Where is the FMHS college list?
    1. Most schools proudly post on the website where students are enrolled in college the previous year.  Parents would encourage FMHS to do the same on the College Tab
  1. There is a Collaborative Guidance Team at FMHS this year.  Ms. Houlihan is the counselor for the class of 2016 and 2018.  Ms. Morris is the counselor for the classes of 2017 and 2019.  They meet weekly with Mr. Bruss to work on the college process.  The Chair of the PTA’s College Readiness Committee, Ann Marie Foss, will join once a quarter to facilitate collaboration between the school and the PTA.
    1. There was a little confusion about what the role of the College Team at FMHS is.  A few parents felt that it is important to clearly communicate what expectations are so that students and parents are not assuming that something is the responsibility of one party, when it is really supposed to be handled by someone else.  The members of the CRC would like to ask the College Team at FMHS the following question:
      1. Please describe your roles and what are you planning to accomplish this year.
      2. An outgoing member of the CRC last year made the observation that parent frustration comes from mismatched expectations.
  1. Communication
    1. Idea:  Quarterly note to families by Grade.  “Where You Should Be and Who Can Help You”
      1. The CRC will forward this idea College Team at FMHS.  Should the school do this?  Or the CRC?
    2. There was discussion of the varied information that comes to families through the distributed advisory communication system.  The best way to communicate with parents about the college process IS through the advisors, but not all families are receiving information.
  1. The College Profile
    1. This is a document routinely posted on school websites.  At FMHS, it is distributed to the graduating class only.
    2. The parents on the CRC would like to have this distributed to all families.
    3. Only a few parents had seen last years’ profile, and there was some concern at the meeting that the information conveyed (as formatted in the document) does not do the best to highlight the school.
  1. Marketing
    1. The CRC would be in support of a more active effort by FMHS to “get the word out” on the school.
      1. There is a movie that is used in admissions.  Can the footage of that be edited to a form that will serve as a more professional marketing overview on the College Tab (and the Admissions tab) of the FMHS website
        1. Can parents find donated or volunteer resources to craft such a piece from the admissions video?
  1. Other Ideas
    1. Financial Aid Event?  While the school has a meeting to discuss filling out aid forms, is it possible to have dedicated professional (volunteers?) come and help families with their forms?
  1. Action Items post meeting
    1. Marilyn Lee is researching ACT prep options for FMHS students
    2. Jaclin Singer is awaiting information on the number of students in CollegeNow and will then prepare a brief feedback form to distribute
    3. Ann Marie is communicating with The College Team at FMHS and will wait for information on the following:
      1. The date of college night
      2. How to sign up for Parent Chaperone opportunities
        1. What colleges came last year?
      3. When will we know how many CUNY waivers are needed
      4. Thoughts on the Quarterly “Where You Should Be and Who Can Help You” communication
      5. Clarification of the role of the FMHS Guidance Team to help set realistic expectations, and allow for the CRC clarify its role.
      6. A report back from The College Team about posting the Acceptance List and the College Profile
      7. Any reason we can’t look for someone to help develop a marketing video?
      8. What is FMHS’s view on hosting a “help filling out aid forms?”

Attendees:

Ann Marie Foss, Chair
Sandra Weg
Maria Hartman
Jaclin Singer
Abraham Block
Ana Maria Gonzalez-Bloch
Marilyn Lee
Ina Norris