Academic Alert: Steady Wins the Race – December 2016


2016-2017 Theme: Steady Wins the Race!
December 2016

PYO Parent Information:

  • There will be a DPS Early Release Day on Wednesday, December 7th.
  • There will be NO Parent Meeting on Monday, December 12th.
  • The holiday break for traditional schools starts on Thursday, December 22nd until Monday, January 2nd. School will resume Tuesday, January 3rd.  Please refer to the DPS calendars for year round and magnet schools.

All PYO Students:

  • Here are a few ideas to spend your time during the holiday break:
  • Clean out your closet and donate some clothing items you don’t wear anymore!
  • Reflect on the semester (try to answer these questions: What did I do well this past semester? What did I not do so well? What will I do differently for the next semester?).
  • Create some goals for the next semester…there are only two more marking periods before the school year is over!
  • Check out a documentary on YouTube or Netflix. 13th is an excellent documentary about the history and current state of mass incarceration.  It is done by Ava Duvernay (Selma).
  • Interview an elder in your family. Times during the holidays are so precious to spend with our loved ones so try to gain some knowledge about your family’s history form an elder like your grandmother/grandfather.
  • Volunteer at a local shelter like the Durham Rescue Mission or Urban Ministries. You and a couple of friends can go and decorate the children’s room in one of the shelters!
  • Read! Catch up on your favorite novel, magazine or blog!
  • Learn how to bake a simple “flavor of your choice” cake!
  • Apply for the scholarships due at the end of December and in January!
  • Write an actual letter to a friend or relative and mail it!
  • The quarter ends on Friday, January 20th. Over the holiday break, please make sure you are completing all necessary assignments (make up, etc.) to be turned in when you return.  If you need any assistance with homework, check out these websites:

8th Grade Information:

  • Please don’t forget if you would like to apply to a magnet high school, you need to see your counselor right away! The application period opens in January 2017!

Freshman Information:

  • Over the holiday break, start explore your interests as well as what post-secondary institutions you may want to apply to.

Sophomore Information:

  • Over the break, take a look at your transcript or your PowerSchool account. Look at your grade history and think about what other classes you need to graduate from high school.  Think about what Foreign Language you want to take and how you can use it in the future—you can take Spanish because most future jobs will require you to interact with a growing population of Spanish-speaking families, or you can take French because you may want to travel or work abroad!

Junior Information:

  • Hopefully you have created an account at so go on and practice for the ACT over the holiday break!

Senior Information:

  • Get those last applications in! Complete the FAFSA as soon as you can!
  • Scholarships!
  • HSF General College Scholarships sponsored by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Amount: Up to $5,000  Closing Date: March 30, 2017  Description: Scholarship is open to students of Hispanic descent who are graduating high school seniors, community colleges students, transfer students, college students, or graduate students.
  • AdmitSee $5,000 Scholarship sponsored by AdmitSee Amount: $5,000  Closing Date: December 15, 2016 Description: Scholarship is open to current high school and college students in the United States who are at least 13 years of age. Applicant must share what they feel is the most frustrating thing about applying to college.
  • Story of the Year Contest sponsored by Story Shares Amount: Up to $3,000  Closing Date: December 31, 2016  Description: Contest is open to legal residents of the United States and its territories and possessions. Contestant must submit a story between 1,000 and 10,000 words and designate the story under one of the following categories: Diversity, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Horror/Suspense, or Teens by Teens. The goal is to generate compelling and approachable contest for readers who are in middle school, high school, or older.
  • College Foundation of North Carolina Awards range from $150 to $1,700. The value will vary according to information generated from the student’s Pell Grant application.  Additional information about this program is available from the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) website. To apply, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Assistance League of the Triangle Area Award Amount:  $1,000 to $7,500 annually, non-renewable. Previous recipients may reapply.  Applications are available on the Assistance League of the Triangle Area website. In addition to a completed application, each student must submit the following materials: verification of high school.


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