Information for Seniors

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1 Finish high school with flying colors. Make sure you have the important things covered. During the senior year, parents and students have plenty of questions about graduation ceremonies, class rings, diplomas, sending transcripts to colleges and universities, etc. This brochure is intended to address those concerns. After reading this, you may still have questions. We encourage you to contact our office with any issues that arise concerning the senior year. We ll start by talking about diplomas and proceed to other matters, hopefully providing helpful information for the coming year. Continued on 2 Graduation Ceremonies Graduation Supplies Scholarship Information This list will help you find information about graduation ceremonies in your area. Websites and ideas for preparing a graduation ceremony that is perfect for your student. Check out this list of resources for finding scholarships available to your student. Page 4 Page 5 Page 3

2 Diplomas The diploma will be mailed to your family approximately two weeks after we receive the final grade form. Plan ahead because coursework must be finished in time to send final grades. All diplomas will be sent directly to the home address listed on the most recent paperwork received from you. Be sure to inform us of any changes in your address, , or phone number(s). Transcript/Scholarship Application Requests When requesting by fax, mail, , or phone, be sure to include the student s full name and date of birth. We ask that you allow up to two weeks for transcript preparation, so be sure to get your requests in on time for deadlines! If you d like for us to include ACT/SAT scores with the transcript, make sure to use our school code ( ) when registering to take the ACT or SAT. In order for us to send up-todate transcripts, we need to have received up-to-date records from you. Be sure to turn in Grade/Attendance Reports on time so that we are able to include this information on the transcript. (Transcripts sent to colleges and universities after December in the senior year should include fallsemester grades.) When applying to a college for admission or scholarship (whether using the particular institution s application or The Common Application), read the forms carefully and be sure to fill out the appropriate parent/student portion (if applicable) and sign the form (if required). Many have a section for a school official/counselor to complete and sign. After you fill out the parent/student portion, send the form to us. We will complete our portion and send it to the college by fax and/or mail. Please be sure to include with your request all information pertinent to the request, including the name, address, and fax number of the college. (Please note that many colleges have forms available online for you to download and print.) Grade/Attendance Reports When filling out grade reports, be sure to use specific course titles. Assign credits when courses are complete, enter the number of days completed as well as the date the semester ended, and sign the grade form. At the top of the form, be sure to write Intent to Graduate and the intended date and year of graduation. Grade reports with problems will be returned to you for correction. This includes those lacking signatures, final grades, or the number of days completed. Other problems that might cause grade reports to be returned are non-specific course titles, conflicts concerning the ending dates of semesters, and omission of credits. Summer school grades must be submitted on a separate Summer School Grade/Attendance Report (we ll be happy to send this form to you at your request). Graduation Gateway does not have a graduation ceremony since Gateway students are spread out across Tennessee. Each chapter of the Tennessee Home Education Association (located in major cities in Tennessee), however, has a graduation ceremony for homeeducated students. The following page is a list of the ceremonies in each area. We will include updated information on our website about each ceremony as it becomes available. Some families choose to participate in a large ceremony, while others plan a more private ceremony for their graduating senior. In order to get the diploma in time for a graduation ceremony, please make sure to complete coursework and turn in final grades on time. You should receive a diploma and final transcript approximately two weeks after we receive your final grades. All coursework must be complete before we send a diploma. We cannot accept prophetic grade reports received before coursework is complete. 2

3 Gateway Christian Schools Graduation Ceremonies Chattanooga Area (CSTHEA): Memphis Area: Grad Coordinators: Gary & Carol Hargraves Contact: [If no (423) (w)/(423) (h)] MHEA Graduation Coordinator: Tonya Richard Jackson Area (WTHEA): Faith Baptist Church Ceremony: Graduation Coordinator: Diane Dougan Contact: (901) /(901) Contact: (731) Mid East TN Area (CHIMES): Knoxville Area (SMHEA): Grad Coordinators: Cory & Barbara Bennett Contact: (865) Register online at smhea.org/graduation.html Nashville Area (MTHEA): Graduation Coordinator: Bonnie Hoskins Contact: Manchester-Tullahoma Area: Graduation Coordinator: Carol Vanattia Contact: (931) /(931) Check our website for more information about graduation ceremonies as it becomes available: Graduation Coordinator: Linda Reed Contact: or

4 Invitations, Class Rings, and Other Graduation Supplies Senior Pictures Some local support groups work with a local photographer to get a special rate on senior pictures for families that participate with their group. If you choose to do senior pictures independently, you may find a friend to take informal photos or you can work with a local photographer. Senior picture packages from a professional photographer for senior pictures can range from $150 to $1500. Though Gateway does not provide graduation supplies, the following is intended to help you find the supplies you need to create a graduation memory that will last a lifetime. Invitations Some families may choose to print and send out invitations of their own creation while others may order invitations from a local stationary supply store or an online supplier. Those who want to create their own may find computer software to aid in the creation, or they may choose to send handmade invitations scrapbooking style. Cardstock is available at office-supply stores. Class Rings You can design and order a class ring through a local department store, jeweler, or graduation supply company. Balfour has Gateway s school mascot on file for rings: School Colors & Mascot Gateway s school colors are red, white, and blue. The primary color is blue. Our mascot is the Challenger, which is a knight mounted on a horse. Caps & Gowns If your student is participating in a graduation ceremony with the local support group, then the cap and gown are usually included in the cost of the ceremony. If you plan your own ceremony, it is possible to rent or buy a cap and gown. You may find a local supplier or check online. See list of websites below. Diploma Covers Again, for those participating in a graduation ceremony, a diploma cover is usually included. If you plan a private ceremony, you may find a diploma cover from a local supplier or online (see list below). Yearbook Check with your local support group to see if it has a yearbook. Or, create your own yearbook online at a site like Websites for Graduation Supplies (graduation announcements) (graduation announcements) 4

5 Scholarship Information While Gateway does not have a department dedicated to researching scholarships and financial assistance, we would like to be of assistance whenever possible. We recommend that students start researching, preparing and applying for scholarships as early as the beginning of their junior year. Many scholarships have early deadlines. For example, FAFSA s deadline for state grants is February 15 of the senior year. FAFSA s deadline for the Tennessee Hope Scholarship is September 1 of the senior year. Keep in mind that, in order to be eligible for the Hope Scholarship, homeeducated students must be enrolled in a homeeducation program for two, full, calendar years immediately preceding graduation. The Sam Walton Scholarship usually has a January deadline. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (Automatically enters student for the TN Hope Scholarship) Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) (Hope Scholarship Information) Other Online Scholarship & College Info: List of Scholarships: Recommended Books: 1) Preparing for College: A Guide for Parents 2) The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School by David & Laurie Callihan ISBN: ) Cash for College by Cynthia Ruiz McKee & Philip C. McKee, Jr. ISBN: ) Free Money for College by Laurie Blum ISBN: ) How to Go to College Almost for Free by Ben Kaplan ISBN:

6 How to Get Scholarships 1) Take a practice ACT/SAT. 2) Take the ACT or SAT and make a score acceptable for the scholarship/financial aid you seek. (The ACT often determines college entrance as well.) 3) Participate in community service and/or volunteer opportunities. This may be valuable for a student s portfolio and is looked upon favorably by scholarship committees. 4) Research available scholarships, paying particular attention to their requirements and deadlines. Remember to allow two weeks for Gateway to prepare transcripts and other paperwork. Turn your requests in early to make sure you meet scholarship deadlines. We receive a flood of requests at certain times of the year. 5) If the scholarship requires an essay, make sure yours represents your best writing and includes real-life experiences (if appropriate). 6) Construct a high-school portfolio. This requires planning early in the student s high-school career. It is helpful for extra-curricular work reflected in the portfolio to show aptitude and interest in the major the student will pursue or the field related to a specific scholarship. Gateway s High-School Code/CEEB Code Number: ACT/SAT: ACT: The ACT includes English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning sections, along with an optional Writing section. Register online or pick up a registration packet at a local high school. (A private, Christian school may be most helpful and friendly.) Cost: $34 (without writing) $49.50 (with writing). SAT: The SAT includes Critical Reading, Math, and Writing sections. Register online or pick up a registration packet at a local high school. Cost: $49 (see website for optional, additional charges) PSAT:www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat /about.html Go online to find schools that give the PSAT. Recommended Books to Prepare for the ACT/SAT: 1) SAT Strategies for Super Busy Students Kaplan Publishing ISBN: ) (ACT) ISBN: ) ACT Premier Program (2008 Ed.) Kaplan Pub. ISBN: (SAT) ISBN: What is an acceptable score on the ACT/SAT? Gateway expects a collegebound student to make a minimum ACT composite of 21 (or the equivalent on the SAT [970 composite]). The lowest ACT score that might be acceptable to a college is about 18 (except for colleges having open enrollment, where any paying student is accepted). The maximum score for the ACT is 36. For the SAT it is 3x(800)=

7 Counseling by Phone and Our office is open from 9am-3pm (CST) and we are happy to take your calls during those hours. You may leave a voic message at any time. We know that our phone lines are often busy, but if you leave a message, one of our counselors will be glad to call you back. is also an excellent way to communicate with us. Often, it may be quicker than a phone call, and may be done at any time. Grade/Attendance Report Review We review every grade report so that we can let you know if there are problems. Sometimes, problems don t become evident until we do an evaluation and compare grade reports with your educational plan and/or other grades reports. The evaluation is important to ensure that the student is on track to graduate. Ultimately, we consider the parents responsible to make sure that Gateway s requirements are being met and appropriate high-school materials are being used, but we do our best to help you in this endeavor. Gateway Offers High-School Information Packet Gateway students are provided with high-school information in order to avoid surprises as they progress through high school. Parents should be careful to read all information available from Gateway in order to ensure that their children meet our requirements and follow our policies so that we can issue a diploma. Quarterly High-School Seminars One of our counselors (usually, the Coordinator, Greg Stablein) does a free, quarterly, highschool seminar that includes information on choosing appropriate teaching materials for high school, keeping good records, frequently asked questions, and much, much more. Seminars are held in the library of the Gateway Curriculum Center in Memphis, TN. Much information is available on our website at for those who are too distant to attend a seminar. Junior Evaluation The junior evaluation is done sometime after we receive first-semester grades in the 11 th grade. Be careful to submit grades on time to ensure that you get an evaluation! Senior Evaluation We evaluate the student s progress when we receive the application for enrollment into the 12 th grade and again after we receive first-semester grades in order to make sure that the student continues to be on track in the senior year. Dual Enrollment We have a counselor who prepares transcripts and paperwork for dual enrollment. Please keep in mind that those who desire dual enrollment should notify us early! It is important to be enrolled with us for the year in which the student will participate in dual enrollment and to submit the appropriate paperwork to Gateway on time each semester, whether or not the student will receive highschool credit for the course. Transcript Preparation At your request, we are happy to send official transcripts at no charge to colleges, universities, and scholarship 7

8 committees, or to you. The first 10 are free. We request $2 per transcript after the first 10 and $5 per transcript for students who graduated before Please allow up to two weeks for transcript preparation. Transcripts are usually sent fairly expeditiously, but we receive many requests at certain times of the year and try to fulfill them in the order in which they were received. Due to the high volume of paperwork, it can take time to get all of the documents in order for transcript preparation. Driver License/Permit Students who desire a license or permit must present an SF form to the DMV. This requires that the students be registered for the current school year. Grade reporting must also be up-to-date. Students who have already obtained the SF-1010 form for a permit are not required to supply the form again to the DMV for a driver license. Recommendation Letters For students in need of academic recommendation, a Gateway counselor can assist in preparing a letter of recommendation to scholarship committees, colleges, universities, etc. Informational Website We frequently add more information to our already information-packed website about getting started, high school, events, resources, etc. Stay up to date by checking: Scholarship Applications and Common Applications Our staff is available to fill out scholarship applications and The Common Application at your request. Remember that you must make your request by phone, , mail, or fax each time you want us to complete a form or send a transcript. Forms may be mailed or faxed to us. (We do not open attachments.) Diplomas Awarded to Qualifying Seniors Students who meet Gateway s graduation requirements are awarded a high-school diploma recognized by almost all colleges and universities in Tennessee as long as the student has an acceptable ACT or SAT score. Gateway students have been accepted by such schools as Harvard, West Point, the Naval Academy, Vanderbilt, the University of Memphis, the University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Martin), Union University, Lee University, as well as many other schools in Tennessee and across the United States. If you want to be sure that a particular college or university will accept Gateway s diploma, check with the institution in advance. Gateway has 900+ seniors each year, so, while our heart is to serve you quickly and efficiently, remember that we have busy hands. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We are here to serve you. Our phone lines stay busy, so it can be difficult to get through; but you may leave a message, and we will call you back. You may also contact us by at or, check our informational website at: 8

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