Return to Learn: Plan for a Safe Return 2020-2021

Return to Learn: Plan for a Safe Return 2020-2021

FAQ: Counseling for Freshmen

Posted: September 25, 2020

School counselors are available to assist students and their families. Refer to the School Counseling Directory for contact information.

New Student Registration Information

What are the steps required to enroll a new student?

Parents are asked to use the Online Pre-Registration (OLR) self-service parent portal which allows parents and guardians to pre-register students online anytime from anywhere. OLR will be used in place of paper registration forms. The school will contact parents and guardians to schedule an in-person appointment to finalize the registration process. More information and to start the registration process.

When should the registration process start?

To help ensure that schools and students are well prepared for the first day of school, parents are encouraged to register their child or children at their zone school as soon as possible. Doing so helps our schools and teachers be equipped and ready to make each student's first day pleasant and productive.

How do I determine what school my student will attend?

To determine which school your child will attend, use the NNPS School Zone Finder. Enter your address, and the zone finder will provide the names of the elementary, middle, and high school assigned to your residence in the city. You may also call (757) 591-4500 to find out which school serves your neighborhood.

High School Transition

What are the graduation requirements for the class of 2024?

Credits Required for Graduation with a Standard Diploma

Discipline Area Standard Units of Credit Required *Verified credits required
English 4 2
Mathematics 3 1
Laboratory Science 3 1
History & Social Studies 3 1
Health & Physical Education 2  
World Language, Fine Arts, or Career & Technical Education 2  
Economics & Personal Finance 1  
Electives 4  
Career & Technical Education Credential    
Total 22 5

*A verified unit of credit is awarded for a course in which the student earns a standard unit of credit and passes a corresponding end-of-course SOL test or a substitute assessment approved by the Board of Education.

Credits Required for Graduation with an Advanced Studies Diploma

Discipline Area Standard Units of Credit Required *Verified credits required
English 4 2
Mathematics 4 1
Laboratory Science 4 1
History & Social Studies 4 1
World Language 3  
Health & Physical Education 2  
Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education 1  
Economics & Personal Finance 1  
Electives 3  
Total 26 5

Grade Point Average

What is a grade point average?

This is an average that is based upon the grades a student has earned in credit bearing coursed in middle and high school. Your grade point average (GPA) is the sum of all your course grades throughout your high school career divided by the total number of credits. Our high schools report grades on a 4.0 scale.

How are courses weighted?

Letter Grade Points: IB, AP, GSST Points: Honors, Pre-IB Points: STandard
A 5 4.5 4
B 4 3.5 3
C 3 2.5 2
D 2 1.5 1
F 0 0 0


What date will schedules be available?

Schedules will be available for students to view on their StudentVue accounts during the first week of September.

If I have a question or concern about my schedule, who do I contact?

Students are encouraged to email their school counselor if they have questions about their schedule.

When is the deadline to request a schedule change?

The last date to request a schedule change is September 18, 2020.

Who do I contact for academic support?

The first step is to reach out to your teacher through email or Canvas. Teachers will be available to support you in enhancing your understanding of the learning and/or key concepts. Please keep the lines of communication open with your teachers. Should additional support be necessary, please reach out to your school counselor to assist you in navigating support and resources.

How will I know if I am on track for 2024 graduation?

Each year in February or March you will meet with your counselor to discuss course selection for the next year. During that meeting you will discuss progress with your counselor. If you or your parents have any questions prior to your individual meeting, please email your counselor for assistance. Email addresses are available in the staff section of each school’s website.


What are the requirements to be promoted to the 10th grade?

In order to be classified as a sophomore a student must be in his/her 2nd year of high school AND have earned a minimum of 5 credits. Credits are earned by passing courses. At the end of each semester you earn 0.5 credits for each class you pass, with the exception of Career and Technical courses. A full credit is earned from those courses at the end of the year if passed.


New Horizons Career and Technical Education Center

Students will have the opportunity to apply for admittance to New Horizons in the Spring of their sophomore year. New Horizons offers over 24 career and technical programs, some of which are dual enrolled through Thomas Nelson Community College. Factors that are considered for admittance are GPA, attendance, and discipline record. For more information you can visit

The Governor's School for Science and Technology

GSST is one of nineteen Governor's Schools in Virginia that serve as regional magnet programs for high school students. GSST provides high-achieving students with a community of peers taking advanced courses in math, science, and technology, along with a rigorous grounding in research methodology. Students will have the opportunity to apply for admittance to New Horizons in the Spring of their sophomore year.

GSST Programs:

    • Engineering: Prerequisites: 2 of the following sciences: Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics, with a math minimum of Pre-Calculus
    • Biological Science: Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry, with a math minimum of Algebra II/Trig
    • Computational Science and Engineering: Prerequisites: 2 of the following sciences: Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics, with a math minimum of Algebra II/Trig

For more information you can visit

PSAT Testing

Will the PSAT be offered on October 14?

College Board is currently reviewing winter dates due to COVID-19. Additional information will be forthcoming.

College and Career Exploration

What factors weigh most heavily on college admission?

Colleges look at many factors when reviewing applications. The top four things colleges consider are:

    1. GPA
    2. Rigor of high school curriculum
    3. SAT/ACT scores
    4. Involvement in extracurricular activities

What should I consider when reviewing colleges, and when do I start applying?

There are many resources on the web. The College Board (Big Futures) and Naviance both have great search engines. Please consider the following: How far away from home do I want to go? Do I want to go to a large university or a medium or small college? Do I want to be in the country, suburbs or an urban setting? Does the college have my major? What extracurricular activities are important, and do they have them? Is the prestige of the college important? Does the college help with internships and help me get a job when I graduate? You will start applying to schools during the Fall of your senior year.

How do I apply for financial aid?

To qualify for many types of financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application gives you access to scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. You will be able to fill out the FAFSA in October of your senior year. Click here for more information.

What are the types of financial aid?

Scholarships: Free money to pay for school; Most colleges have general and major specific scholarships. There are thousands of national, state, and regional and local scholarships. Your transcript, GPA, letters of recommendation, SAT/ACT scores, and/or essays may be considered when you apply for scholarships.

Grants: Money given to students who demonstrate financial need.

Loans: Money loaned by the government or private lenders that must be paid back with interest.

Work Study: Program that offers flexible part-time jobs around student schedules.

Career Exploration

How can I explore career options?

Students can access the Career Interest Profiler on Naviance. Completing the profiler can help you find out what your interests are and how they relate to the world of work. It can also help you decide what kinds of careers you might want to explore.

What test is required to join the military, and what does it measure?

In order to join the military, you must take the ASVAB test and earn a qualifying score on that test. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery measures your knowledge and ability in ten different areas. It is not an IQ test, but the ASVAB does help the military assess which jobs you are best suited to perform. It is suggested that students interested in the military take the ASVAB for the first time during their Junior year. For free practice visit


Will there be the annual College Fair this year?

There will be a virtual college fair this year over a two-month period. Students will need to register.

September 22 – September 26: HBCU Virtual College Fair

September 14 – November 6: VACRAO and StriveScan present the Virtual College Exploration Program. Join over 100 institutions for panels and college fairs over the course of eight weeks.

    • Week 1: Sept. 14-18, Transfer-specific panel presentations and virtual college fairs
    • Week 2: Sept. 21-25, Freshman admission panel presentations
    • Weeks 3-6: Sept. 28 - Oct. 23, Freshman virtual college fairs
    • Week 7: Oct. 26-30, Freshman admission panel presentations
    • Week 8: Nov. 2-6,Transfer-specific panel presentations and virtual college fairs

All events are free and open to all students. Sign up for as many sessions as you would like that fit your schedule. Website for students to register:

Important Dates



  • Freshmen conferences


  • 11/2 End of Marking Period 1
  • 11/11 MP1 report cards issued


  • Program Planning: Set up with school counselor to include Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes.


  • Program Planning: Set up with school counselor to include Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes.


  • Keep your grades up.
  • Refocus your study habits and finish the year strong.


  • Try virtual campus tours.​
  • Prepare for finals.


  • Volunteer with an organization you find interesting.
  • Prepare for sophomore year by doing summer reading.

Mental Health

Given the impact of school closures and the pandemic have had on the well-being of students, what resources are available this year to support their mental health?

Social emotional and mental health resources will be available to support students this fall. Clinical and counseling staff will provide mental health support and resources including group counseling and consultation for students and families as needed.

NNPS has Licensed Mental Health Therapists who offer school based mental health therapy. Please contact your school counselor to complete a referral for services.

Who should I contact if I need to speak with someone and am feeling sad or depressed?

Please reach out to your school counselor (email addresses are on the school website) or student support specialist at your school. Send him/her an email, and he/she will respond as soon as they can. Please put urgent in the subject line of your email.

You can also text "HOME" to 741741 for free counseling 24/7 in the United States.

If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Social/Emotional Support is ongoing and a priority for all school counselors. Noted below are ways this is utilized:

    • Collaboration with school psychologists and social workers
    • Family updates with resource recommendations
    • Sharing resource support with teachers
    • Small group meetings on anxiety, stress, management
    • Wellness check in with parents/providing resource
    • Checking on students through parent contact
    • Zoom meetings with teachers and parents
    • Sharing resources with teachers on emotional support
    • Follow up contacts based on parent and teacher recommendations
    • Check in with students via google classroom and zoom
    • Phone calls and follow up emails to families
    • Small groups in zoom and google classroom
    • Teaming in class sessions with teachers
    • Counselor corner newsletter
    • Providing students & families with tips & resources on wellness
    • Following up with students who teachers and administrators have addressed concerns
    • Check-in’s with social/emotional concerns 
    • Student Support Team Meetings  (Child Studies, 504’s)
    • Collaboration with student support specialists, school psychologists and social workers


Naviance: College and Career Assessment:

Free College Planning:

Opportunities Guide and Handbook: ECMC (en espanol)