High School Guidance

PRINT the VCHS Grade by Grade Flowchart 

The Valley Central Guidance Department helps students plan their education and future. 

  • Demonstrate available internet college search programs.
  • Inform you on SAT I & II and ACT registration deadlines.
  • Provide tips on how to get the most out of your college visit.
  • Demonstrate college and job interviewing skills.
  • Assist with the development of your application essay.
  • Review and mail applications along with required paperwork (transcript, letters of recommendation, activities, and achievements).
  • Submit mid-year grade reports to colleges.
  • Provide information on national, state, and local scholarships.
  • Provide information and forms for state and federal financial aid.

You can learn more about our courses listings through our  academic departments.

Consult the course change guide if you need a schedule change before meeting with your guidance counselor. 

Course Offerings

The 2022-2023 VCHS Course Description PDF is available here. 

Information on all course offerings is available on the Academics Department webpage found here. 

Elective Course Offerings

Electives help you make the most of the opportunity to choose elective classes in areas of interest.  You can pursue your passions, balance your schedule, give yourself the chance to challenge and motivate yourself.  Electives will help you when you apply to college; be sure to check admission requirements at the colleges you are interested in attending. Electives let colleges see who you are and what you are interested in and strengthen your transcript. 

VCHS Institutes

The Institute Program is modeled after college majors and promotes career opportunities.  There are seven Institutes: 

  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Career & Technical Education
  • Fine Arts
  • Leadership and Education
  • Performing Arts
  • Multicultural

View the Institute Options here

Advanced Course Offerings

In an effort to challenge and meet individual students’ academic needs, Valley Central School District offers advanced classes in the following subjects: English (7-12), Social Studies (7-12), Science (7-10), and Math (7-10). Accelerated classes in the areas of Math, Science, Foreign Language and Art are offered in middle school and have the potential to result in high school credits. Collegiate and AP level courses are offered in 11th and 12th grade in English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Foreign Language, Business, Art, Music, and Fashion. Entrance to Advanced Classes begins in middle school and is based on academic achievement, assessment scores, and, depending upon the subject, universal screening scores. Continuation in Advanced Classes through high school requires evidence of mastery in the subject during the prior year, as well as a recommendation from the teacher. 

College Course Offerings

Departments offer college-level courses that will gain the student HS and College credit.  Courses are offered in collaboration with SUNY Orange, SUNY Albany, St. Thomas Aquinas College and Cazenovia College.  Students are required to register and pay the college for these courses. 

Career and Technical Education


Orange-Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Education programs give students the opportunity to graduate from high school with technical experience, professional skills, national industry certifications, and college credit in a wide variety of high-demand occupations. More information is available for students who are interested in attending CTEC.  

Evening High School

Evening High School provides an opportunity for credit recovery and new coursework for students offering both Regents and non-Regents credit. 

Evening High School offers smaller class sizes and flexibility and allows success for students who face family, economic, and work challenges.  Evening High School gives students an alternate opportunity to meet graduation requirements which allows more scheduling flexibility for their Day schedule. 

Students who are at least 16 years old can apply to attend by contacting their guidance counselors. Many students enrolled in Evening High School have a combination schedule that includes Day and Evening classes. 

Courses in the major content areas of English, Math, Social Studies and Science are offered and taught by VCSD teachers to prepare students to pass NYS Regents Exams and/or meet graduation requirements.  Classes meet once a week for two and a half hours after the regular school day ends.   PE and Health classes are also offered in Evening High School. Academic instruction is aligned with NYS requirements, standards and assessments and curriculum is reviewed and supervised by Department chairpersons.  The Library is staffed and a Special Education teacher is available to provide modifications as needed any student with an IEP.  


Edmentum is a credit recovery program offered to students through their guidance counselor as a means to meet graduation requirements.  Students work in a small group setting with a teacher on-site. Edmentum is offered during the regular school year and during summer school.  Edmentum is a computer based program with curriculum that has been approved by department chairpersons for credit recovery.  


Naviance is a college and career readiness platform that helps connect academic achievement to post-secondary goals. Its comprehensive college and career planning solutions optimize student success and enhance communication between families and school counselors.


Student Athletes who hope to play for a Division l or Division ll school must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. This is done by creating a Certification Account on the NCAA Eligibility Center website, where they will guide you through the process.

Pathway through High School 

Students need to plan their pathway through high school to meet all graduation requirements and achieve their post-graduation aspirations.  Here are the requirements for the different NYSED diplomas.


Your child may be eligible for ACCES-VR services based on the fact that they receive special education services or 504 accommodations. It is encouraged that all Junior or Senior-level high school students who receive services via Special Education or 504 plans apply to this program.

Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors:

To earn a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Honors, a student needs to have a computed average score of 90 or higher on all Regents examinations required for the Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation (no rounding up is permitted). (Exceptions have been made for COVID-19 Exemptions: http://www.nysed.gov/curriculum-instruction/regents-diploma-advanced-designation-honors)


Regents Diploma with Honors: 

To earn a Regents Diploma with Honors, a student needs to have a computed average score of 90 or higher on all Regents examinations required for the Regents diploma (no rounding up is permitted).(Exceptions have been made for COVID-19 Exemptions: http://www.nysed.gov/curriculum-instruction/regents-diploma-advanced-designation-honors)

Diploma Seals and Endorsements

NYS offers different endorsements and seals on high school diplomas to distinguish achievement.  All of these are available to Valley Central students. They are: 

Seal of Biliteracy
Seal of Civic Readiness

Seal of Biliteracy:


Seal of Biliteracy Interest Form 2023

This award is denoted by a seal affixed to the student’s diploma and a notation on the student’s high school transcript.  To earn the NYSSB, students must demonstrate Intermediate High proficiency in English and the required level of proficiency in one or more world languages set forth by the NYS Learning Standards for World Languages, adopted by the NYS Board of Regents in March 2021.  Students can earn points toward the NYSSB in a number of ways, including:

  • Completing coursework in English and/or a world language with an average of 85% or better;
  • Completing  a Home Language Arts Program with an average of 85% or better;
  • Earning a set score on an approved assessment in English and/or a world language;
  • Demonstrating successful completion of coursework from a nation outside the U.S.; and
  • Completing and presenting a Culminating Project in English and/or a world language that demonstrates the required level of  proficiency in all three modes of communication (Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational).


Seal of Civic Readiness

Video update: Any student may seek the Seal of Civic Readiness.  Contact meghan.rilley@vcsdny.org for information. 

The Seal of Civic Readiness is a formal recognition that a student has attained a high level of proficiency in terms of civic knowledge, civic skills, civic mindset, and civic experiences. The Seal of Civic Readiness distinction on a high school transcript and diploma: 

  • shows the student’s understanding of a commitment to participatory government; civic responsibility and civic values;
  • demonstrates to universities, colleges, and future employers that the student has completed an action project in civics or social justice; and
  • recognizes the value of civic engagement and scholarship.


Technical Endorsement 

Students enrolled in a NYSED-approved CTE program at a school district or BOCES* who successfully complete all requirements earn a technical endorsement [CR 100.5(d)(6)(ii)(b)]. The technical endorsement is imprinted on a seal to be affixed to the diploma and includes the phrase Career and Technical Endorsement. Additional information on the specific design of the endorsement seal is provided to school districts and BOCES upon notification of CTE program approval. 

Requirements for students to obtain the technical endorsement include: 

  • completion of a minimum of 22 units of credit** [CR 100.5(a)(3) and 100.5(d)(6)(ii)(a)(2)]; 
  • passing grades on five required Regents examination(s) or approved alternatives [CR 100.2(f)];  
  • completion of a minimum of 3.5 CTE credits; 
  • completion of a 3-part technical assessment (written, demonstration, project components) [CR 100.5(d)(6)(i)(b)]; 
  • completion of work-based learning experiences as provided by the approved program [CR 100.5 (d)(6)(iv)(a)(2)(iv)]; and 
  • completion of a work-skills employability profile [CR 100.5 (d)(6)(iv)(a)(2)(v)]. 


Seal of Civic Readiness

The Seal of Civic Readiness will be available to students to earn beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.  Valley Central will be offering this as well.



College Planning

College Planning can start as early as freshman year. It is good to explore possible plans of study and compare schools you are interested in.

Standardized Test Scores

Scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to each college. Students are responsible for this task.

Teacher Recommendations

  • Students should choose teachers (minimum of two) with whom they have developed a positive relationship and shown a strong work ethic.
  • Requests for letters should first be made by the student, in person. Then the student must request through their Naviance account. 
  • Students should provide counselors and teachers with a resume; this provides a larger picture for the writer to work with. Activities are not limited to school-based clubs. Community service, church involvement, boy/girl scouts and work should all be included. This resume should be kept up to date.
  • Students should give teachers a month or longer to complete their letters.

Financial Aid

Here are some helpful links help you navigate the financial aid process:

FAFSA Simplification, SUNY Orange

Annual Presentation on Financial Aid

An overview of the financial aid process.

Find out how much a college degree really costs.

This is the website to go to before going to the FAFSA site.  When you apply for this FSA ID number, you can then electronically sign your completed FAFSA form.

The website to go to when you want to apply for Federal Student Aid.  We recommend going to the FSA ID website before you visit this website

The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free.

Great all-around website for information on aid, planning for college and more.

Scholarship Opportunities

Some helpful information regarding scholarship opportunities for all types of students with all types of interests,  strengths, and experiences.  There are several awards that are available for students who upon graduation are planning to attend college, trade programs, the military or the world of work.  It is wise for all students to explore what options are available to them starting in their Freshman year so that they can be best prepared and well-informed. 

Going into Employment after HS

The guidance department posts a listing of local career opportunities that are available to our students in the Guidance Google Classrooms. 
Many local corporations and organizations offer students full or part-time jobs with excellent growth opportunities. These opportunities are independent and not connected to VC Guidance.
Students should do their due diligence and research the opportunity fully.  Guidance Counselors can help provide assistance with this process but questions/inquiries about specific jobs should be directed to the employer offering the position.