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Frequently Asked Questions from Parents

These questions and answers represent a sampling of questions that counselors tend to answer for parents.  They are meant to inform and act as a general guideline.  Please see your child's counselor or administrator for specific questions regarding your student that may not be addressed in these questions and answers. 

1.  What does my child need to graduate and how can I make sure he or she is on track to graduate?

South Carolina diploma requirements are listed in detail in the "Graduation Requirements" link in the left menu on this page.  Aside from looking over the listed credit and testing requirements for earning a SC diploma, there are several ways that parents are encouraged to monitor their student's progress.  The following are some suggestions to foster success in your child while he or she moves towards graduation.

*  Attend Open House each semester to meet teachers and get information from the grade level meetings conducted by counselors.

*  Be aware of progress and report card issue dates as posted on the district calendar, since students now bring home these reports.

* Monitor your student's attendance so that he /she is not in attendance trouble at the end of the semester.  Reports about attendance can be obtained at 981-1398.

* If you have access to the internet, obtain the Parent Portal information in the Guidance Office to monitor your student's grades and attendance. 

* Attend your child's assigned Individual Graduation Plan (IGP) meeting each year.  This is when counselors meet one-on-one with every student in a formal meeting to determine course and career planning.  Understanding the process of selecting courses and how that translates into post secondary planning will surely assist you in helping your child prepare for the future.

* Attend your student's "senior meeting" during 12th grade.  This is an opportunity to sit down with your student and his/her counselor to discuss specific college, career and military options. 

*  Contact your child's teachers and/or counselor during the year to get information or assistance.  If contact is not made until the end of the grading period or semester it may be more difficult to implement strategies for success.

2.  What does my student need to take to be ready to start at a 4 year college?

In addition to the general SC graduation requirements, 4-year college bound students need to be aware of some additional guidelines about preparation in high school.  Students that intend to start at a 4-year college need to take 4-year college prep math including Algbera 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and another college prep math like Statistics, Trigonometry or Pre-Calculus.  Additionally, these students need to take at least 2-3 units of the same foreign language and a unit of fine arts.  4-year colleges will also expect a student to have taken 3 lab sciences.  Beginning with the class of 2011, SC colleges will also require students to have earned a unit of Fine Arts.  These are general preparation requirements--see your student's counselor for more information.

3.  When is the next SAT or ACT?  Which one should my student take?

Both SAT and ACT are widley used and accepted college entrance examinations.  The link the the left, "ACT and SAT Info.", provides test and registration dates and links to practice websites.  At the bottom, there is also a comparison chart to better compare and contrast the two tests.  Students and parents should keep in mind that to be truly prepared for SAT, a student should have taken and earned credit for Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2.  Have your student speak to his/her counselor before registering to obtain more information about testing and determine if waviers can be provided. 

4.  I have a senior and we are interested in scholarships.  How do you go about getting scholarship information to students?

Ms. Blake coordinates our Scholarship process and there is detailed information about the scholarship process in the "Scholarship" link in the menu to the left.  Scholarship information is advertised on the morning and afternoon announcements, on this website, in the Scholarship book in the Guidance Office and through Facebook announcements on the "RHHS Guidance" page.  It is the student's responsibility to search through available scholarships and apply for the specific awards.  Students may request paper applications for scholarships in the Guidance Office or they may applly directly through the links online.   Students that do not apply for scholarships that require applications will not be awarded that scholarship money!  Please encourage your senior to stop by and see his/her counselor for more information so that the maximum amount of scholarships can be earned!

 5.  I provided medical excuses for several days my child was out of school.  Why is he being told he has to go to make-up school?

As stated in the Student Handbook, a student must attend 84 of 90 days for a semester long course, as required by South Carolina law.  So, when a student is out for ANY reason (medical excuse, parent excuse, court, family issue), those absences go toward the allowed 6 days.  Any days missed over 6 must be made up in either morning tutoring and/or make up school.  There is an appeal process for days missed due to a death in the family or extended illness and those appeal forms are available in the Attendance Office.  See detailed Attendance information in the Student Handbook for more specifics.

Competency-based credit is a policy that takes into account a student that has documented absences over 6, but earns a final grade of 77 and a final exam grade of 70.  Please contact Ms. Hunsucker in the Attendance Office at 981-1398 with specific questions.

6. What is this I've heard about my student needing to pick a major? What if she doesn't know what she wants to do right now?

In the spring semester of 10th grade, during the Individual Graduation Plan (IGP) meeting, students do select a major.  Beginning in elementary school and throughout middle school, students begin exploring career areas and clusters.  In high school, students are asked to define a major by the end of 10th grade to give the student's career exploration a focus.  Students must complete 4 approved electives to complete a major.  Students may change their major beyond 10th grade, however, this may limit the time they have left to earn credits toward a new major.  The majors and career clusters are reviewed with students during the year and on Career Day in November, students actually hear from people in various careers to help them see how the majors apply to real-world jobs. 

7.  How can I have my child take the PSAT (Preliminary SAT)?  Does the ACT offer a practice test like the SAT does with the PSAT?

Rock Hill High School offers the PSAT each fall for college bound 10th and 11th grade students that register.  This test is a practice SAT that offers detailed feedback on test results.  RHHS gives this test each October and registration will be done in the Guidance Office in the weeks preceding the test date.  There is a cost to register and that is usually around $20.  In 11th grade, student PSAT scores are screened for quailfying in the National Merit Scholarship program. 

In the past, RHHS has administered the PLAN, or Practice ACT, to all 10th grade students.  We are unable to provide this test for 10th graders this year, but we have other career-related assessments that will be done instead.  www.act.org offers practice for ACT, however. 

**4 year college prep students should register to take the Test Prep elective offered at RHHS.  This course gives students practice, strategies and helpful information for SAT and ACT.  Consider this course when selecting courses in the spring!

8.  I am interested in learning how to order a class ring for my student.  How is the school involved with that process?

Each spring, RHHS partners with the Jostens ring representatives to provide an informational meeting to all 10th graders about ring orders through Jostens.  Packets are sent home and the ring representatives return several times in the spring to collect ring orders.  In the fall, RHHS and Jostens host a Ring Ceremony, where rings are formally distributed to students as a junior class.  If a student does not order in the spring of the sophomore year, there are packets available at any time in the Guidance Office.  However, to recieve a ring at the Ring Ceremony in the fall, a student must order during the previous spring order time.

9.  Are there any summer program opportunities that RHHS makes available to students?

Various summer program opportunities come through the RHHS Guidance Office.  Some programs require that students be nominated and some are open to any student that applies.  Ms. Starnes coordinates the summer program annoncements and information.  The tab at the left entitled "Summer Programs" has the complete listing of programs available through our office.  Applications are often online, but paper applications can be obtained from Ms. Starnes in the Guidance Office. 

10.  How do I get a cap and gown for my senior to wear at graduation?

Students are encouraged to order early to ensure that they have what they need at graduation time and to avoid potential late fees.   Balfour is the company that RHHS uses for caps/gowns, invitations and graduation announcemetns.  Students should be sure to order a cap, gown and diploma cover--this is required to participate in the graduation ceremony!  www.hsgradsupplies.com

11.  I've heard people talk about Content Recovery and Credit Recovery--what are those programs about?

Content Recovery is an APEX, online program utilized to assist students during the semester they are in a course.  If a student fails a unit within a course that aligns with the APEX curriculum, the student may be able to retake the failed unit.  Students should speak to their teacher and counselor to determine if Content Recovery is the best option. 

Credit Recovery is an APEX, online program utilized to assist students after they fail a course that aligns with the APEX curriculum.  If the student has a final grade of 60-69 in a course that aligns with APEX, they may be able to recover the course into a grade of 70 by registering for Credit Recovery.  Credit Recovery is offered in the spring semester for courses failed in the fall semester and during the summer for courses failed in the spring semester and cost $50 per course.  Contact your student's counselor for registration information. 

12.  My child wants to come to school late or leave early, since he doesn't need anymore electives.  How do I go about getting that done?

Seniors have the option to take 6, 7 or 8 courses, depending on what they still require to graduate.  Open blocks for 1st block are late arrival and 4th block are early release.  Due to scheduling, some seniors end up with open blocks during 2nd and 3rd blocks and those students will be assigned to a study hall.  2nd and 3rd block study hall seniors are not permitted to leave campus. 

13. I am interested in hosting a student from another country. What information can you provide about that?

While parents and students host exchange students on their own and RHHS is not affiliated with a specific exchange program, there are several options to learn more.  One organization that assists with the hosting process is AFS.  A local representative can be contacted at www.afscarolinas.org 

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