School Counseling Center
The mission of the Stamford Public Schools Counseling Department is to empower students to be self-aware, to take ownership of their academic growth, and to plan for the future. This will be accomplished through the equitable delivery of the comprehensive school counseling program.
About Our Department
The School Counselors meet with students throughout their high school career. Each meeting focuses on a varying aspect of helping students plan for their future after high school. Please see below for our School Counseling Calendar, which indicates when we meet with our students whether virtually or in person.
About the School Counseling Department
Please note that counselors are available to meet with parents, but virtually via appointment only. Please reach out to your school counselor to see how he/she is accepting appointments.
For a comprehensive look at the SPS School Counseling Framework, Standards, Delivery and Curriculum, please see our SPS School Counseling Handbook here!
During your high school years you will make decisions that will enable you to work toward long-range goals in a planned, sequential manner. Consulting with school counselors will enable you to identify personal strengths and to consider a program of study that will be challenging and fulfilling.
Plan of Studies
With the help of your school counselor, as an entering high school student you should begin to develop a four-year plan of courses. Your plan may change as you consider new information, but it should illustrate what you want to accomplish and the level of skill you want to achieve by the time you graduate. In general, students select courses to meet the requirements of their high school, college, and career goals. You will benefit from taking advantage of the counseling services available in the high school. In addition to conferences with your counselor, the School Counseling Department provides a number of services.
Career / College Planning
Each high school has a fully equipped Career Center. There is easily accessible information on all career fields. Information on careers, planning for the future, and learning more about oneself is available in a variety of print and nonprint formats. There are computers, recent college catalogs and videos, handbooks, applications, directories, and trade and vocational school guides. Specific job briefs describing the level of education needed to enter and progress within a career field are also featured. All students have access to Naviance, a web-based tool for guiding students and their parents through the entire college planning process. Students are encouraged to browse, begin a career search, or follow up on interests in the Career Center. This is a means by which individuals become aware of the relationship between school courses and possible career options. The Center is open to students at all times. Students can use the computers in the Career Center to explore occupations, colleges, the armed services, and financial aid.
Career / Technology Academics
Career awareness and planning are integrated throughout the curriculum in all the subject areas and across all grade levels. In addition, there are a number of career and technology academies and programs that link overall learning to the real global market-place. Opportunities for you to learn more about your interests and abilities are made possible through a variety of tests and assessments in various formats. You and your counselor will use this information, along with other factors, to discuss possible careers and their educational requirements.
College & Career Center
About the CCC
The College & Career Center offers students access to computers, books, test preparation booklets, military information and current up-to-date college information. Students can use the computers to run job searches, complete college applications, register for admissions tests, register for the SAT/ACT, run a college search and/or take inventories, etc.
Come to the College & Career Center located on the first floor, Room 163, for assistance with any of the above. If the room is closed, please see Ms. Forlenzo, across the hall, in the School Counseling Suite.
The Stamford High School College & Career Center is an additional resource available to our students. There are 2 adjacent rooms that make up the College & Career Center (CCC). The first room across from the School Counseling Suite houses all of our resources. We have a filing cabinet filled with brochures and opportunities available for our students. We also have bookshelves filled with test prep materials, Connecticut's college and university information, career options, military options, etc. The larger room holds 12 computers and tables for studying. Students are encouraged to come to the CCC to study, research, work on inventories, scholarship search, complete applications, etc.
Unfortunately the rooms can not be accessed by students without supervision. This is where parent volunteers are needed. Volunteers are needed to supervise the space, which means checking for passes and having students sign in, do some light filing, keep information up-to-date, etc. Volunteers must go through the required district background check and must be fingerprinted at the government center.
If you're interested in becoming a volunteer in our CCC I will need you to complete the steps below:
1. Complete application here. Please note on your application that you are interested in volunteering at the SHS College & Career Center.
2. After completing application, please mail it to:
Office of Family & Community Engagement
P.O. Box 9310
Stamford, CT 06904
3. Email Ms. Forlenzo to let her know that you have submitted an application. She will be able to follow up and check to make sure it was received.
4. Once your references have been checked by Human Resources they will call you to schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted and have a background check.
5. After receiving this phone call, please contact Pat Cunningham, (203) 977-4101, to schedule your appointment for fingerprinting.
For all of this information you may visit the Stamford Public Schools Volunteer Opportunities page.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Andrena Forlenzo, at (203) 977-5754 or by email.
Standardized Testing Updates:
All SHS Juniors and Sophomores took the in-school PSAT on January 26th. Scores are now available by using their access code.
With your access code you can create a CollegeBoard account and link to Khan Academy, which will give you specific recommendations to prepare and improve.
The in-school SAT is being offered for all Juniors at a date YTBD.
For the most up-to-date information please bookmark Collegeboard Coronavirus Updates.
High School Code: 070750
College CoVid-19 Update
- (Due to COVID-19 each college and university is offering various options for visits, including virtual and in-person. Please see their sites for more information.)
- Schools want to make sure that current juniors/seniors still receive the information needed to begin to make educated decisions regarding the schools they are interested in pursuing for their college education. As a result many schools have implemented the following changes. You are encouraged to check with each school individually, but these are some common trends that have been implemented:
- Virtual campus tours
- Scheduled virtual information sessions
- Test optional for the SAT/ACT
- Leniency with Pass/Fail grading
College Planning Information
- The Overall College Process
- College Representative Visits to SHS
- Tests for College Admissions (PSAT / SAT / SAT II / ACT) & Fee Waivers
- College Quick Facts and Terminology
- Helpful Websites and Other Resources
- Checklists and Timelines
- FAFSA and CSS Profile
- Visiting Colleges and Interviews
- Scholarship Information
- Dispelling Myths about College Admissions
- Career Interest Inventories
- Military Information & ASVAB Test
- Internships / Work Experience
- Helpful Websites
- Summer Opportunities
- Common Interview Questions
- How to Make a Great Impression (Manners/body language/preparation/etc.)
- Resume Writing
Interview Follow Up
Andrena Forlenzo, College & Career Center Coordinator
(College representative visits, field trips, college/career focused classroom presentations, scholarships)
Phone: (203) 977-5754
Email: Click here.
College Bound Athletes
If a student plans to enroll in college as a freshman and wishes to participate in Division I or II intercollegiate athletics, your initial-eligibility status must be determined by the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse. Students should enroll in the Clearinghouse if they have a belief/desire that they can participate in college level athletics.
The NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete, provided by the FCIAC, is a beneficial resource for student-athletes and parents to help lead them through this process.
At the end of senior year, all athletes must release their final grades with their school counselors. Their final grade will then be sent to the Clearinghouse. Failure to do so will result in ineligibility to play a sport freshman year at college.
Francene Moavero, School Counselor, is Stamford High School's contact for the NCAA Clearinghouse. Any questions should be directed to her or call (203) 977-4279. Student-athletes can now register online. Click on Prospective Student-Athlete, then Domestic Student Release form and follow the directions given.
Preliminary requirements to be certified by the Clearinghouse, are included here.
College Process Information
- How to Sign up for a Rep Visit/Event
- Where to Find a Monthly To Do List
- How to Transfer a College from your “Colleges I’m thinking about” to “Colleges I’m Applying to”
- Adding Colleges to Your College List
- Creating a Common App Account and Matching to Naviance
- Accessing your Document Resources (transcript release/teacher rec form/counselor rec form)
- How to Upload Counselor/Teacher Rec Forms
- How to Request a Teacher LOR
- All Resume Information
Students must make sure they submit their Transcript Release Form (SHS Disclosure Form), which MUST be completed before counselors can release any of your records to your post-secondary schools (College/University/Military/Trade or Tech Schools). If you have any questions you can email your school Counselor
Transcript Release Forms are found under Senior Package in the Document Library on Naviance OR by completing it through the link here!
Please visit the College & Career Center page for much more college information!
Developmental Lessons per Grade Level
When you have the opportunity please watch the following short videos as put together by the SHS Counseling Department. You can watch them in one sitting, or spread them out as you choose.
9th Grade Lessons
10th Grade Lessons
11th Grade Lessons
12th Grade Lessons
Financial Aid & Scholarship Information
General Financial Aid Information:
The FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aide) will officially open for you October 1st for the 2022-2023 school year. This will be your first year of college or postsecondary studies. It reopens on October 1st each year, and must be filed for each year a student is in college. However, you will use the same FSA ID every year.
Parents and students BOTH need to have their own FSA ID. However, parents who have a child who has previously filled out the FAFSA will be able to use their same FSA ID for all their children. Students have their own unique FSA ID.
Be sure to keep your 2020 tax returns and W2 forms in a safe place because those will be what you’ll need beginning 10/1 to get started. You also want to be sure you don’t start prior to October 1st. If you go onto FAFSA and think you’re submitting before 10/1 it’s probably because you’re in the 2021-2022 application, which is for this past graduating class of 2021, not the Class of 2022. For an extensive list of all documents you may need for your FAFSA see here. You can always gather materials and prepare ahead of time.
This is the term used for document purposes. The paperwork that will be used for the FAFSA each year is from the prior-prior year of that years' enrollment. For example, if a student will be in college beginning fall, 2022 then the prior-pror year (2 years prior) is 2020 and this is why you would be using these documents. Then for the 2nd year of college (fall 2023-2024) you would be using prior-prior year documents being from 2021.
Parent Financial Aid Q&A:
Monday, October 4th, 6:30pm, VIRTUALLY with Mr. Lewis DeLuca, Financial Aid Advisor
To prepare for the Q&A please watch this YouTube video ahead of time at your convenience.
If unable to join the Q & A, you can read this brief article on FAFSA 101 for some general information. For a step-by-step video guide, you can watch this 40 minute video on filling out the FAFSA-which is very helpful and takes you question by question.
Additionally, at the end of this newsletter there are a ton of financial literacy articles sent to us from Mr. DeLuca.
Student Financial Aid Info Session:
More info to come on this, but to be held the week of October 4th in school.
Completing the FAFSA:
U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents:
- More information about this is in the resources above, but please note the following:
- Students intersted in getting on-on-one, FREE, assistance should attend the October info session, and then sign up for a one-one-one appointment through Ms. Forlenzo.
- If a permanent resident or U.S. Citizen you are eligible to complete the FAFSA, if undocumented you will complete the AACTUS (more info below)
- To complete the FAFSA please acquire all necessary documents:
- Student Driver’s License (if you have one)
- Green Card (If a non-U.S. citizen)
- 2020 tax return
- 2020 W2 form(s)
- Parent/Guardian AND student must both create their own FSA ID.
- Once both FSA ID’s are created you can begin the FAFSA process.
- **Please note that if a parent/guardian is undocumented, but you are not undocumented, you will STILL be able to complete the FAFSA. You will be able to print a page at the end to have parent/guardian sign and mail in.**
- Your FAFSA will not be processed until this page is received, so do this as soon as possible.
- Once the application is submitted it needs about 5-7 business days to be received. Please make sure that if you are trying to be eligible to receive PACT (free tuition) for CT Community Colleges you should have this submitted no later than July 8th, so that it is processed on time by the July 15th deadline.
- If you have any questions you can reach out to the Financial Student Aid Information Center. If you are working on this over the summer you can also reach out to the Bridge to College Summer Counselors for more assistance.
- You must complete the 2022-2023 AACTUS. This will be posted for print soon!
- Once completed you must have this document notarized.
- Ms. Shelley is also able to assist you with completing this form. You can schedule an appointment through Ms. Forlenzo.
- Email: AForlenzo@StamfordCT.gov
Links and Resources from Financial Aid Video Presentation/Financial Aid Assistance:
- For your convenience here is a copy of the presentation slides for you to reference from our 2020-2021 presentation.
- This Glossary of Terms is commonly used throughout the financial aid process
- Here is a breakdown of loan information, as well as websites, including the FAFSA site where you will apply for financial aid
- Publicar guía de recursos del seminario web
- Again, here are the documents needed for FAFSA completion
Please make sure to continuously check here for articles, resources, and more information.
Please note that our local scholarships are constantly updating via Naviance. SForms may be downloaded through Naviance, or applications may be available directly though sponsor websites.. Make sure you read the directions and send the scholarships in to the correct address noted, or complete online if it's an online form. Any scholarships that should be turned into Ms. Forlenzo must be emailed by the end of the school day (2:05pm) as well as all supporting documents received.
Many local clubs, organizations, unions, and private donors offer scholarship aid to those in need or who simply meet the criteria. Stamford High students should take full advantage of these scholarship opportunities. With a little effort students planning to further their education can be helped financially.
Our scholarship season, as we like to call it, is when the majority of scholarships become available. This happens throughout the winter and spring months of senior year (semester 2). However, there are scholarships available prior to this time. For example, the Mickey Lione Scholarship is for exceptional 10th grade student-athlete and becomes available spring of 10th grade. Mr. Forlenzo will email eligible students in March. We recommend that students focus on their college applications during 1st semester of senior year, and then scholarship applications during 2nd semester. If you have any qeneral questions you can reach out to your school counselor, or Ms. Andrena Forlenzo. If you have specific scholarship questions that are from outside donors you can reach out to the contact provided in Naviance.
Seniors should complete the scholarship survey in the fall, on Naviance, in order to be personally informed of our local scholarships. A parent volunteer will contact you if you meet the scholarship criteria, but that information is pulled through the scholarship survey. Throughout the months of November through May students will receive email notifications about specific scholarships that they may be eligible for and then can begin the application process.
How to Complete the Scholarship Survey
- Sign into Naviance through Clever, using your student ID# as both your username and password
- Click on About Me tab in the top right corner of the screen
- Scroll to My Surveys
- Click on Surveys Not Started
- Select Class of 2022 Scholarship Survey (available in November)
- Remember this can be updated as more information becomes available, so you can always come back and modify.
Additional Scholarship Resources
- HBCUConnect has a large database (over 1,000) of scholarships for students attending HBCU's or for African American students. Please check out the HBCU Connect website for opportunities. You may need to create a free account to view the scholarships.
- CT Students for A Dream has a database of scholarships for undocumented students or students going through the deferred action process. Each has a link to the application in which they are referring.
- College Board Opportunity Scholarships are where you earn scholarships for completing steps of the college process such as Khan Academy hours and building a college list. Make sure to check it out and get started here!
Senior Scholarship Breakfast
Seniors who have received scholarship awards must document this in their Graduation Survey, which comes out each spring. This is how the counseling department tracks scholarships and sends invites out for the senior scholarship ceremony. This information is self-reported by each senior. Invites will go out via email at the end of May for those students who reported scholarships.
Date: (Tentatively) Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at 8:30am
Traditionally, student award recipients are encouraged to bring their family members. More information is yet to come due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The School Counseling Department is pleased to offer this program that will assist students in their career and college search.
Naviance Student is a web-based service designed specifically with students and parents in mind. Naviance Student's comprehensive site can be used to assist in making decisions about colleges and careers. It is also a service that we use in the School Counseling Department to track and analyze data about our students’ college and career plans.
Naviance Student will allow you to do the following:
- Get involved in the planning and advising process- build a resume, complete online surveys, and manage timelines and deadlines for making decisions about colleges and careers.
- Research colleges- Compare GPAs, standardized test scores, and other statistics to actual historical data from students from SHS, who have already applied.
- Admissions Visits/Trips- sign up for college admissions representative visits, as well as field trips offered by Stamford High School’s College & Career Center.
Naviance Student is also a great tool to inform our school community about upcoming events and programs from the School Counseling Department including financial aid, scholarships, web resources, SAT/ACT test prep, etc. We hope you find this program to be helpful as you begin your high school career or your college search.
Login through Clever by entering SHS Student ID# for both the username and password
If you have never had a child graduate through Stamford Public Schools, then you need to first create an account. Reach out to your child's school counselor requesting an account setup and be sure to include your child's full name and the email you wish to use, which will become your username. You will then receive an email from Naviance with your username (email you provided) and a temporary password. As soon as you login you'll be prompted to create a new password. Be sure to write down your login information.
Go through Naviance Student after initial contact with student's school counselor to register. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for file attachments on how to best navigate Naviance as a parent.
How To Use Naviance:
How to Access
PSAT, SAT, ACT, CAPT, and AP test scores can be found here, usually about a month after they have been released
1. Click the About Me tab
2. Click the My Stuff link
3. Click on Test Scores
Record your high school activities, awards, volunteer experience, etc.
1. Click the About Me tab
2. Click the My Stuff
3. Click on Resume
Explore careers and add them to your Careers I'm Thinking About
1. Click the Careers tab
2. Click on Home under Careers
3. Click on either Explore Careers OR Explore Clusters for searching with different criteria or just use the search box at the top of the page
Set search criteria to yield a list of colleges to explore.
Click on various tabs of the college profile for additional information.
Add colleges you’re interested in to your Colleges I'm Thinking About list.
1. Click the Colleges tab
2. Click the Home link
3. Explore search options under "Find Your Fit"
Find documents that pertain to the career or college process. You can find blank teacher and counselor recommendation forms here, download them and type responses, and then upload to Journal
1. On main home page screen, go to the bottom of the page and click on Document Library.
2. Select group, click, and browse documents to save/print.
Tasks Assigned to Me
Find out any career/college related tasks that are assigned by both the district and your counselor
1. Click the My Planner tab
2. Click on Home
3. Click on Tasks Assigned to Me to find details about assigned tasks
Norwalk Community College
If you are in need of assistance past graduation 2022 you may still get free assistance from a school counselor over the summer through the Bridge to College Program.
Submitting Your Application:
- Create a pin and Submit Application online
- Submit your FAFSA or AACTUS, for more information on this topic see here!
- After submitting your application you can then upload your immunization record, high school transcript, and SAT scores, which will ensure a complete file. All documents should be scanned if they are not available electronically, so that you will be able to upload to your application.
- You can request a copy of your high school transcript from your school counselor.
- You can either login to your CollegeBoard.org account to download your SAT scores, or you can request a copy from your school counselor.
- You can request your immunization from the school nurse.
- Continuously check email for updates on application status and other important NCC information. You should receive an email with your Norwalk student ID after your application has been processed (about 2-4 weeks). You can also lookup your Net ID, by going to MyCommNet.com and searching with your name and birthdate.
- The ID starts with an @ Don’t lose this email!!
- Once you have your 8 digit NCC Student ID # you can then sign up to attend a PAW (Panther Advising Workshop) session, which is mandatory for all 1st year students
- Before attending your PAW session you must have all the items on the PAW Checklist complete.
- Set up your student portal
- Set up your NCC student email
- Set up Microsoft Teams (advising sessions will take place through Teams)
- Authorize your Financial Aid OR make your first payment
- Before attending your PAW session you must have all the items on the PAW Checklist complete.
- If you have any questions you can contact either of the first year advisors:
- After you have attended your PAW session your schedule will likely be buily. You should continuously look at MyCommNet.edu to check updates, books, class room location, etc.
- Schedule your New Student Orientation (late August- the week before classes start)
Students can schedule a virtual meeting with our financial aid advisor, Ms. Shelley, here! This is great if in need of assistance completing the financial aid forms (FAFSA/AACTUS). For more detailed information about completing the FAFSA please visit the Financial Aid section of our site.
- Ms. Shelley’s contact information:
- After FAFSA is submitted please make sure to follow up with NCC Financial Aid to accept award offer.
- If you have any Financial Aid Questions, or want to learn more about various scholarships offered for the undocumented community please reach out to NK-FinAid@norwalk.edu
Quick Facts & Contacts:
- Website: www.norwalk.edu
- Fall 2021 Full-Time Tuition and Fees: $4,546.00 per year full-time
- Questions about Admissions (application and other documents):
- Fax (203) 857-3233
- Email: NK-Admissions@norwalk.edu
- Questions about Financial Aid:
- (203) 857-7023
- Email: NK-FinAid@norwalk.edu
- Questions about your 1st year, contact the Counseling Office:
- (203) 857-7033
- College Level Placement:
- SAT SCORES:
- You must submit SAT scores of 25+ RSAT or 26+ WSAT for English 101 placement.
- For math placement in elective Math 136 (doesn’t count as math requirement for all majors), you need Math SAT of 530-569. SAT Math scores above place you in higher level math classes.
- ACT SCORES:
- You need at least a 21 for English 101 or combined English and Reading score of 47.
- For Math 136, an ACT score of 18-21 is required.
- SAT SCORES:
SHS Graduation Requirements & Profile
School Profile: Please scroll to the bottom of this page for a PDF of our 2021-2022 profile
Current 11th & 12th Grades:
A student must earn a minimum of 20 points to graduate from Stamford High School. Each full-year course TAKEN AND PASSED earns a student one point, while semester courses taken and passed earn half a point. No credit is earned if a person does not receive a passing mark in that course.
There are core courses that must be TAKEN AND PASSED within the 20-point requirement. These required courses encompass knowledge or activities considered essential for all high school graduates. Required courses are to be TAKEN AND PASSED. They include the following:
- English: 4 years (4 points)
- Social Studies: 3 years (3 points); Specifically must pass Civics (half point) and US History (1 point)
- Math: 3 years (3 points)
- Science: 2 years (2 points)
- Physical Education (PE): 2 years (1 point) (Typically this includes 2 semester courses, usually taken once as a freshman and once as a sophomore)
- Health: 2 years (1 point) (2 semester courses, same as above)
- Unified Arts: 1 year (1 point); Can include a total of 1 year long course or 2 semester courses
Current 9th & 10th Grades:
Commencing with the graduating class of 2023, in order to graduate from the Stamford Public Schools, a student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of twenty-five credits and meet the following requirements:
- Humanities (9 credits)
- English (4 credits)
- Social Studies (.5 credits in Civics) (3 credits)
- Arts (1 point)
- Humanities elective (1 point)
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (9 points)
- Mathematics* (3 points)
- Science (3 points)
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics elective (3 points)
- Physical Education and Wellness (1 point)
- Health and Safety Education (1 credit)
- World Language (1 credit)
- World Languages (2 credits)
- Mastery-based Learning Assessment (1 credit)
- Electives (3 credits)
*Students must complete Algebra 1 and Geometry to fulfill graduation requirements
Credit earned in any course requires a final course grade of D- (60) or greater. Specific course requirements are indicated in the High School Program of Studies.
Graduation Requirements and Special Populations:
- Students who qualify for the ESL or Bilingual programs must meet the Graduation Requirements on the same terms and conditions as the rest of the students, although they may proceed through the curriculum at a slower pace. ESL students will learn the skills needed to pass the district performance tasks in their English as Second Language classes.
- Requirements for Special Education students will be determined by the IEP.
Each student receives two class ranks: unweighted and weighted. The unweighted rank is computed by using the grade point average of the final marks earned by each student in all subjects except those on P (Pass) / F (Fail), physical education, and independent study taken in grades 9-12. The weighted rank is calculated by adding the following values to the unweighted grade point average: .05 weight for each honors class and .07 for each Advanced Placement course. Rank is computed at the end of the junior year. Only students who have attended district high school for four semesters are included in the class rank.
Course Selection Process
In early February students in grades 9, 10, and 11 receive, from their school counselor, a Program of Studies booklet along with a course selection sheet. At this time, the counselor will advise students on the necessary requirements for the next school year. Students have a week or two to review the booklet and to discuss their selection of courses for the upcoming year with their parents. They should also seek input and recommendations from their present teachers on courses for the following school year. Students will then meet individually with their counselor to finalize the process. Parents are encouraged to contact their child's counselor if they have any questions. Care should be taken in the selection of courses. Schedule changes are not always possible at a later time because of increased student enrollment.
During the summer your child will receive a confirmation of his or her course selections. If there are any errors, please contact the school counseling office at this time. Any counselor will be able to assist you. Schedule changes are not made after the start of school in September.