College Awareness Day (CAD) will be hosted at Palo Alto High School on Oct. 14, where seniors will attend college workshops, juniors will be taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) and underclassmen are not required to attend school. On CAD, students will enjoy a minimum day ending at 12:15 p.m.
This year, seniors will have flexibility in how they choose to allocate their time during CAD. Seniors have the opportunity to attend up to two college workshops during two distinct sessions. Four workshops are available during the first session, and six workshops are available during the second session. During the first session, there will be a college application Q&A session with College Advisor Sandra Cernobori and Guidance Counselor Charles Taylor, a UC and CSU applications workshop with College Advisor Alice Erber and Guidance Counselor Selene Singares, a financial literacy workshop with Star One Credit Union and a college essay workshop in which seniors can have their essays proofread by several Paly teachers. The second session will offer all four workshops offered in the first session along with a college interviews work
shop with Guidance Counselor Paige Johnson and a community college workshop with Guidance Counselor Susan Schultz and Outreach Counselor Crystal Laguna.
According to Adam Paulson, Assistant Principal of Teaching and Learning at Paly, the college essay workshop tends to be the most popular, as seniors can receive direct feedback on their college essays or get the support they need to overcome “writer’s block.”
“It’s [an] opportunity for [seniors] during the school day to get help with their college applications or post-high school planning,” Cernobori said. “There are people here willing to help you if you need help . . . Some students like to do [work on their applications at school] just so that there is one of us in the room if they have questions. [The Q&A session] is actually just a time to get stuff done. I usually answer some questions about logistics,and then we spend time actually having students on the computer, so they will either be working on their Common [Application] or looking for the school forms that they need.”
Juniors will be taking the redesigned PSAT, a preparatory version of the new SAT, which will be administered this March.
The PSAT, also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT), determines if a student is eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program, which can give students scholarship opportunities.
Juniors will be taking the redesigned PSAT, a preparatory version of the new SAT, which will be administered this March. Juniors who place in the 96th percentile within their own states, approximately the highest 50,000 scorers, will receive recognition as “commended scholars.” Among these 50,000 students, around 16,000 students nationwide are recognized as National Merit Semifinalists.
Freshmen and sophomores will have no strict arrangements or workshops. In fact, Paly will not be taking attendance for freshmen, sophomores and seniors on CAD. However, the day is still remains a great opportunity for students to get schoolwork done.
“[The administration] is counting [on] you guys to come [to school] and utilize your time wisely,” Paulson said. “The resource centers will be open and teachers will be [on campus to assist students]. Students can to come to school and see teachers for extra help, almost like tutorial. [They] can use the time to get caught up on homework, make up tests in the test center or study with their friends.”