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Get ready for the fall

The end of the school year is the perfect time to take steps to get off to a good start in the fall. Here are some things you can do to help ensure a smooth transition — and put your mind at ease this summer.

1. Send in transcripts and accommodation requests

  • Send students' transcripts to colleges, universities and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center as needed.
  • Use the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Online Disabilities Accommodation Management System to submit accommodation requests for College Board tests for the next academic year.
  • Consider using ninth-grade Section 504 plan and Individualized Education Program (IEP) annual reviews as a basis to submit the requests and set up each of those students for access to all College Board testing.

2. Crack down on attendance

  • Check for students who are in danger of losing course credit because of absences.
  • Meet with these students for a pep talk; remind them that losing academic credit this year may mean schedule scrambling next September.
  • Share important attendance pattern data with appropriate school personnel.

3. Take stock of your rising seniors

  • Make sure your students have the course credits they need to graduate and be considered by the colleges of their choice.
  • Create a list of rising seniors who are in danger of failing or have attendance issues — or other social or emotional difficulties — that may be a cause of concern.
  • Check that student-athletes are on track to meet the NCAA academic requirements in addition to state and local academic requirements. See NCAA Eligibility Basics for more information.

4. Make an early decision and early action list

  • Find out which of your juniors plan to apply to college early and will have to meet application deadlines in early fall.
  • Make a note on your calendar to schedule a meeting with them soon after the new school year begins.

5. Identify students who may need special attention next year

  • Mark the folders of new students or students with special circumstances such as Section 504 or IEP plans.
  • Review report cards and identify students with failing grades, erratic attendance or other concerns.

6. Get feedback from your students

  • Create a simple questionnaire about your counseling services and ask your students to fill it out before the school year ends.
  • Use the results to gain insight into what works — and what doesn't — and to give you fresh ideas for the fall.

7. Improve your process

  • List your successful programs, procedures and techniques on one side of a sheet of paper.
  • List areas that need work on the other side.
  • Use the results to help you set goals for next year.

8. Organize your desk

  • Clean up your files and paperwork.
  • Arrange your room, computer and other resources so you can make the best use of them.

9. Plan summer learning and career activities

  • Schedule summer visits to colleges for tours and research.
  • Look into professional development activities such as classes and workshops.
  • Browse professional sites from home — many online reports and studies are free.

10. Make a to-do list for the fall

  • List the five most important tasks that you need to accomplish during the first week of school.
  • Keep it handy so you can review it upon your return from summer break.

11. Take some time for yourself

  • Plan some relaxation for yourself so you can be recharged for the fall.
  • Enjoy your summer vacation!