Portola Pilot

The Value of Sophomore Conferences

Jacob Kim, Marketing Manager

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This year, counselors Melissa Gibson, Ryan Itchon and Debby Dodd met with every sophomore and their parents to plan classes for junior and senior year. These meetings are extremely effective because they offer guidance in planning their futures.

The purpose of the sophomore planning conferences is for students to receive guidance from the counselors for meeting graduation requirements, selecting future classes, taking the SAT/ACT and postsecondary options.

“The conference generally lasts for 45 minutes, and it also gives an opportunity for learners and their parents/guardians to ask counselors any questions they may have,” Itchon said.

The conferences allow for students to have an understanding of what the rest of their high school experience is going to be like. Classes, sports, arts and other extracurriculars are all covered in these meetings.

Without conferences, students would be bombarded with the many options presented to them. Therefore, the conferences are necessary for support and guidance. Junior year is especially rough on students because they are taking harder classes, preparing for the SAT and college applications.

“Before the meeting, I was a bit nervous about my future because I heard junior year is the most stressful year for high-schoolers,” sophomore Andy Son said. “However, this conference helped me sort everything out so that I’m not overwhelmed for the upcoming years.”

Some students may believe that these conferences are unnecessary because they can make these decisions on their own. However, students like Son appreciate these conferences because high school is an important part of a person’s life. These four years segway into the workforce or higher education. The conferences provide students with a peace of mind and will alleviate stress about their future.

With the introduction of many AP classes and more electives, choosing classes for next year can be difficult, especially when the students understand how important high school is to their future. However, with the help of our three counselors, students are able to plan out the next few years of their lives.

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The Value of Sophomore Conferences