High School Guidance

Information Regarding the PSAT

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

You Guidance Counselor will:

  • Encourage you to select courses that will challenge you.
  • Advise you of your necessary graduation requirements.
  • Encourage you to focus on specific goals and criteria for college selection (location, course of study, size).
  • Assist you in locating resources for your college search.
  • Maintain up-to-date college, military, and career resources.
  • Inform you of upcoming college fairs, art portfolio, and open house dates.
  • Provide acceptance criteria for you to match your skills and scores to the college’s recommendation for admission.
  • 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 paper work (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. 

    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 you 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 interested in and strengthen your transcript. 

    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.  

    Community As School

    The Community As School Program provides an opportunity for students to earn school credit while working in the local community.
    Students can learn valuable life skills and learn what it’s like out in the workplace. Local business owners will serve as the student’s mentor during the work assignment. Please ask your guidance counselor if this is something that interests you.

    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 SchoolAcademic 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.  


    Gradpoint 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. Gradpoint is offered during the regular school year and during summer school.  Gradpoint is a computer based program with curriculum that has been approved by department chairpersons for credit recovery.  Students are granted a unique log-in for this program. 


    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.  

    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:

    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.