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Ms. Ashley Cole recognized as an Exemplary Professional School Counselor

Congratulations to Ms. Ashley Cole, Director of University Counseling, on being recognized as an Exemplary Professional School Counselor for the 2019 College Board Counselor Recognition Program. Ms. Cole was honored during National School Counseling Week in February by College Board, who highlighted the important work of innovative, results-oriented counselors who are committed to student success and opportunity. In addition to receiving a pin and letter of recognition, Ms. Cole and Rochambeau will be profiled in an upcoming College Board publication. 
We appreciate Ms. Ashley Cole's dedication to our students, the Rochambeau community and our University Counseling Department. 

Félicitations à Mme Ashley Cole, Directrice de l'orientation universitaire, qui a été nommée Conseillère scolaire professionnelle exemplaire dans le cadre du Programme de reconnaissance des conseillers de 2019 mis en oeuvre par le College Board. Mme Cole a reçu cette récompense au cours de la Semaine nationale de l'orientation scolaire en février par le conseil du Collège, qui a souligné le travail important des conseillers axés sur l'innovation et les résultats, et qui s'engagent à assurer les opportunités et la réussite pour leurs élèves. En complément d'avoir reçu une médaille et une lettre de reconnaissance, Mme Cole et Rochambeau feront l'objet d'une publication prochaine du College Board.

Nous apprécions le dévouement de Mme Ashley Cole envers nos élèves, la communauté de Rochambeau et notre département de Conseil universitaire.

Posted by Ms. Cecile Dekoninck on Thursday March 14 at 12:08PM
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Mock Application Night & Visit of St Andrews University

WEDNESDAY, September 12th,  we had our first Mock Application Night of the school year at Rochambeau.

Our panelists were:

Catholic University of America, Columbia University, University of Chicago, University of Maryland College Park, MICA (Maryland Institute College of Arts), and University of St. Andrews.

It was a successful night for our audience! We welcomed universities for a panel and held breakout sessions where parents and students became the admissions committee. Each family was assigned to a room with one of the university representatives from the institutions above, who walked them through the admission committee process as each group decided who of the three applicants they admitted, waitlisted and denied.

A Rochambeau parent: "This Mock application night was super fun and informative, thank you for organizing it. It was great to see the admissions 'from inside', so to speak, and specially at the end, with different decisions. As a parent, it was wonderful to be able to take away the insights on what exactly it is that colleges are looking for."


A Terminale student: "Dear Mrs Cole, Thank you so much for tonight's mock application night! I feel so grateful to be able to hear the various perspectives and understand the admission process. I really appreciate your constant enthusiasm and support during these last two years. It means a lot to know that there is a faculty at Rochambeau supporting me (and others) through the college process."

TUESDAY, September 11th,  we were pleased to be the local host school for the regional information session of University of St. Andrews, open to the public at Rochambeau. This event covered life and academics at St. Andrews. Families joined us from high schools across the DC area to meet with them and answer all questions. Thank you to the University of St Andrews!

Posted by Ms. Cecile Dekoninck on Thursday September 20, 2018
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Updates from University Counseling- Including Expectations for Premieres, the Gala, and Scheduling Appointments

University Counseling Newsletter- Holiday Edition!      


In this issue:

Opening Thoughts

Odds & Ends

Parent Meeting Dec 20th/ PSAT Results Meeting/ Test Prep

Upcoming Events- Mark Your Calendars!

Testing Registration is OPEN for PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9, and AP Exams

Expectations of Terminales

Expectations of Premieres

Expectations of Secondes

Expectations of Triosiemes and Quatriemes


Opening Thoughts

Greetings Families,

I hope this final newsletter of 2017 finds you healthy and happy. It has been a very busy and fast- paced term for all of us, and I am incredibly proud of your efforts. It’s been a “new” year for University Counseling too, with my first Fall season with Terminales, my first semester with the Counseling Center, and now our amazing UCC Ambassadors. Yes, we work hard, and yes, we are busy, but I wouldn’t trade Rochambeau (or our students) for anything. It’s hard to believe that my 1 year mark is quickly approaching!

You are on the heels of a nice break, and I hope you all are doing what you need to now, so that you can secure a few quiet days over the break. I too, am planning to do the same. We all need a quick “reset”. Trust me when I say that we will have an action packed January to June schedule! As for my days out in the coming weeks: I will be out in the late afternoon for dental work on Thursday, Dec 21st. My days out for vacation will be December 24th- January 1. I will return on January 2nd. I will have some school related travel abroad in February, and will share the specific dates in our welcome back newsletter in January.

Terminales, I have messaging specifically for you, please see your “Expectations” section below.

No matter what traditions and holidays you and your families are celebrating over the break, I wish you joy and happiness, good cheer, quality rest, and an invigorating New Year. You all inspire me, impress me, challenge me, and I believe that working with you makes me a better person. So, with that, thank you all for my wonderful “home” here at Rochambeau.


Odds & Ends

- A photo card of the terminales has been created and will be sent to roughly 100 universities. We will also be emailing a holiday greeting to schools outside of the US.

- My meeting scheduler is still up and running, please use it to book appointments. They are accurate through Dec 22nd and January appointments will open at the beginning of January:

- Over the first week of break, I will be checking emails but only responding in cases of emergency. There shouldn’t be too many of these, but I will be observing just the same.

- Our University Counseling Instagram is up and running, please follow us at if you use Instagram.  After break, our student ambassadors will be contributing in full force.


Parent Meeting Dec 20th/ PSAT Results Meeting/ Test Prep

- This month’s parent meeting will be focused on the recent PSAT exam. Scores are being released this week, and our partners from Revolution Prep will be coming on Wednesday, December 20th at 5:30 PM to speak about scores to the group. This meeting will take place in the LL of the Lycee and will be from 5:30-6:30PM.

Mr. Goldman is offering all of our families the option set up individual appointments to speak specifically about your student’s scores, just click HERE to book an appointment, and click “score report review” and book a time.  

- Also, remember that time is running out for the current $250 gift card for tutoring from Revolution Prep. As a part of our ongoing partnership with Revolution Prep, we have arranged for every family at Rochambeau to receive $250 worth of free tutoring or other services from Revolution Prep. Winter break is a great time to catch up on a difficult academic subject, to get ahead before spring semester, or to prepare for the PSAT, PSAT 10, SAT, or ACT so act quickly to take advantage of this offer. Gift Cards must be redeemed by December 22nd, 2017.

How to redeem the gift card:  Please contact Rochambeau’s Academic Advisor Danny Goldman

Danny Goldman


About Revolution Prep:

Revolution Prep has been an innovative leader in tutoring and test preparation for over 15 years. Revolution’s online platform optimizes the learning experience through ease of scheduling and access to tutors anywhere, at any time. Because it fits easily with a student’s schedule, the platform ensures consistent use and exceptional results. Revolution offers private and semi-private tutoring options from $39/hour.


Upcoming Events- Mark Your Calendars!

- Canadian College Night at Rochambeau

Concordia, Queen’s, Guelph and Bishop’s will be visiting us on January 18th at 6PM. The program will consist of a college panel with the university representatives, followed by a college fair- style set up for the second portion to meet with them and ask questions. Please plan to attend. RSVP will be sent out after the break. (a 5th school may also join in, please stay tuned).


- College Night at Rochambeau

January 22nd. This event is designed for Premiere students (juniors), to kick off the application process. Join me for a formal presentation which will focus on topics including the various application systems around the world (outside of France), making a college list, the importance of testing, essays, interviews, and a timeline to help prepare you for terminale year (and hopefully alleviate some stress that comes with it!). All are welcome, but this will focus specifically on the current process for premieres and their parents. I know many of you have registered, but if you haven’t, please let me know you’ll be attending here:


Testing Registration is OPEN for PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9, and AP Exams

- It’s time for testing again! Please mark your calendars for these tests and take those which are appropriate for you. The website registration for PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9 and AP exams is live. (AP exam registration will not open until January 5th on the site).  DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR ALL PSAT EXAMS is JANUARY 23rd at Midnight. Late registrations cannot be accepted.

- Register Here:

 - I know testing causes stress on our students. These are NOT reported to universities and have no bearing on your college admission decisions. Only the SAT and ACT scores get reported! Just breathe, try it out, and see how you do! Preparation starts NOW.

- PSAT 10 (for Secondes), is on March 13th.

- PSAT 8/9 will be offered as well this year, for Troisieme and Quatrieme students who wish to sit for the exam, on March 16th.

- These exams are great for students who want a “starting point” for testing and who want to practice taking them early. Please see myself, or Danny Goldman at Revolution Prep, with any questions that you may have.

- AP exams will run for two weeks in May (7th – 18th). There are no exceptions to the dates and times, and all who register must be present on the date and time noted for the exam. You are able to take any subject you’d like, regardless of whether or not you have studied the topic at Rochambeau. We will not offer the AP Capstones, or the AP studio art exams. All others are open for you to choose from.


Expectations of Terminales

Terminales, if anyone understands your stress level right now, it’s me. I’m ‘walking through the fire’ with many of you, and this is a time when you are not always receiving the decisions you had hoped for with universities. We are jumping for joy at times, we are wiping tears at others. This is a time to dig deep and let your character build from this experience. You are going to have highs and lows through this process. If something doesn’t turn out as hoped, it is sometimes for the best in the long run. Be strong, put your head down, and keep working toward your goals. I have full faith in you, as does the rest of the Rochambeau community. Do not quit on me. Excellence is an ATTITUDE. 

- If you have any other schools outside of France that are not in Naviance, see Mme Bessaha in administration immediately to add them.

- As you are getting admission decisions back, you must enter the decision into Naviance. We can not release your final transcripts to the university you are attending without all of your decisions entered, and I’d like for you to share this with me through Naviance so I can keep track of what is happening. This takes only a minute and you enter “admitted/ denied/ waitlisted/ etc”.

- If YOU DO NOT want your first trimester grades sent to a university you must tell me by Wednesday, December 20th. If I do not hear from you, Mme Bessaha will send them to all schools you are applying to.

- If you have any further supplements/ essays you want me to review please send them by tomorrow so I can get them back before break begins. I am happy to help with this, but please do not send me 20 pages of essays and expect them back in a day. It’s almost impossible for me to complete these reviews with preparing documents and rec letters for all of you in a timely manner. I will not correct essays over break, so anything not sent to me by tomorrow (Friday), I’ll look at them when we are back from break. Keep your deadlines in mind with this. For those who have sent me essays and haven’t heard back, you will get feedback before break in the coming days.

- If you have an application that needs a counselor recommendation and have not seen me, you need to do this prior to break. I will not write a rec letter for a student who asks after break who has a due date of January 15th. These take a LOT of time to make them strong. Please plan accordingly.

- Finally, NO ONE is going to remember where you “didn’t get in”. People remember your character, and how you treat them. Stay mindful, remain positive, and all the good things you deserve will come your way.


Expectations of Premieres

- Plan to attend College Night on January 22nd to get all of our “jumpstart” information for applying to universities outside of France. I will be the presenter. Register Here:

- Plan to attend Canadian College Night on January 18th in the Auditorium if you have any interest in applying to Canadian schools. We will have college reps here to meet with you.

- I know many of you have asked for, and even had an initial meeting with me, and this is fine. If you would like to wait for the January 22nd overview before booking an appointment, that is also great. I will be reaching out in February to start planning out meeting with all students/ parents who are planning to apply outside of France.

- Start thinking about what’s important to you in a college, what do you want to get out of a university experience.

- Schedule an SAT or ACT exam for a date after break if it is needed for your schools. Next SAT date is March 10, and followed by May 5 and June 2.

- If English is not your first language and you are applying to English speaking universities, schedule a TOEFL exam (offered most weekends at various centers in Maryland).

- Mark your calendars for the Application Workshop in June! This year we are happy to extend it beyond just essays, and focus on a number of topics. University Representatives will also be participating this year. Please strongly consider this if you are planning to apply to US or the UK, but know that it will be valuable to any students who are applying to schools who do holistic reviews. June 11-15th.


Expectations of Secondes

- Register for PSAT 10 if you plan to apply to US schools, or schools outside of the US with your US/ Maryland HS Diploma and not the Bac.  See registration info above under testing.

- You are more than welcome to attend College Night on January 22nd, but know that this is specifically geared toward Premieres, so the timelines I speak of will be for Premieres, and a year off for you.


Expectations of Triosiemes and Quatriemes

- Register for PSAT 8/9 if you plan to apply to US schools, or schools outside of the US with your US/ Maryland HS Diploma and not the Bac.  See registration info above under testing.

- You are more than welcome to attend College Night on January 22nd, but know that this is specifically geared toward Premieres, so the timelines I speak of will be for Premieres, and 2-3 years off for you.




This is all for now, families! I am wishing you safe travels and a truly enjoyable holiday season. See you all in 2018!


Ms. Ashley Cole

Director of University Counseling

November 22, 2017

University Counseling Newsletter

In this issue:

- Important Upcoming Dates and Events!

- SAT/ ACT Test Prep Update and Gift Card

- Disciplinary Violations Update

- Expectations for Terminales

- Expectations for Premieres

- Expectations for Secondes

- Expectations for Troisiemes

- Welcome Quatriemes!

 Greetings parents and students,

I have a lot to cover in this newsletter so I will keep it short… Please take a few minutes to read all of the fun things happening over the next few weeks and be aware of upcoming deadlines (for terminales). In the meantime, have a wonderful break, and I will see you all on Monday, November 27th!

Important Upcoming Dates, Events and Updates!

- College Night- Monday January 22nd- This event was previously held in April but will now be moved to January. Please join Ms. Cole in the lycee auditorium for a broad overview of admissions, timelines, applying to colleges and what to expect in Terminale. This is STRONGLY recommended for any students applying outside of France. This event is focused on preparing Premieres, but anyone can attend if you’d like to listen in! Please RSVP HERE:

- Ms. Finney recently posted in the University Counseling Center for any student who wants to write an article for Salle Bulletin about the University Counseling center and work with me to do an interview. If you are interested, reach out to her, or myself. I’m also sharing this as an option for the University Counseling Center Ambassadors. Before December 15th!

- Parents: I urge you to attend the Assemblée Générale pour les parents et le personnel NOVEMBER 28th | 6:30pm in the auditorium. There will be a Financial Review and also an update on the future campus.

- December 1st for Parents also: Sip n’ Celebrate with the Proviseur- Friday from 6-8 PM. Parents, staff and teachers are invited. Please register here: I’ll see you there!

- University Counseling is now on INSTAGRAM!  (sure, there are not many pictures up yet, but please follow us as we build out our account). Huge thanks to our Social Media Team in the University Counseling Ambassadors group… our account is and many more pictures and announcements are coming through the stream. Please follow us! Huge shout out to my Social Media Dream Team: Paul Hesche de la Borde, Mark Salman, Yvana Martinez and Clara Andiazabal, who will soon be taking the lead on our Instagram account, and we have plans to start a snapchat as well in the coming months.


SAT/ ACT Test Prep Update

- As a part of our ongoing partnership with Revolution Prep, we have arranged for every family at Rochambeau to receive $250 worth of free tutoring or other services from Revolution Prep. Winter break is a great time to catch up on a difficult academic subject, to get ahead before spring semester, or to prepare for the PSAT, SAT, or ACT so act quickly to take advantage of this offer.  Gift Cards must be redeemed by December 22nd, 2017.

How to redeem the gift card: 

Please contact Rochambeau’s Academic Advisor Danny Goldman

Danny Goldman


About Revolution Prep:

Revolution Prep has been an innovative leader in tutoring and test preparation for over 15 years. Revolution’s online platform optimizes the learning experience through ease of scheduling and access to tutors anywhere, at any time. Because it fits easily with a student’s schedule, the platform ensures consistent use and exceptional results. Revolution offers private and semi-private tutoring options from $39/hour.

Disciplinary Violations Update

- Please note that in addition to writing your recommendation letters, I am also asked to fill out a number of forms on your behalf. If you have received a disciplinary violation, the universities want to know about this. Please be honest when answering this question on your college application (our answers should match), and if you are not filling out applications now, please be mindful to avoid these violations/ sanctions throughout high school.

Expectations for Terminales

- Group Terminale Photo is on Tuesday November 28th at 10:20 AM in the Amphitheater outside of the LL of the lycee. Please spare a few minutes of your time to participate in our photo that will be sent out to universities you are applying to. It will be fun. Please bring a teacher and a friend too!

- As per my previous email today, your “Transcript Request Form” is due on Dec. 10th for any schools with a Jan. 1 Deadline. You must complete this form and hand it to Mme Bessaha in the Administration Building by the deadline to assure that we can get your documents out on time.

- I need your questionnaires if you are in need of a recommendation letter from your counselor. If you have not given this to me, please submit it immediately. It’s been sent by email many times.

- You are doing phenomenal work, decisions are on the way for many of you, and I am incredibly proud of you. KEEP UP this level of dedication. It will pay off.

- I’ve worked very hard to keep you up to date on expectations and deadlines. If by December 10th we do not have what we need to process your applications, I cannot guarantee that they will be sent on time. If this occurs, it will be your responsibility to discuss your options with the universities directly and I will not call on your behalf for extensions.

- I know that MANY of you have been getting invited to interview with alumni in the DC area for a number of schools around the country. I am so excited for you, and I’ve prepped many of you. Please however, ALWAYS make your safety a priority. Do not ever accept an interview request that is not in a public place, and do not ever go to an alum’s home. I read a very disturbing article today and want to remind you all to be mindful. If you asked to be in any position that is uncomfortable for you, notify myself and your parents immediately. I will reach out to the school on your behalf if this is the case. I want to see you all go to the college of your dreams, but your safety is much, much more important! Please take a look at this article:  Further, no admissions rep or alumni interviewer is allowed to EVER ask you “where else are you applying?” You can tell them that it is against NACAC guidelines to ask that questions and your counselor told you so!

- Dont forget picture day outside in the amphitheater for the University Holiday Card is November 28th at 10:20AM. I've sent details in a separate email. 

- Finally, if you haven’t already PLEASE start a profile and start applying for scholarships. I’ve seen full tuition scholarships, 1k, 10K, 20K and everything in between. Millions of dollars go unclaimed each year. Get that money, terminales!

Expectations for Premieres

-    RSVP for College Night and mark your calendars (January 22nd):

- Start taking charge of testing preparation (Revolution Prep or an organization of your choice)

-   Sign up for a spring SAT or ACT exam

-   Start making a list of colleges you are interested in and why you are interested in them

- Visit campuses as soon as you are able to. Once you see them, you quickly start to see what you like and dislike.

-   Keep working on your grades. Premiere grades matter SO MUCH in the college process.

-   Find something to do this summer (summer programs at universities, travel, a job, service), do not have a blank summer for your college applications.

- We will start our individual meetings after the New Year… so your planning can start now! I have a lot of fun things in store for you this spring.


Expectations for Secondes

- Keep up the good work, your grades matter now, and it is time to start thinking about the college process. While it is still “at a distance” for you, start building your resume, do a summer program, get involved at school and in your community.

Expectations for Troisiemes

- Troisiemes, there is not much to do at this time for your college applications. However, over the year, please take note of subjects and areas that interest you.

Welcome Quatriemes!

- Quatriemes - I am going to start including you and your parents on these newsletters. I send them out about two times each month. I’d like for you to start getting familiar with the college process. At this time, it is most important for you to know that the grades you earn this year in school, will be on your high school transcript when you apply to college because they count toward the Maryland State Diploma. 




Ms. Ashley Cole

Director of University Counseling




University Counseling Center Newsletter and Updates:


In this edition:






Dear Families,

It’s been a VERY busy month in the University Counseling Center. It has been somewhat of a revolving door of students, teachers, parents and university representatives! Many hours of work have been put in both in and out of the center.  It is a very exciting time, and while we have had many moments of frustration with the process, I can assure you that I had just as many lovely moments, at times, bringing me to tears. This is what happens when you are SO IN LOVE WITH YOUR WORK. I hope you too have had a moment like this in the process.

Terminales are on FIRE!!  - We have made it through TWO major deadlines already! Let’s be honest; time flies, technology often fails us, Common Application crashed, and deadlines sneak up on us no matter how prepared we are or wish to be. I wanted to share a quick update with you: For US, UK and Canada: We currently have over 217 active applications to 92 different universities. We have submitted materials for 144 of them. Of these 217 applications 167 are regular decision applications and the rest are Early Action, Early Decision, Restrictive Early Action or Priority Deadlines. We had a number of students apply for early UK deadlines, and we just submitted all documents for November 1 US deadlines.  SENDING A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to students and parents who just celebrated this victorious step in the process! Also, I’d like to thank all of you for being so lovely to work with, and for all you do to understand the process. This is a team effort, and it takes all of us to get through…  I’d also like to thank Mme Dalila Bessaha and Mme Ani Balayan for all the support they provide in the Registrar’s office. We could not have done this without you.

  • I’d like to congratulate our National Merit Semifinalist and National Hispanic Scholar: Elizabeth “Bliss” Bagnato-Conlin, National Hispanic Scholar: Felipe Gonzalez-Karg, and Abigail Chen for receiving a “Letter of Commendation” from the National Merit Program. Congratulations to you all, the Rochambeau community is very proud of you!

Finally, I’d love to leave you with a great little article about college admissions. I know I have said many times that this process is “not just about you”, and I agreed with almost every point Mr. Hoover has made. He is a senior writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education, and this is was published yesterday on the November 1 deadline in the NY Times, happy reading:   Ten Things to Know about Getting Into Your Dream School



As per Madame Levy's request, effective immediately, I will be handling all college admissions activities for all schools outside of France. If you are applying to any country outside of France, please make sure you direct your communication to me if you need assistance and see Mme Bessaha so we can keep track of where you are applying regardless of whether or not we need to send your school transcripts. It is so important for us to have accurate application counts, and decision information. I look forward to working with you on these. Thank you! 


Because of Common App problems some schools have extended their early Deadlines:

- Catholic University (now Nov 7)

- U Mass Amherst (now Nov 5)

- U Mass Lowell (now Nov 6)

There may be more, but I received specific emails about these!


Next major deadlines are for the University of California System- DEADLINES ARE NOVEMBER 30th! Here is a really useful guide on applying to UC’s. PLEASE use this as a resource. Much of this info goes much, much deeper than the UC websites. Be wise, and get some tips on making your BEST applications:  (Big thanks to my friends at Collegewise for this!)

As we prepare for January 1 deadlines, I know many of you learned how stressful it is to wait to the last minute to submit/ prepare. Please do not do this for January 1 deadlines. Mme Bessaha and I will not be here the week of Dec 24- Jan 1.  While I will be checking emails and trying to support you over the holidays, let’s please make every effort to plan to be done prior to leaving for break (as much as possible). I’m sure you (and I) can all benefit from a few days without Naviance and applications! All school lists for a January 1 deadline need to be submitted to Mme Bessaha before we leave for break. Nothing will be added in the days when we are away as she will not be in to process your lists/ payments.

SCHOLARSHIPS: we are truly just getting started if you plan to maximize your free dollars for college. Scholarship applications are serious, and can land you thousands of dollars. Each year, millions and millions of dollars go unclaimed. GET THIS MONEY, ROCHAMBEAU! It can go with you to most schools, just check before you apply which countries the awards apply to.

Best Resource is FASTWEB: – Here you can make a profile based on your GPA and personal information and they will match you to scholarships. They have some very difficult/ academically competitive scholarships, fun ones, “no essay” scholarships, and creative scholarships (I just saw a 2K scholarship posted to discuss where you’d hide and how you’d survive if a zombie apocalypse took place at your university). Once you are done with applications, take some time to apply for some. Or, take A LOT of time.  At the end of the year I’ll be asking for information on any scholarships you received from universities and from outside sources. Please keep track, and see me with questions.

The Reagan Foundation is awarding 20 scholarships valued at $40,000 each (10K per year). This is for students who are leaders, scholars, and community focused. Go here for more information:


THIS SATURDAY IS SAT! Get a lot of sleep, eat a balanced breakfast, and go give it your best shot! I’m rooting for you. Make sure you are ready to go to the test center if you registered, here is the test day checklist:

THIS SUNDAY: Nov 5- 12:30-4PM is the NACAC National College Fair in DC (recommend for Troisieme through Premiere, Terminale if you are REALLY still looking for schools):

This fair has hundreds of schools (many international schools as well), and is free to the public. I have a few words of advice: these are crowded and popular, get there early and do a little research if you want to find certain schools. You can look up the booth number before you go (hint: Nothing is in alphabetical order). Also, there is an option to register online. DO THIS. You get a barcode you can have on your phone or can print so universities can scan it and record that they have met with you. This shows your demonstrated interest and allows them to email you application/ school updates.

If you don’t want to do this and just want to fill out the paper cards at the table, save time and make printed address labels and slap those right on the university inquiry card; (you will thank me)- on these list:

Name, Address, Email, Phone Number, Year of Graduation (year it will be in June of Terminale year), major (if known), our school name and CEEB CODE: 210264. This will save you time, and save your hands!

Wellesley College is offering a FREE AP Italian Language and Culture Course. Yes, FREE. For students that don’t have this option in their school, so this is us! We can, however offer the AP Italian Exam to you in May if you decide to sit for it.



Finally, I’d like to let you all know about a new initiative in the University Counseling Center. I sent out a call to Premieres to sign up to have positions assisting with university counseling efforts and was OVERWHELMED by the response. Madame Levy and I welcomed our inaugural group yesterday, and I will soon be introducing our students once our group is finalized. They will help us grow our program here, by blogging, helping with a new website, a new Instagram page, sharing information about universities that visit, spotlighting colleges, managing billboards and visit information, assisting with UCC events, and serving as ambassadors to university representatives who visit us. Their work will be so valuable and important, so be on the lookout in future newsletters as we showcase all of the wonderful work they will be doing!  They are going to learn wonderful skills and make meaningful contributions. Congratulations to my new team- I am thrilled to have you all with me!


In closing- I am so proud of you all, and proud to be a part of Rochambeau. I know that I ask a lot of you, and I ask you to trust me often despite still being new to the community. This is not an easy thing to ask for, but I thank you all for putting so much faith into the direction we are taking University Counseling at Rochambeau. I enjoy building this trust and relationships with all of you.

Have a lovely weekend (and enjoy the NACAC Fair on Sunday!) J



Ashley L. Cole

Director of University Counseling


Orientation US Newsletter


Just a few updates since the last newsletter, so this one will not be as long. We are kicking into overdrive as terminales are meticulously preparing their college applications. I am proud of the work you are doing and am working hard on the back end to have all your documents ready as well. A few reminders: chart out your plan for applications, make good use of your time, keep revising your essays and supplements, send them to me as a google doc when you are ready for feedback. I've been returning the ones I have received, if you are still waiting for feedback, it should be no later than this Friday for your first drafts.  The road is not as long as you think it is, and deadlines will soon be upon us. Stay focused, breathe, make time to sleep and recharge, and remember, this is YOUR SHOT at getting to your dream school. Don’t skimp on the applications- PRESENT "YOUR BEST SELF"!

Also, I recently came across an article from a school counselor sharing his thoughts on why College Rankings have Absolutely No Value… I found it insightful and wanted to share so that you can understand better why counselors take rankings and only use them for a piece of the puzzle and don’t always hand over college lists that look like the top ten on US News and World Report! Remember, finding the right college is all about YOUR FIT, not anyone else’s, and you shouldn’t “force” your fit because of a ranking.

Happy Reading:



Parent Meeting Reminder: 9/21/17 (tomorrow!)

University Visits to Rochambeau in September

PSAT in October

More University Events in the DC/ MD Area

My Travel Recap from Last Week 

Appointment Bookings



Tomorrow, 9/21/17, 8:30AM

This month’s parent meeting will be focused on terminales applying to US, Canada and UK universities. We will do a recap of what I covered on Monday with the terminales at school during our two hour session, and open it up to all questions that you have. Parents of Premiere and other grades are welcome to attend, but with applications on the horizon, I want to devote one meeting to answering outstanding questions for those preparing to apply, as we are in the thick of application season. The meeting will be in the University Counseling Center, LL2, lycee.



 We may be breaking records this year with how many schools are visiting… and they just keep booking with us!

Here is a reminder of universities that are visiting us during September from US, UK and Canada. PLEASE attend any visit that is with a representative from a school on your college list. It’s important that we attend visits and show representatives that there is value in coming to visit our school. All visits are at 12:30PM (lunch), in LL2, University Counseling Center. Please feel free to bring your lunch and keep an open mind. You may come to a visit you didn’t think you were interested in, then add it to your list!

 Thursday Sept 21- James Madison University.  University of Connecticut, Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA)

 Friday September 22- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Monday- September 25- Emory University

Tuesday, September 26- University of Bath

Weds September 27- Culinary Institute of America

Friday, September 29th- ESCP-EAP European School of Management

 Stay Tuned for October Visits!



 In addition to those sent out in my last newsletter, these are the new events in our area!

 September 27th: Emory University 7PM- Georgetown Prep

During an Engage with Emory program you will meet with an admission representative from Emory University to learn more about academic programs, student life, admission, and financial aid. You’ll have the chance to ask specific questions about Emory College and Oxford College, as well as about our application process.

October 4th: Columbia University- 7PM- Maret School, DC

With the start of the new academic year, Molly Coyne, Assistant Director at Columbia University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, will be coming to Washington, DC. The Introduction to Columbia is a public presentation that will cover academics, student life, undergraduate research, study abroad, internships, admissions, financial aid and much more! Register here:

October 9th:Harvard, Princeton, UVA, Wellesley, and Yale Information Sessions- DC

William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions at Harvard; Janet Lavin Rapelye, Dean of Admissions at Princeton; Gregory Roberts, Dean of Admissions at UVA; Joy St. John, Dean of Admissions at Wellesley; and Jeremiah Quinlan, Dean of Admissions at Yale will discuss academic programs, campus life, selective college admissions and financial aid.  RSVP Here:

October 15th- Tufts (Boston): Who gets in and why!- DC

Register here:

October 16th- Pace University (NYC)- Arlington, VA

Register here:

October 28th- Loyola University of Maryland- OPEN HOUSE DAY-

Registration is here:


PSAT: In the coming days, PSAT Registration will open (Most likely this Friday!). We will have a new online registration portal and you will now be able to register instantly, and pay by check or credit card. The company we partnered with is finishing up the webpage and as soon as it opens, I will email all Premiere and Seconde students and parents. This PSAT will take place October 11th in the morning. We will also be having a pre-administration session during lunch on October 6th, so that students who register can fill out personal data on the test sheet in advance and start fresh in the morning on the exam (this is going to HELP IMMENSELY for test day). You will need to attend both the 6th for the pre-admin and the 11th. If a true conflict arises for the 6th, we may be able to have you fill out your form at an alternative time prior to the test. Rest assured, we will be offering it, but I am trying to cut down on paper forms and make it easier for you to register and you will no longer have to deal with paper registration drop offs. The tests have already been ordered. If you have already taken a PSAT, this will be the same format of testing. Typically juniors (premiere) students, sit for PSAT.  Sophomores (secondes), sit for PSAT10, which is offered in the Spring time and then take PSAT in the fall of premiere.


The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a 2.5-hour version of the College Board’s SAT. The PSAT measures verbal, mathematical, and writing abilities important to success in university and provides practice for taking the SAT later in première. The PSAT can be used to predict performance on the SAT. The PSAT is not used in US university admission; scores will be sent only to the student and to the school.

We will also be scheduling MOCK SAT and ACT this season, which will be held on Saturdays, hosted and proctored by Revolution Prep, and parents and students will be able to meet with RP to discuss scores! Very exciting, and these scores are for YOU and will not go on any official records. Stay tuned for the dates later this Fall…



 I had the most outstanding trip to New England for a counselor tour and the NACAC Conference (National Association of College Admissions Counseling).  I toured Brown University, Providence College, Rodger Williams, Bryant University, Salve Regina University, Johnston and Whales University, Harvard College, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and met with deans from Wellesley College. I had a private meeting with University of Sydney as well.

 I have loads of photos and notes on these schools, and once we get the terminales situated, I will be sharing these, along with other universities I’ve toured so you can see how beautiful and different they all are. I was truly blown away by the quality of academics, rigor, internships and starting salaries for many of these schools.

 NACAC too was quite impressive! I sat with officials from the UK in a 4.5 hour session on UCAS and UK admissions, I learned how to strengthen the cover letters for our student’s applications and we got a number of tips about the personal statements. Outstanding. Later that evening, they hosted a reception with over 15 UK schools, and I learned about some of the lesser known institutions there. We had a great time on the water in Boston.

 I attended social events with the Big 10 Schools, Big 12 Schools, PAC 12 Schools, Clemson, Common Application, RaiseMe, Revolution Prep (our test partners), the Lutheran School Network, Catholic Colleges of America, Reed College, Manhattanville College, and had lunch with the deans from NC State, and breakfast with the Virginia State Universities! (yes, it was BUSY, but very fun too!) It’s so fun to socialize with the universities, some even had their mascots greeting us on campuses and at their social events for selfies!

 In addition, there was a counselor’s college fair, and we were able to walk around the convention center to speak to reps, just as you do at a college fair. I invited many to visit us, joined new mailing lists, gathered materials and pennants for our center, and made outstanding relationships. I’ve already been invited by some to visit their schools at no cost to our school! Relationships are everything in counseling and this time was certainly well spent.

 My learning was outstanding. Session after session, after session on all types of admission topics. Thank you all for being patient during my absence and know that there is extreme value in getting out there and making these connections and taking time to update myself on new trends in the counseling and admissions field. It helps me serve you better, and at Rochambeau, that is what we strive to do.

 This morning I attended a meeting with NYU Abu DhabiNYU ShanghaiYale-NUS College and Duke Kunshan UniversityIncredibly interesting program with these world renowned schools in Asia! Take a look at them, I also have brochures in the center.



 I am trying to balance having as many appointment slots available with university visitors, writing recommendation letters, answering walk-in questions, and preparing us for a number of other counseling activities. Appointments are booking quickly, and there are very few left for September. Please always feel free to email me, and if you are having an emergency let me know. We are transitioning to a new phone system and outside calls are still not coming through. For the next few days, please email instead of calling so I am sure to get your message!

 Because the terminals need my undivided attention, I kindly ask that if you are not a terminale, please hold off on scheduling appointments until after November unless you have something that is truly time sensitive, because slots are getting filled and remaining times are extremely limited. Book here:


This is all for now! I’m sorry it is not a full two weeks apart from the last newsletter, but these things really need to be shared at such a busy time!



Ms. Ashley Cole

Director of University Counseling

Back to School Newsletter- September 5th, 2017

Office of University Counseling / Orientation US

In this Edition:


-Updates to the University Counseling Office/ Scheduling Meetings

- My Days OUT

-Important Upcoming Events at Rochambeau

-Important Upcoming University Events in the DMV Area

-Checklists for students by LEVEL


I’d like to welcome you back to school. I spent the majority of the summer working on a new University Counseling Center, and I am sure that this is going to be a truly outstanding year for all of us. The purpose of this center is to create and grow a welcoming space for our community and to hold all of our Orientation US events. While this is certainly a busy time, I hope it is also full of excitement and positive anticipation as many of you are road-mapping your next steps in your educational journey. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

This is an important time for all of you, especially terminales. There is a LOT of information in this newsletter, please read everything below carefully!


-Updates to the University Counseling Office, Scheduling Meetings, and Housekeeping Notes

-Most importantly, I am no longer in the administration building. My new space is in LL2 of the lycee, which is our new Orientation US/ University Counseling Center. Please do not come to my old office in the administration building. All parent meetings, university lunch visits, scheduled meetings, etc, will now take place in LL2 of the lycee unless otherwise noted. Larger events will still take place in the auditorium or library as noted.

- There are no set hours for the University Counseling Center at this time. As each day will be full of a multitude of appointments, meetings, evening events, please know that I will do my best to keep you notified of days out, times I will not be in the center, and so on. Know that if you book an appointment with me, I will be there during that time. Some days I’ll be in very early, some days I’ll stay very late.

- University Counseling Center Etiquette- please be on time for your appointments, as there are often appointments scheduled back to back… Last year we did have some families coming in nearly 30-40 minutes late for appointments, and that is not fair PRACTICE to the family booked after that appointment. Please note that if you come in late for your appointment and someone is booked for the hour after you, we will have to cut out meeting short to end at the time of the next appointment.

-Students- when in the counseling center, especially when college reps are present, please call adults by Mme, Mr, Ms, etc. and not by their first names. This is especially true when speaking to college reps during lunch. Also, no calling us “dude”, “man”, and absolutely no cursing/ profanity. We want to set a good example of Rochambeau for our visitors, and while this is a minor adjustment, it goes a very long way. A common trait universities are saying they want in students is “kindness”. Let’s show them all what a kind and warm community we are! (Thank you in advance!)

- For SCHEDULED MEETINGS, I want to give terminales and terminale parents the priority for booking through November. Visit time are going to be quite limited, as we have a long list of universities visiting this year, in addition to parent meetings, staff meetings, and my needing time to organize recommendation letters and other documents for our students who are preparing applications.  If you are a premiere family or younger, please hold off on using the booking tool, unless you’ll be leaving us early (at the end or premiere with HS diploma, etc), and are applying now. Our terminales are busy working on their applications and I am working on recommendation letters. Of course, I’m always here for questions, but we have to prioritize meeting appointments. The service is set to allow bookings up to 3 weeks out, so please do not panic that appointments after 3 weeks are not showing up for you…- they will show up soon. If you absolutely need a time that is not available, please just check with me, but these are times I am certain I’ll be able to meet.  To book an appointment in the University Counseling Center:

Monday, Sept 25th and Monday Oct 2nd I have entered in some evening hours for those who are not able to meet during the day…

 - My Days OUT

-I will be out on school business from September 10th- 17th. During this time my efforts will be two-fold. On the 10th, I will be traveling to New England for a 10- university tour over 3 days. I’ve been selected as one of 30 counselors from around the world to attend this fully-expenses paid tour. Our itinerary starts at 7AM and ends late in the evening. Among the schools participating are Brown University and Salve Regina, among others. On Tuesday, I’m dropped off in Boston in the evening. The next day I go to Harvard, MIT and Wellesley for a day program for counselors. Thursday through Saturday, I attend a number of conference events at NACAC (National Association of College Admissions Counselors), including a day long program on UK admissions, a number of other sessions and events, and connecting with top universities in the US and abroad. I recently even booked a meeting with University of Sydney (Australia).  Please know that I will not be available for immediate responses during this week. Either see me before I leave, email your needs, or hold them until I return. It’s an important week for the counseling community and I need to represent Rochambeau to our colleagues at universities and other high schools. Please be patient during this time. Thousands of counselors and university reps will be gathering in Boston for this event, and I’m looking forward to a week of learning and networking on behalf of our school! Beyond my learning and professional development, I will be looking for new vendors and options to bring back to the school to streamline our counseling processes.

- I will be out the mornings of Sept. 20 and 26th, for breakfasts with NYU and a number of other universities. I should be in by 10-10:30AM.

I will be flying out on VACATION, the night of October 17th and returning on the 24th. It’s my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary, they are renewing their vows, and I’m going with my siblings to have a wonderful long weekend right before and during the beginning of the break. I will not be responding to emails during this time. (Early UK apps are due prior to this (Oct 15th), and US Early apps are due Nov 1.) Please plan for these few days with my absence. I’m not aware of anything being due on these days, but if anything you have is, get it to me the week of October 8th so I have time to take care of it.

-Important Upcoming Events at Rochambeau


Wednesday, Sept 6th: Mock Application Night- We have 165 people registered as of today for our event tomorrow. Our representatives for the evening represent: American University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University (NYU), Princeton University, University of Maryland (UMD), University of Virginia (UVA), College of William and Mary.

Danny Goldman, from our new test prep partners, Revolution Prep, will also be attending to answer any questions you may have about test prep options and offering a $250 gift card to our families. 


Wednesday, Sept 27th: Financial Aid in the US Night – Click here to register:

Join me on Wednesday, September 27th right after the 5:30 bell for an evening with Mr. JV Kirkland, a financial aid expert from American University. He will be covering BROAD topics (not those specific just to AU), to help us all better understand FAFSA, CSS Profile, citizenship questions, scholarships, different types of loans and repayments, and taking questions. Please take advantage of his expertise. Recommended for all classes and families who have any interest in learning more about financing degrees in the United States.  


Monday, October 9th: Testing Night in the Auditorium- Register here:

Our new partners from Revolution Prep will be making an evening presentation on testing and test preparation for students. This is for all parents and students who want to learn more about testing.

During this presentation, you will discover: • How to decide between the SAT and ACT (most people make the biggest mistake when it comes to this choice) • When your child should plan to take the PSAT, SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, AP and IB exams to maximize college acceptance and scholarship options • Whether your child should prepare for SAT Subject Tests and when to take them (hint: it’s not when you would think) • What you and your child can do now, even as early as 6th grade, that can help them get into the college of their dreams  

The $250 gift card will remain good through October 13th, 2017. I recently emailed this information out to families and have more folders in the counseling center. Revolution Prep is also offering free iPads (to keep), for students enrolling in private tutoring programs with their company for a limited time. I’m very excited for us to be working with them. I’m sure you will be impressed with their options for you.

Recommended groups: Troisieme through Premiere.


The PSAT will be October 11thThis is for Secondes and Premieres who plan to eventually take the SAT or ACT exam. The PSAT is a great way to know your baseline for testing and predicted scores.  We will have a “pre-administration session” the week prior to get all the personal information portions of the exams completed. You will need to attend both sessions. This will alleviate a longer test administration on October 11th and allow you to start fresh on the exam first thing in the morning and miss less class time. Registration will open soon, stay tuned for details.

Friday, November 10th:  Careers in Chemistry and Agriculture. 9:30AM-10:30AM- Students will be invited to register for this event in the coming weeks, and MUST register to miss the hour of class. A Senior Formulations Chemist from NuFarm, an Australian based agricultural company, will be presenting on careers in chemistry, agriculture and pharma. Any students considering careers in science should plan to attend this interesting assembly/ presentation. Registration will be released soon. Non- registered student will not be allowed to attend.


All meetings will take place in the University Counseling Center, LL2, lycee

Thursday, September 21- 8:30AM

Wednesday, November 1- 5:30PM

Wednesday, November 29th- 8:30AM


ALL VISITS WILL BE IN THE UNIVERSITY COUNSELING CENTER; Lycee LL2- if you are applying or even interested in any of these schools, please attend the visits. All visits will be at 12:30PM.  You are welcome to have your lunch here during the visit!


Wednesday, September 6th- University of Virginia

Friday, Sept 8- American University of Rome

Thursday, September 14th- University College London (UCL)

Monday, September 18th- Princeton University

Tuesday, Sept 19th- Jacobs University Bremen

Wednesday, Sept 20th- University of Cincinnati

Thursday, Sept 21st- University of Connecticut AND James Madison University (JMU)

Friday, September 22nd, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Monday, September 25th- Emory University

Tuesday, September 26th- University of Bath

Friday, September 29th- ESCP- Europe Business School



Monday, October 2nd:  University of Maryland, College Park

Tuesday, October 3rd: Sarah Lawrence College AND New York University (NYU)

Wednesday, October 4th- The Catholic University

Friday, October 6th- University of California- Berkeley

Monday, October9th- Elon University

Tuesday, October 10th, Drexel University

Wednesday, October 11th, Claremont McKenna College

Thursday, October 12th, Emerson College

Friday, October 13th The American University of Paris

Monday, October 16th – The University of British Columbia

Tuesday, October 17th- Seton Hall University and McGill University

Monday, October 30th- Smith College

Tuesday, October 31st- Bard College



Wednesday, November 1st- St. Mary’s College

Thursday, November 2nd, New College of the Humanities

Friday, November 3rd- American International College

Tuesday, November 7th- Columbia University- Sciences Po- Dual Degree Program

Wednesday, November 9th University of Aberdeen

Friday, November 17th- Salve Regina

-Important Upcoming College Events in the DMV Area

Please note, this is not an all-inclusive list, rather, emails I’ve received about sessions I thought our community may be highly interested in. If any of these schools are on your list, YOU SHOULD PLAN TO ATTEND. Please register through their websites.

September 11- “Experience Penn”: University of Pennsylvania at Walt Whitman HS in Bethesda:

September 17- Washington University in St. Louis information session in Northern Virginia:

September 18- The University of Edinburgh and King’s College London information session

October 1- University College London, Imperial College, King’s College London Group Information Session. Details and Registration Here:

October 1- NACAC Performing and Visual Arts College Fair, Washington, DC:

October 12- MIT Information Session in Bethesda:

November 5- NACAC National College Fair in DC (this is one of the largest college fairs in the country, best to register in advance and get a bar code for universities to scan it to put you on mailing lists, international schools also attend) I strongly recommend attending this fair, especially for those of you BEGINNING your search (secondes and premieres) :

-Checklists for Terminale, Premiere, Seconde, and Troisieme students


-Come to university visits in the counseling center. We have over 30 listed above already and a few more requests that I am hoping to finalize soon! Bring your lunch and just listen to the reps discuss their schools! If a school you are applying to is visiting us, you should plan to be at the visit. They WILL remember you when you apply.

- If you are applying to US, UK, Canada or any Anglophone area, you must send me a list of the universities you are applying to once you have your list complete. Also, if you haven’t created an account in Naviance, please do that now: Click on “students and families”, and follow the prompts. Let me know if you’re having any trouble logging in.

- You will need to fill out the transcript form for every school you are applying to, including due dates, and return it in person to Mme Bessaha in the administration building (room 224, second floor), as soon as possible. I have forms in the counseling center, and will have them at all of our events.

- If you need a “Counselor Recommendation” and have not submitted your questionnaire to me yet, you need to get that submitted immediately. Again, if you have a school with a November 1 deadline, I need to have your questionnaire in hand by October 1st so that I can prepare your documents for you. In most cases, Canada and UK schools do not want a counselor recommendation but read the requirements carefully.

-If any of your schools have “early action” as an option, you should apply that way. Acceptance rates are much higher. Early Decision is a BINDING agreement, so if it is not your first choice school and you’re not fully committed, don’t do it. Early action is NOT binding, but you find out sooner, and can still deposit later. Questions? Talk to me.

-  If you want me to review your resumes, essays, etc. you MUST submit them 30 days prior to the due date. If a school has a deadline of Nov. 1st, and you want me to look at the essay, plan to send it to me by Oct 1st. January 1st deadline? Send it to me by Dec 1st. I’m so happy to help, but waiting until the last minute is not acceptable. Plan ahead, and set yourself up for success. I need time to review all of your documents that you submit.

- Think about breaks and time off. I will be gone from September 10-17th, October 18th-23rd, Thanksgiving Break, and the week between Christmas and New Year. I will be checking emails over winter break, and while I am out in September at the conference, but please plan AHEAD and be mindful in your college process, your time, and mine. If you send me something the day before it is due, it’s highly unlikely that I will be able to help you. Do it SOON! I’m an office of one, and working with many students. College applications are not tasks to wait on for the last minute. You have one chance to present yourself to your dream schools. Take your time with these.


Also, some interesting scholarships to note for Terminales:

1) If you are applying to UVA, AND interested in the Jefferson Scholars Program, let me know immediately. I am able to recommend one student from Rochambeau for the Jefferson Scholars Program.  Read more here: I am making my nomination on November 1st, so please notify me no later than October 15th.

2) Batten Honors College at Virginia Wesleyan: Full scholarship or 2/3 scholarship plus fully funded study abroad trips and other opportunities, must apply for this:

3) Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity- Scholarship amount over $200,000 USD. Full tuition for four years for one student who demonstrates extreme creativity. Created because of the WU alums who wrote and composed the musical Hamilton. This school is highly competitive for admission with no scholarship, this scholarship will be extremely competitive. Apply and read more here:

4) Always refer to for databases with scholarships that can be applied to many universities. There are also a number of resources there on financial aid and scholarship tips.  

5) If any Terminale is interested in pursuing the United States Armed Forces / Military Academies (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force), please read more about the application process at: APPLICATIONS ARE DUE OCTOBER 13!



-Decide if you are going to take the Oct 11th PSAT exam, and if so, register when the registration opens.

-Start thinking of where you’d like to study and what you are interested in. Think about different countries, costs, majors, etc. Start research and plan to visit a few universities this year. Not sure where to start? Let me know.

-Spring will be a great time for us to have our initial meetings.

-Start test prep if you haven’t already. You can start sitting for the official SAT or ACT this year, and our partners at Revolution Prep are offering a $250 gift card, and free iPads (iPads if enrolled in individual tutoring), through October 13th.

-Attending testing night October 9th.

-Come to university visits in the counseling center. We have over 30 listed above already! Bring your lunch and just listen to the reps discuss their schools!


-Decide if you are going to take the Oct 11th PSAT exam, and if so, register when the registration opens.

-Come to university visits in the counseling center if you want to learn more about the college visiting. We have over 30 listed above already! Bring your lunch and just listen to the reps discuss their schools!


-There is not much for you to do in terms of college now, except for knowing that the grades you make this year will be a part of your college applications. Keep this in mind and know that this year, and every following year, will matter during admissions time.


-Attend testing night October 9th if you want to learn more about the various tests for US admissions.


I am looking forward to this semester! It is going to be busy, fun, and we will learn a lot together from all of the outstanding universities and partners coming in for visits. Please let me know if you have any questions and don’t hesitate to reach out or stop in the center-

Sincerely- Ms. Cole, Director of University Counseling

University Counseling Newsletter - May 10th, 2017

In This Newsletter:

-   Greetings

-   Morning Meeting for Parents 5.17.17

-   College Night 5.22.17

-   Upcoming Local University Events

-   Scheduling Meetings

-   Expectations and Information by Class


Greetings Students and Families-


Please take a moment to read a very important edition of our newsletter, as there are many events coming in the next few weeks that are going to be critical for some of you. It’s hard to believe that I am beginning my fourth month here at Rochambeau. In such a short time, so much has happened. We have tested, scheduled meetings, you have laughed, cried or perhaps BOTH, in my office…  I danced at our Gala, did yoga with Girls Rising, and I am signed up for French lessons this spring!


I am so happy to be here, and I am so inspired by the dedication you put forward every day; as students and as young adults. I spend many of my evenings thinking about new activities we can offer you, how I can support you better, and how to make this process FUN, EXCITING and ENJOYABLE for you.  I came into Rochambeau and hit the ground running… now that I am settling in, my sleeves are rolled up and your energy is inspiring me at every turn. THANK YOU.


I promise you: I will work as HARD AS YOU DO to help you achieve your dreams. I can’t do this process for you, but I can certainly guide, support and assist. The more we work together, the smoother this process will go for you, and the more confident you will be with college planning. Please read on for all of the events coming in the months of May and June… I sincerely hope that you will attend every possible one. I am here to help prepare you.


No matter what year you are in now, my door is always open to you. Feel free to come in with questions, to say hi, or if you just need an ear. If you want to be sure we have dedicated time, please continue to use the dedicated counseling scheduler to be sure I’m free when you want to sit down:


I want to see you all successful and reaching goals you set for yourself.




Ashley Cole

University Counselor


Morning Meeting for Parents-

Our morning meeting for parents will be on Wed. May 17th at 8:30 AM. This month’s topic is How to Promote Yourself to Universities. We will be discussing the college application resume/ activity sheet. We will also discuss the importance/ reason for interviews, campus visits, and communicating with the universities in person, by email, and by phone. If your student is planning to apply to highly selective institutions, this is going to be a critical piece of the application process. Large conference room, Administration Building.


College Night at Rochambeau-


May 23rd, 6PM (lycee auditorium will open at 5:45). Parents recently received an invitation by email about college night. Please join me as I give a general overview of the admissions process, discuss important timelines and dates, what your expectations should be of the University Counselor and Registrar, and what will be expected of you. We will discuss myths and debunk them, we will explore some college data, and I will discuss what you need to do this year, next year or beyond to get into the school of your choice. It is a VERY important event for Premieres and parents who are planning to apply to schools in the US, Canada and UK, and I wanted to extend the invitation to all students as many have come in to discuss early planning, which is fantastic.


We need to have a little fun too… so we will be starting a new tradition at college night this year (I can’t give you all the surprises but please, bring your school spirit!). I look forward to personally shaking hands with each of you, and we have to practice those handshakes for when you meet admissions reps. I’ll see you at the door!



“Take a College Road Trip” With Your University Counselor-


I will be leaving for NYC very early tomorrow for a day-long event at NYU, and will also be visiting the New School, Columbia University and Barnard College. I’m armed with an iPad and will be sharing details of the trip with you. When you see this email, please take some time to read it, especially if you are interested in any of these schools, never heard of these schools, or have an interest in studying in NYC. I am fortunate to be able to travel out to gather updates, stay on top of trends in admissions, and explore these campuses. I am excited to represent Rochambeau and network with admissions staff. Please take advantage of this benefit as well, because I will be turning this information over to you so we are all learning and navigating together. While I am gone, I will be on campuses all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I will check emails throughout the day and will respond as soon as I am able. I will be back in my office on Monday morning, May 15th.



Universities Coming to the Local Area for Information Sessions



An Evening with University of Cambridge – MAY 18- at the British International School

The University of Cambridge is one of the world's greatest universities, providing a challenging, flexible and individual learning experience. Consistently rated at the top of national and international league tables, many of our degree courses encompass several subjects, starting off broadly before becoming increasingly focused in later years.

As a 'collegiate' university, Cambridge is made up of various faculties and departments in different academic subjects, and a number of Colleges. Students, as well as being a member of the University and a faculty/department, also belong to a smaller College community. This system offers a huge amount of pastoral and academic support for each student, providing a place for them to live, study and socialise. One of the advantages of studying at Cambridge is our emphasis on small-group tuition, known as 'supervisions', in addition to lectures, practicals and seminars. Supervisions allow students to explore course material and new approaches in greater depth, while getting regular, individual feedback.


There are limited spaces available to attend and you must register in advance All 70 seats for the British School are filled, and those for us are filling quickly. Our students and families have been invited to attend by the British International School. I will be attending. If you mentioned Cambridge and it is on your list, I expect to see you there! It is in DC, about a 25-30 minute drive, but you should be able to get there for the 6PM start (even if you are a few minutes late). You can register here. At the time of this newsletter only 89 tickets remain for non BISW students and families:


An Evening with Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Princeton University, University of California, Berkeley, Vanderbilt University- JUNE 4- JW Marriott Washington DC

Admissions representatives from the schools above will be hosting an admissions information session on June 4th in Washington DC.  These are five highly selective universities and it would benefit you in the admissions process to attend this event. They will also be in Baltimore the following evening. Many of you have named these as schools of interest. I will also be attending this event. If you are planning to apply to these schools, I’d strongly recommend you attend their event. I’ll see you there. Register here:



Updates by Class:



-   If you haven’t already, please send me your university decision worksheet letting us know your college admission decisions and where you will be attending (for US/ UK/ Canada)


-   Please respond to my email from yesterday if you are interested in participating


-   GOOD LUCK on exams!




Essay Writing Workshop for Premieres

-   I am very happy to see such extreme interest in the Essay Writing Workshop that Mme Finney and I will be leading in June. We have only one remaining slot. If you signed up and are not able/ not planning to be present at ALL FIVE sessions that week, please let me know so we can make your slot available to another student. It is important to attend all of them to get the true benefit of the workshop and each day will fold into the next day’s topic. Sign Up Here:


-   If you haven’t already, make an appointment with me to discuss your college plans before you leave for summer



-   It’s been great having you and your families in my office to discuss your preliminary college plans. Many of you exude passion about the college process and that is fantastic. Some of you are still navigating and figuring out a potential path (which is also VERY GOOD). We are going to have a wonderful year together as we move through the process. Keep coming to see me, keep me updated on your plans and accomplishments and start thinking about how you are going to prepare yourself for the large amount of time, energy and focus that will be required to achieve admission to your first choice school. Please plan to attend college night on May 23rd, it will be geared toward your group as you will be the next to apply. I will be sharing a lot of information about timelines, expectations, and what you need to be doing. 


-   There will be an SAT date on August 26th this year (previously it was September). The following exam is in October. If you have a busy summer register for the exam now so it is on your calendar.  Registration deadline is July 28th. I strongly suggest the August date, especially if you have not tested yet and know you will need it, or if you are planning to apply Early Decision or Early Action to any schools so that scores are in on time.


-   Visit some universities this summer if you can… the best way to know if you like a campus is to experience it for yourself. Do not rely on rankings to guide your choices. YOU need to be excited about the universities.





-   Please come to College Night on May 23rd if you are interested in learning about what to expect in the coming years. I’d be thrilled to see you there.


-   If you have any free time this summer, consider visiting a university or two so you can see what to expect for when you really start your search.


College Counseling Updates

  • Upcoming University Visits
  • Scheduling Appointments
  • Expectations for Première Students
  • AP Exam Registration is CLOSED – stay tuned
  • Morning Meeting for Parents – April 12 at 8:30AM
  • Gala Auction Item from University Counseling
  • Out of the Office in April



Dear Students and Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend now that daylight is lasting longer and the snow has melted! As spring has arrived, our weather ahead looks promising. This is always a busy time for those going through the college process. Some of you are awaiting decisions to colleges, universities, summer programs, scholarship programs and more. Many of you will be visiting universities, or starting to have the conversations about college lists and places to visit. Regardless of where you are in the process, I’m excited to work with you.


Upcoming University Visits:

March 31st- University of Ottawa

April 3rd- University of Glasgow

Both will be at 12:30 and will take place in the large conference room on the 2nd floor of the administration building. Please attend if you are interested in either university. Bring your lunch and any questions for the representatives!

Scheduling Appointments

As many of you are beginning to request appointments, I decided that the most efficient way for us to meet and arrange meeting times is through a dedicated online scheduler. This scheduler will be linked here, on our counseling website and on the blog. As it is very important for me to meet with Premiere students and their families first, I would like only Premiere Students and Parents to schedule appointments up until the Spring Break on April 17th. After this, all students and families can begin to schedule. If you are not a Premiere but have pressing issues, please let me know. I know many are applying to summer programs and other activities. I’m always here to help, but it is very important to prioritize private appointments with Premiere students at this time.

The appointment scheduler is open one month in advance to make appointments. Each month I will add in the available slots for meeting times. As this is a new practice for our office, please let me know if you have any feedback and we can make improvements as we go. I think this method will be very helpful for our parents who have work schedules and want to book quickly and see all available options. I’m considering doing some extended or evening hours during the spring so that I can accommodate all families who want to meet, but these will be limited and we can discuss this as necessary. The scheduler is here, and just click on “Book Now” to see the time slots that are available. I hope you enjoy using it:


Expectations for Première Students

Premières and parents: It is very important that you come in to meet with me before the end of the school year. As I stated about appointments, I’m giving you priority up until break to schedule with me so we can discuss your plans. As I will be writing many of your recommendation letters over the summer, the better I get to know you and what you want in your college experience, the better recommendation I can provide. So by the end of the year, and preferably in April, we should meet if we haven’t already.


What you need to do now:

1. Book an appointment through the scheduler (you can always walk in with questions but we need to set aside a dedicated time to discuss your plans)

2.  I am working on a short questionnaire that will help me get useful information about you. Once I send this out, please fill it out and return it to me, it will save time during our meetings to actually discuss your questions and concerns

3. Start (if you haven’t already), making a list of schools you are interested in. This does not need to be final, but we need a starting point. If you have no idea, think about majors, locations, types of universities you may be interested in and we can work from there.

4. Attend College Night in May- this date will be released in the next newsletter

5. Let me know if you have any questions or trouble booking a time.

AP Exam Registration is CLOSED – stay tuned!

If you registered for the AP exams you will get a confirmation this week. Registration is now closed. If you did not get an AP Bulletin booklet yet, and would like one please stop by my office to pick one up. It tells you what to expect on test day. After the confirmations, as we approach test dates in May, I will confirm rooms and schedule information for you as well.

Morning Meeting for Parents – April 12 at 8:30AM

Figuring Out the True Cost of College: Parents, please join me on April 12th to discuss financing the college degree. We will discuss the costs associated with US, UK and Canadian schools as well as the differences between financial aid and scholarships. I will be working on a powerpoint presentation to share this morning as well. I hope you can join me!


Gala and Counseling Auction Item

The annual Gala is quickly approaching and I wanted to let you know that this year the University Counseling Office will be participating!


The University Counseling Office is proud to offer a one-on-one day with your university counselor. In the DC area you will select two universities to visit together and have lunch on one of the campuses. 

You will choose two of the following universities for this Day: 
American University 
Catholic University 
George Mason University 
George Washington University 
Georgetown University 
Howard University 
Johns Hopkins University 
University of Maryland 

You are welcome to bring your parents/ family if you choose; it’s your day! 

The University Counselor will accompany you on the official visits and tours and will point out things to look for, how to get the most from campus visits, what types of questions to ask, and more. 

Transportation will depend on the location of the schools you choose (Metro, Uber, etc). 

The day is valid for one year following the Gala - until April 30, 2018. The visit day must be schedule during a scheduled day off from school (Spring Break, Summer Break, Fall Break, Winter Holidays, other days off). 

Two of these packages are available and this package will be offered to the TWO highest bidders. Each winner will have his/her own day and will not be sharing with the other winner. Please click here for details:


I will be attending the Gala and hope to see many of you there! This is a “bid now” item, so you can still bid on it if you are unable to attend. Please let me know if you have any questions about the visit package.


The Gala website is here:


Out of the Office in April

I will be out of the office visiting universities for counselor programs on April 3rd and 4th in Philadelphia. If you foresee needing me on either day, please be sure to come in the week before. I will return on April 5th.



Posted by Ms. Ashley Cole on Wednesday May 10, 2017
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Ms. Parliman's Departure & New Counselor, PSAT 10, AP....

In this post:

  • Ms. Parliman's Departure and New Counselor
  • PSAT 10 Registration Now Open - Deadline: March 2
  • AP Exam Registration Now Open - Deadline: March 16
  • Reminder: Test Prep Course - Deadline: This Friday
  • Opportunity to Try Revolution Prep for Free
  • Expectations for Premières

Ms. Parliman's Departure and New Counselor
It is with mixed feelings that I have resigned from my position as University Counselor. My husband and I have decided to relocate to California, where I have accepted a new counseling role. My last day will be this Friday, February 17. I have enjoyed my time at Rochambeau and the relationships I've built with many of you.

I am leaving you in the very capable hands of the new counselor, Ashley Cole. Her first day is this Wednesday, February 15. During my last few days here, I will be working with Ashley and getting her “up to speed” on everything she needs to know. I had the pleasure of working with Ashley in the admissions office at American University, where she spent ten years.

At AU, Ashley managed one of the largest recruitment territories (New York City boroughs and suburbs) and also recruited in Canada. She managed and supported initiatives including: managing and training application readers; revamping multicultural, diversity, and first-generation recruitment strategies; and building relationships with hundreds of universities, high schools, and community based organizations. Prior to working AU, she worked for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education as Admissions Counselor.

Ashley is currently writing her dissertation to earn her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Northeastern University in Boston. She has a BS in Criminal Justice and MS in Law and Public Policy. She has presented at conferences in both the US and Europe. She is currently the chair of the Youth Leadership Member Interest Group within the International Leadership Association and serves on the planning committee for its annual conference in Brussels this fall.

Here is a personal “hello” from Ashley: “I'm thrilled to be joining the Rochambeau community and am looking forward to meeting all of the wonderful families and students who will be visiting me as I transition into the University Counselor position. I understand the issues facing higher education, and the ins and outs of the college admissions process. I promise to serve as a strong advocate on your behalf to support, inspire, and guide your intellectual, social, and emotional growth as you find the best college or university for you. Please stop by to introduce yourselves; my door will always be open to you. I am so honored to be joining Rochambeau!”

Ashley’s email is After the February break please feel free to get in touch with her. I know you’ll love working with Ashley, as I did.

PSAT 10 Registration Now Open - Deadline: March 2
The PSAT 10 will be offered at the school on Thursday, March 9th, 2017, starting at 8:30am sharp and ending about 12:00-12:30pm.

What is the PSAT 10?
The PSAT 10 is a practice exam for the College Board’s SAT, specifically offered to secondes (or 10th grade, in the US system). The PSAT measures verbal, mathematical, and writing abilities important to success in university. You will receive a score report and information on how you can improve your scores. The PSAT helps predict performance on the SAT, but it is not used in US university admission. PSAT scores will be sent only to the student and to Rochambeau.

Why should I take it?
Nearly all US universities, and some international universities, require the SAT or ACT for admission. This test is practice for taking the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2017. It also helps prepare you to eventually take the SAT later in première. The more familiar you are with the test format, and the more practice you have, the better prepared you’ll be for the SAT.

What does the test look like?
The actual testing time is 2 hours and 45 minutes, plus 10 minutes for breaks and up to an hour to distribute materials and fill out personal information in test booklets. There are sections on the test for math, reading, writing, and language.

How can I prepare?

How do I register?
Submit the registration form and a check by March 2.

AP Exam Registration Now Open - Deadline: March 16
Advanced Placement exams are given at the school in the first two weeks of May.

Why should I take it?
Obtaining high scores on AP tests can sometimes allow students to receive university credit (in US universities), and can sometimes give students a boost in the admissions process in the US and UK. Advanced Placement exams are constructed to demonstrate a student’s abilities and knowledge in a subject. They are difficult, comprehensive tests, somewhat similar to Baccalauréat final exams. A good score can showcase your knowledge in an area.
Who should take it?
Students usually take these tests in seconde or première. We recommend that anyone planning to apply to US universities consider taking the AP French Language and Culture exam. For those who speak, read, and write another language fluently, also consider taking the AP test in that language. There are AP language exams in German, Italian, Spanish, etc. Be aware that the AP English exams involve significant amounts of reading and composition and are at a higher level than the other language exams.
What does the test look like? How should I prepare?

Use these resources to learn about the AP exams before submitting a registration form. For non-language subjects, be sure you are confident about the exam content before registering for a test.

Change from last year: In the past, students taking foreign language exams had to bring their own tape recorder to record answers on the speaking section of the test. This year, students will record their answers on school-issued computers.
How do I register?
Submit the registration form and a check by March 16.

Reminder: Test Prep Course - Deadline: This Friday
Introduction to Standardized Test Mathematics, Vocabulary, and Grammar
Who: Students in troisième and seconde
What: Four-week course introducing students to American-style standardized tests, taught by an instructor from PrepMatters
Where: In the lycée on the Forest Road campus
Dates: Mondays, March 6 to March 27
Time: 5:45pm to 7:15pm
Cost: $150
Registration deadline: February 17, 2017
  • Teaches test-taking skills appropriate to the PSAT, SAT, and ACT
  • Emphasizes English and math vocabulary, formulae and problem types, P/SAT vocabulary, and standardized test grammar
  • Test-taking strategies include math methods, strategies for multiple choice and short passages, and time management

Submit the registration form if interested. We must have 15 registered students in order for PrepMatters to hold the course.

Opportunity to Try Revolution Prep for Free
As shown above, this school year we have continued to partner with PrepMatters to hold optional test prep courses at Rochambeau. Every year, we receive many parent inquiries on the subject of private tutoring and SAT/ACT preparation. We also receive several requests from tutoring and test preparation companies that are eager to promote their services. While we tend to shy away from recommendations, another tutoring company is offering a great resource to our families that we wanted to advertise.
Revolution Prep is offering every Rochambeau student four hours of tutoring in any subject or test prep, no purchase necessary. Tutoring hours may be used anytime. Please see the attached flyer for more information, and let us know about your experience. To redeem: by February 28, 2017, families must contact our Revolution Prep Academic Advisor liaison: Giulia Rinaldis Hollister, 717-689-4918.

Expectations for Premières
By the end of the school year, you should:
  • Research and begin to narrow down a list of universities you will apply to. Visit as many campuses as possible and ask lots of questions. See the Resources section of the College Counseling page for ideas on how to find universities that match your interests
  • Plan and register for SAT/ACT, SAT Subject Tests, TOEFL/IELTS, and any other tests you may need for admission
  • Ask two teachers to write recommendation letters for you (for US or UK applications)
  • Contact Ms. Cole for an initial meeting to discuss your college plans and goals, or a follow-up meeting if you have further questions after meeting with Ms. Parliman this winter

Students are expected to have an intentional, thought-through list of colleges and universities to turn in by the end of September of terminale. It takes time for us to compile all your documents, so we expect families to adhere to the Rochambeau University Counseling deadlines.

Best wishes for the rest of the school year and beyond! It’s been a pleasure to work with you.

-Ms. Parliman

Posted by on Monday February 13, 2017
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University Visits, Community Service, Première Planning, etc.

In this post:

  • University Visit: Florida Institute of Technology - February 6
  • University of Edinburgh - Information Session - March 5
  • Follow-up from Morning Meeting on Community Service
  • Premières: Planning for College
  • Reminder: Test Prep Course - Registration Open
  • Terminales: Second Trimester Grades
  • Summer Volunteer Program Opportunity

University Visit: Florida Institute of Technology - February 6
A representative from FIT will visit Rochambeau. Students are invited to come meet with her to learn about the institution.

Date: Monday, February 6
Time: 12:30pm
Location: Administration Building, La Grande Salle de Reunion (room 212, upstairs)

University of Edinburgh - Information Session - March 5
Enjoy an introduction to the University and city of Edinburgh, and information on academic structure, accommodation, student funding, visas, and the student experience. You’ll also hear from alumni and have the opportunity to ask questions. All prospective students are welcome, although these sessions are specifically designed for current applicants and offer-holders.

Date: Sunday, March 5
Time: 2:00 to 4:00pm
Location: National Cathedral School, Hearst Auditorium, 3612 Woodley Road NW,
Washington, DC 20016

Follow-up from Morning Meeting on Community Service
Thank you to the parents who joined the January 25 meeting on community service and extracurricular activities. Summary from the meeting.

Premières: Planning for College
Are you considering applying to US colleges in the fall? Most US universities require students to submit scores from either SAT or ACT, and sometimes SAT Subject Tests. The Standardized Test Information document includes a calendar of suggested testing dates.

Première students and families who have not yet met with me are encouraged to schedule an appointment to discuss a personalized college plan. Also see the timeline for current premières of items they should be thinking about starting in the spring.

Reminder: Test Prep Course - Registration Open
Introduction to Standardized Test Mathematics, Vocabulary, and Grammar
Who: Students in troisième and seconde
What: Four-week course introducing students to American-style standardized tests, taught by an instructor from PrepMatters
Where: In the lycée on the Forest Road campus
Dates: Mondays, March 6 to March 27
Time: 5:45pm to 7:15pm
Cost: $150
Registration deadline: February 17, 2017

  • Teaches test-taking skills appropriate to the PSAT, SAT, and ACT
  • Emphasizes English and math vocabulary, formulae and problem types, P/SAT vocabulary, and standardized test grammar
  • Test-taking strategies include math methods, strategies for multiple choice and short passages, and time management

Submit the registration form. We must have 15 registered students in order for PrepMatters to hold the course.

Terminales: Second Trimester Grades

As noted in the last newsletters, mid-year reports and transcripts have already been sent to US universities. That transcript includes your first-trimester grades and is usually sufficient. However, some universities may ask for second-trimester grades, too--particularly if you have been deferred from the early applicant pool, or if your grades are not as high as the university would like to see. If any of your institutions specifically contact you to request second trimester grades, you must let Mme. Bessaha and/or Ms. Parliman know.  

Summer Volunteer Program Opportunity
The WAMU 88.5 Summer of Service volunteer program gives rising or graduating terminales the unique opportunity to work behind the scenes with WAMU staff in the fast-paced and exciting world of public radio. Participants will gain job skills and increase their knowledge of public broadcasting. Two openings are available for Digital Media Producer, producing multimedia stories. This is a great opportunity for students interested in broadcasting or journalism.

Program runs June 23 to August 5, with four days of service per week, 20 hours per week total.
Application deadline: March 31

Posted by on Monday January 30, 2017
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Mid-Year Grades, University Activities, and More

In this post:

  • Terminales: Mid-Year Grades
  • Terminales: UC Application Verification
  • Test Prep Course - Registration Open
  • University of Warwick - Visit to Rochambeau and Meetings with Representative
  • Canadian University Mini Fair - January 24
  • Morning Meeting for Parents - January 25
  • Premières: Meetings with Ms. Parliman
  • USA Gap Year Fair - February 8
  • Princeton Prize in Race Relations - Application due January 31
  • New Process for Requesting Accommodations for College Board Tests (SAT, AP, etc.)
  • Summer Programs

Terminales: Mid-Year Grades
Most US universities require a “mid-year report” as part of the application. Counseling sends this report along with an updated transcript that includes your first-trimester grades. The report is very basic and simply asks whether there have been any notable changes since the initial transcript (change in course load, for example). Universities want to make sure you are still doing well in your courses, and that you are maintaining the same level of academic achievement that you showed in your application. Remember, it’s important to keep your grades up through the end of the school year! Also be sure to check your application status with each university to ensure they have received all your required documents. Some institutions will send emails to students about incomplete files and needed items, but not all institutions do this. Check each university’s “applicant portal,” or call the admissions office.

Terminales: UC Application Verification
Some students who applied to University of California campuses were randomly selected to verify information in their application. Those selected were notified by UC by the end of December. The deadline to respond is January 31st. Failure to respond to the request by the deadline will result in cancellation of the application, so be sure to respond to any requests from universities.

Test Prep Course - Registration Open
Introduction to Standardized Test Mathematics, Vocabulary, and Grammar
Who: Students in troisième and seconde
What: Four-week course introducing students to American-style standardized tests, taught by an instructor from PrepMatters
Where: In the lycée on the Forest Road campus
Dates: Mondays, March 6 to March 27
Time: 5:45pm to 7:15pm
Cost: $150
Registration deadline: February 17, 2017

  • Teaches test-taking skills appropriate to the PSAT, SAT, and ACT
  • Emphasizes English and math vocabulary, formulae and problem types, P/SAT vocabulary, and standardized test grammar
  • Test-taking strategies include math methods, strategies for multiple choice and short passages, and time management

Submit the registration form. We must have 15 registered students in order for PrepMatters to hold the course.
University of Warwick - Visit to Rochambeau and Meetings with Representative
Ms. Gemma Barber, School Liaison Officer at the University of Warwick, will visit Rochambeau. Students are invited to come meet with her to learn about the institution.
Date: Thursday, January 26th
Time: 12:45pm
Location: Administration Building, La Grande Salle de Reunion (room 212, upstairs)

Ms. Barber is also offering individual counseling appointments with students off-campus.
Date: Friday, January 27th
Time: Evening appointments available between 5pm and 8pm
Location: Lobby of the Dupont Circle Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC
Contact Ms. Barber to arrange an appointment.

Canadian University Mini Fair - January 24
Concordia, Bishop’s, Queen’s, and Guelph
Tuesday, January 24th
6:00 to 7:30pm
Several excellent Canadian universities will visit Rochambeau. Students and parents are invited to learn more about these institutions. Meet the admissions representatives, collect informational materials, and ask questions.

Morning Meeting for Parents - January 25
The next meeting for parents wishing to learn more about non-French university admissions is Wednesday, January 25 at 8:30am in the large conference room, administration building (room 212). Topic: community service and extracurricular activities. Richard Tripp, Dean of Students, will join me in leading this discussion.

Mark your calendar for future meetings:
March 10 (FRIDAY): Tailoring your college search to you
April 12: What is the actual cost of college?
May 17: Teacher recommendation letters (topic previously discussed in March 2016)

Premières: Meetings with Ms. Parliman
This spring, I would like to have an individual, personalized meeting with families of all students currently in première. Because every student has different needs and varying levels of knowledge about the college process, it is important for us to meet in person (if we haven’t already) to answer any questions or concerns and for me to get to know students better. I’m happy to meet with students and parents either together or separately. Please email me to arrange a time to meet in my office.

USA Gap Year Fair - February 8
Learn about skills-based gap year, semester, and summer programs.
Date: Wednesday, February 8th
Time: 6:00 to 8:30pm
Location: Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Drive, Rockville, MD

Princeton Prize in Race Relations - Application due January 31
Students in grades troisième through terminale may apply for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. The program recognizes and rewards students who have had a significant positive effect on race relations in their schools or communities through their volunteer efforts. Recipients have stood up to intolerance, worked towards greater inclusivity, and encouraged understanding and harmony in their communities.

The application process is two-part: one part to be completed by the student, and one by a sponsor (a teacher, advisor, community or religious leader, or other responsible adult, who is not related to you, and who oversaw your project or who has directly witnessed your project's outcome). Both parts are due by January 31. More information.

New Process for Requesting Accommodations for College Board Tests (SAT, AP, etc.)
Does your student have a learning difference, receive extra time during school tests, or have another special circumstance? I serve as the school's "SSD" (Services for Students with Disabilities) coordinator and work with families whose students need accommodations for College Board exams (PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, AP). Accommodations could include extra time, testing in a separate room from other students, extra breaks, etc.

The College Board has recently streamlined the request process. In most cases, if your student already has a “personalized education/support plan” in place at Rochambeau, you will not have to provide extra documentation when requesting accommodations. Families notify me of the need to make a request, I work with them to gather any necessary documentation, and I submit a request to the College Board.

If your student may need to take any College Board tests, please contact me to start the request process as soon as possible.

Summer Programs
As you start to think about college, you might consider completing a summer college program. Some programs give the opportunity to earn college credit (which can be transferred and applied to your university of choice). Living on a college campus for a few weeks is a great way to get a feel for what college will be like.

See this list of some program options, although it is by no means exhaustive. Also see this list by FastWeb, a resource for researching colleges and scholarships.

If you don’t have the time or means to complete a summer college program, don’t worry-- such programs are just an option. Many students travel, babysit, do community service, or work at a part-time job instead. All of these activities are viewed as valuable and meaningful by university admissions officers. The most important thing is to stay busy and productive over your summers.

Posted by Emily Parliman on Tuesday January 17, 2017
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Welcome Back

In this post:
  • Tomorrow: Review Session for Mock PSAT/SAT
  • Canadian University Mini Fair
  • USA Gap Year Fair

Review Session for Mock PSAT/SAT, and Score Reports Available
Tomorrow, January 4, Aaron Golumbfskie from PrepMatters will come to Rochambeau to hold a review session for the mock tests. He will talk to students about how to understand the score reports, overall trends in scores, and the structure of the tests. Students who have already picked up their scores should bring their score report with them, as Aaron will refer to particular questions to help you understand how the test works and how you can prepare to do your best on the real test. Each session will last about 45 minutes. Teachers will accompany students to the auditorium.

Troisème: 11:30am
Première: 12:30pm
Seconde: 1:30pm

All score reports and test booklets can be picked up at the vie scolaire front desk (in the College for troisièmes, and the Lycée for secondes’ and premières’). These results are from the mock PSATs and SATs (which everyone took on November 10-11) and the PSAT (which some secondes and premières took on October 19). All score reports should be picked up by the end of the day on Thursday, January 19. After that date, scores will still be available upon request; but paper reports/booklets will not.

Canadian University Mini Fair
Concordia, Bishop’s, Queen’s, and Guelph
Tuesday, January 24th
6:00 to 7:30pm

Several excellent Canadian universities will visit Rochambeau. Students and parents are invited to learn more about these institutions. Meet the admissions representatives, collect informational materials, and ask questions.

USA Gap Year Fair
Learn about skills-based gap year, semester, and summer programs.
Wednesday, February 8th
6:00 to 8:30pm
Location: Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Drive, Rockville, MD
Register online

Posted by on Tuesday January 3, 2017
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Winter Break is Around the Corner!

In this post:

  • Winter Break
  • PSAT (October) and Mock PSAT/SAT (November) Score Reports Available
  • Parents’ Morning Meeting This Wednesday
  • Canadian University Mini Fair
  • SAT & ACT Registration
  • Terminales: Last-Minute Application Tips and Reminders

Winter Break
Following the students’ schedule, I will be on winter break from December 17th through January 2nd. Mme. Bessaha will be away starting December 23rd. We will return to the office on Tuesday, January 3rd. If you have any lingering questions, please take this opportunity to contact me before the break.

PSAT (October) and Mock PSAT/SAT (November) Score Reports Available
All score reports and test booklets can now be picked up at the vie scolaire front desk. Troisièmes can pick up their mock PSAT reports in the College. Secondes’ and premières’ PSAT/mock SAT reports are in the Lycée. These results are from the mock PSATs and SATs (which all students in troisième, seconde, and première took on November 10 and 11) and the PSAT (which some seconde and première students took on October 19).

All score reports and test booklets should be picked up by the end of the day on Thursday, January 19. After that date, scores will still be available upon request; but paper reports/booklets will not. For mock tests, I have a record of the scores. For PSAT/NMSQT, students can set up a free College Board account at any time to access their score report.

Parents’ Morning Meeting This Wednesday
Please join me this Wednesday, December 14th, to discuss standardized testing. Meeting time is 8:30am in the large conference room, administration building (room 212). We will talk about the various tests required for university admission, particularly in the US: SAT, ACT, subject tests, etc.

Please also mark your calendar for the next meeting: Wednesday, January 25 at 8:30am in the large conference room, administration building (room 212). Topic: community service and extracurricular activities. Richard Tripp, Dean of Students, will join me in leading this discussion.

Canadian University Mini Fair
Tuesday, January 24th
6:00 to 7:30pm

Concordia and several other Canadian universities (to be determined) will visit Rochambeau. Students and parents are invited to learn more about these institutions. Meet the admissions representatives, collect informational materials, and ask questions.

SAT & ACT Registration
Both SAT & ACT are offered multiple times throughout the school year. The next opportunity to take the SAT is January 21st, registration deadline December 21st. The next ACT is February 11th, registration deadline January 13th. Many students take their first SAT/ACT in the winter of première. Remember, students can take free weekend practice tests at PrepMatters in Bethesda.

Terminales: Last-Minute Application Tips and Reminders

  • Paying the application fee is not the same thing as submitting the application. Be sure to click “submit” for each school, and to submit any required writing supplements. In Common Application, before you submit each application you’ll have an opportunity to save a PDF of your application.
  • Prevent panic due to technical problems. Don’t wait until the evening of the deadline to submit your application!
  • Any remaining teachers’ recommendations completed after today will be sent to universities after we return to school. It is students’ responsibility to follow up with any teachers whose letters are still needed.
  • Check your application status with each university to ensure they have received all your required documents. Most universities have an online portal where you can see your status. Some universities email notifications to students if their files are incomplete, but some don’t. So, make sure to check frequently.
  • You must request to have official scores (SAT/ACT, TOEFL/IELTS, etc.) sent from the testing agency to each university, if applicable. Self-reporting your scores on an application is not sufficient.
  • Lastly, if you’ve heard positive news from any of your universities, please let me know.
Posted by on Tuesday December 13, 2016
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Test Scores, Morning Meetings, & Terminale News

In this post:
  • Parents’ Morning Meeting
  • Mock Test Scores Available
  • PSAT Scores Available December 12
  • Terminales: Importance of Terminale Grades
  • Terminales: Canadian University Applications
  • Terminales: Recommendation Letters
  • Terminales: Upcoming Deadline for UK Applications
Parents’ Morning Meeting
The next college counseling informational meeting will be Wednesday, December 14 at 8:30am in the large conference room, administration building (room 212). Topic: Standardized testing information (this topic was last covered in January 2016). We will discuss the various tests required for university admission, particularly in the US: SAT, ACT, subject tests, etc.
Mock Test Scores Available
Students can stop by my office to pick up their test booklet and score report from the mock PSATs and SATs that students in troisième, seconde, and première took in school on November 10 and 11. The score report shows which questions students answered correctly or incorrectly, and they can refer to the test booklet to review each question.
PSAT Scores Available December 12
For students who took the PSAT/NMSQT in school in October:
On December 12, students who provided their email address on their PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet will receive an email reminder from the College Board explaining where and how to view their scores. Students can set up a free College Board account at any time.
Importance of Terminale Grades
Some students have already received offers-- congratulations to those who have! Please let me know whenever you receive admission decisions. I know it can be tempting to stop working hard in school once you’ve received admission offers. However, keep in mind that your terminale grades are important.
The full-year terminale grades will be sent to the US university at which you enroll, after school ends in June. It is a requirement of admission that the university receives your final grades. They'll check to see that your grades are around the same level as the grades on which you were admitted. Universities outline this in their offer letters-- they'll state in the conditions that they expect you to maintain the same level of academic achievement that you showed in your application. Universities reserve the right to rescind admission offers if students' grades drop significantly.
For UK and Canadian university, typically the conditions are that you achieve certain scores on the Bac. Each university will specify its conditions in its offer; for example, "At least 14 overall on the Bac, with at least 15 in maths and science." The conditions are different for every student and depend on the degree program. For a student applying to a science program, for instance, the university would likely require a high score in science on the Bac.
So, regardless of which country you eventually choose for university, it's important to keep working hard throughout terminale.
Canadian University Applications
We mail official copies of your bulletins to each Canadian university before its deadline. However, you should still follow the instructions each school lists in its admission requirements. Many Canadian universities, like McGill, ask students to upload copies of or self-report their own grades into the university's application system in order for the application to be considered complete. You should use the bulletins, in this case-- not the Americanized transcript. Universities will specify how they want to receive the grades and which years/grades should be included.
Recommendation Letters
By now, we should have received two teachers’ letters of recommendation if you are applying to US or UK universities. If your teachers have not yet submitted their letter, please follow up and ask them to do so as soon as possible.
Upcoming Deadline for UK Applications
December 15: Deadline to submit your part of the UCAS application
Posted by on Monday December 5, 2016
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Terminales: UC Berkeley Information

For terminale students who have applied to University of California Berkeley: Please note that the institution may email you to invite you to provide recommendation letters.

The UC institutions base their decisions primarily on the information students self-report in their application. The UC policy is that students and schools must not send any documents unless and until UC requests them. Berkeley just started soliciting recommendation letters last year. Berkeley does not work with Naviance, and Berkeley will not accept documents from us in the same way that we usually send items to your other institutions. If you're requested to submit recommendation letters, you'll need to ask your teachers to go through the UC website using the instructions Berkeley provides to you.

The takeaway is that recommendation letters are not required, but if you are invited to submit letters then it would be in your best interest to do so. Please see the below communications for more information, and let me know if you have any questions.

Sample email you MAY receive from Berkeley
Thank you for applying to UC Berkeley.  After initial review of your application we would like to invite you to submit letters of recommendation to add to your admission application.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • This is optional and not required.  If you decide not to submit letters of recommendation as part of your application, we will continue to evaluate your file with the information you provided in your UC Application.
  • You have the option of submitting up to two letters of recommendation.  One letter must be from an academic teacher.
  • The deadline for your recommenders to electronically submit their letters of recommendation to UC Berkeley is January 15, 2017.
  • Important tip: To be certain that your recommenders have enough time to respond, initiate the request in the next five days. Visit our website for tips on how to ask teachers and counselors to support you with a letter of recommendation.

Please note that UC Berkeley is not part of the Naviance system; please ensure that your recommenders submit your UC Berkeley letters through Berkeley's online recommendation system. To enter your recommenders information and request letters, please visit the Recommendation Request page.

Information from Berkeley about recommendation letters
As you may know, UC Berkeley is again requesting letters of recommendation from some, but not all, freshmen applicants. Like last year, we are making a letter request when our application readers would like to see additional information. Three important distinctions remain: 1) the letter is optional, 2) students may only submit two letters each, and 3) while the student can choose the letter writer, Berkeley faculty policy prefers that one letter come from a teacher or academic contact.  

Results from last year’s letter process are below. Every year’s applicants are unique so these numbers may be used as a point of reference, but shouldn't be used to predict outcomes for the 2016-17 pool.  
In the 2015-16 application cycle, UC Berkeley:

- requested letters from 31,842 applicants, 38% of the total freshman applicant pool,
- observed 27,092 applicants (of the 31,842) requesting letters from recommenders; 85% of those offered the opportunity,
- received and reviewed 48,953 letters from 26,603 students, representing a response rate of 93% (of the 27,092).


- admitted over 4,800 students without the need for a letter or additional information in the form of a letter of recommendation,
- admitted almost 8,800 students who were offered the opportunity to submit a letter and, as a result, submitted one or two letters,
- admitted 800 students who were offered the opportunity to submit a letter, but chose not to send the optional letter.

The deadline for letter submission is January 15th. Letter requests will be issued daily as we continue to read applications, but our final requests will be delivered to students on December 16th.

Posted by on Thursday December 1, 2016 at 12:13PM
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Forest Rd Campus
Elementary • Secondary • Administrative Offices
9600 Forest Rd Bethesda, MD 20814
3200 Woodbine St Chevy Chase, MD 20815
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Maternelle • Preschool
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