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October Newsletter: Juniors

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

As you may have heard, expectations and responsibilities can increase dramatically this year. The fall can be a difficult time to acclimate, juniors should make sure to ask questions of their teachers, participate in class, take advantage of opportunities — academic or co-curricular — to grow. Remember, at least one of their teachers from this year will most likely write one of their college recommendations. A good start is imperative for a good year! 

This month also provides unique opportunities for our juniors to expand their awareness of colleges and the vast array of educational experiences available at post-secondary institutions around the country and beyond. The MISP Fair and the college visit programming surrounding the visit will afford juniors tremendous opportunities to connect with professional admissions officers from around the country. These are times not to be missed! 

MISP Fair at Breck School | Sunday, October 8

The Minnesota Independent School Partnership (MISP) Fair typically brings over 150 college reps to the Breck campus on Sunday afternoon. Hosted in conjunction with five of our peer schools, the fair is a highlight of the year for our students. Attendance is expected and nearly 100% of our juniors and seniors attend each year. Parents are always welcome! 

To see the list of colleges in attendance, please click here. College counseling will use the two advisories leading up the MISP Fair to help students plan. Please note the length of the fair and plan accordingly. Spreading out arrival and departure times and ride-sharing can make for a better experience. For students attending without parents, we ask that they park in the Highway 100 lot or near the stadium to allow our guests the closer spaces. Parking behind the building and in the senior lot will not be available. The fair will close precisely at 3:00 pm so representatives may prepare for the second portion of the fair with our community partners. 

College Programming and Visits Surrounding MISP Fair

Around the MISP Fair, nearly 50 colleges will visit Breck. To facilitate the visits and to minimize class absences, we have arranged special programming for three days surrounding the fair. Please see details below. All juniors are expected to attend the day in order to broaden their understanding of colleges and what is out there, to better understand the language of college admission, and perhaps begin learning more about what they might want in a college! 

We understand that family schedules are difficult to coordinate. As you schedule Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences, we ask you to consider avoiding these times as much as possible. 

On Thursday (5th), college visits will run from 8:30-1:30. At 12:00, JL Chilcote, our University of Pennsylvania representative, will speak to juniors from his perspective at a highly competitive university. 

On Monday (9th) and Tuesday (10th), college visits will be held at 8 AM ONLY. Juniors are expected to attend and should plan to be in a seat in their respective room by 8 AM, so the visits may begin promptly at 8 AM. 

Ron Michalak, founder of Breakaway College Test Prep, will offer an ACT booster class for Breck juniors from 9-12 and PSAT prep from 1-4. Students must register here by September 29 in order to attend. 

Every junior should take at least one ACT prior to taking the real test. For juniors who have not yet taken an ACT or would like another opportunity to take a practice ACT, they may register to take a practice test with Breakaway College Test Prep for free prior to October 6th. Click here to reserve your space!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 | PSAT administered at Breck:
All sophomores and juniors have been registered to take the PSAT at Breck on Saturday, October 14. The test will begin promptly at 8:30 am; please arrive no later than 8:00 am.  A great source for preparation for this test is the website:

Words of advice: 

  • Eat breakfast and arrive early. 
  • Think about which email address to enter on the registration form. Students should expect to receive communication from colleges after taking the PSAT. Therefore, students should select an email address they plan to use throughout the college process. Many students use their Breck School email address, whereas others prefer a personal email account.
  • Bring sharpened #2 pencils and calculators. Remember, this is a College Board test and we need to follow their testing policies.
  • Treat it seriously. It’s more important than you may care for a test to be. These score results can be helpful as you progress through the standardized testing process.
  • But, it’s less important than you fear. Remember, it’s a practice test! This provides students with a standardized testing experience and feedback. 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 |  Juniors will take the Practice ACT during the school day. 

MEA WEEKEND, OCTOBER 19-20 | College Visits Strongly Encouraged
We strongly encourage juniors to visit colleges over MEA weekend. There are many opportunities in the local area and surrounding states. 

Thursday, October 19, College Visit to one local campus: The College Counseling office is planning a student trip to the University of St. Thomas. Students will need to have their own transportation to and from Breck, but we will take a Breck bus from school to/from the colleges. Details to follow!

College representatives visit Breck School | We will host over 150 colleges this fall. Multiple college representatives are visiting our campus daily. Juniors should feel free to go the meetings (mostly in the senior area) during a free hour. The beginning of October is an especially heavy visit schedule. The college visit list for all days is posted on Naviance, the Mustang Minute and the bulletin boards in the college office and in the senior hallway.  Check it out for specific dates and times.

Colleges may be hosting an area informational session | This is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge of colleges! Many schools will visit Breck and some will use the regional session in lieu of school visits. We will post the ones of which we are aware in Naviance. 

November 8, 6:30 PM, Grade 11 College Night | Mark your personal calendars now to attend this program as we discuss the college process as it unfolds during the second semester of junior year. 

Information for All Parents

Breck Parents — Fall is certainly here! It is difficult to believe the start of school was the better part of a month ago and yet the energy and excitement reveal just how deep into the school year we now find ourselves. Parent-Teacher-Student conferences will soon take place as will the MISP Fair, MEA Weekend, the post-season for fall sports, and the list goes on. 

This newsletter is full of information and details. Please feel free to read its entirety or delve into the area that pertains to your family. Please note that while we serve all students, we have set aside the last week of October for open office hours for seniors in the lead up to early November college application deadlines. If there is a need for a 9th, 10th or 11th grade student, please email your counselor or contact Carrie Papillon

Breck's College Counseling Office

Jonathan Nicholson
Director of College Counseling

Susan Graham
Associate Director of College Counseling

Andrea O’Connell
Associate Director of College Counseling

Carrie Papillon
College Counseling Office Assistant