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I'm in 8th grade Math I this year, so why did my counselor register me for Math I NEXT year too?

Math I is foundational to the other higher level common core math class. Just like in construction, it is pertinent that the foundation is solid before building on it. We look at your grades, and the recommendation from your Math I teacher to find the best placement for you as a freshman. If you question your placement, you may always come see your counselor for further clarification. 

After registering with my high school counselor, I think I want to change my classes for next year. How and when can I do this?

Counselors schedule a week during the spring for students to fill out a course change request form. There will be a drop box located in the counseling office to submit the form and a deadline will be announced. These dates are advertised online, in the counseling offices, and in the daily announcements during the spring.

I'm new to the school. How do I know what Math class is right for me at CdM?

Your counselor will look at your current Math placement and grades to determine the best class for you. If there are any questions as to the correct placement, you may take a Math placement test.

How can I get into Honors classes?

Different Honors and AP classes have different requirements, which are posted on the school's website. Since we look to your current classes for the following year's placement, it is important that you know these requirements ahead of time. Then, you can work to achieve the grades and scores which are required. If you are unsure if you qualify for a specific class, please see our course offerings sheet on the home page for the prerequisites. 

If I don't take Honors classes now, can I take Honors and AP classes later?

Yes. Each year, every student has the same chance to get into the advanced courses offered for their grade level. If you don't get into a class one year, don't give up!

Can I get into college without Honors or AP classes?

You sure can. There is a college route for everyone! Acceptance to many schools can be very competitive, making advanced classes important for getting into some schools. In addition, colleges want to see that a student is willing to work hard and take an academic challenge. However, you can get to college without advanced classes. If you think you will perform better in a college prep class, don't feel pressured to take the Honors/AP class. When considering which is best for you, talk with your teachers (who know your work best) and your counselor. And remember, staying sane is just as important to your future as getting into college.

Are colleges looking at the freshman year?

Yes, and no. The UC/CSU schools (all public CA universities) DO look at what classes you took, but they DO NOT calculate your freshman year grades into your GPA. However, many other colleges do calculate the freshman year grades and classes. Doing your best work all 4 years of high school is best practice.

Which colleges need letters of recommendation?

Most private colleges and many out of state colleges require letters of recommendation. It is important to check with each individual school for their application requirements.

If you do need letters of recommendation make sure you give the recommender at LEAST four weeks to complete and mail the letter. If the school requires a counselor recommendation, please complete the letter of recommendation packet found on our website.

How many hours of community service do I need to graduate?

Students need 40 hours of community service to graduate. Students that joined CdM after their freshman year, can figure 10 hours for every year (5 hours/semester) in which they were enrolled. Visit the Student Resource Center or counseling office for questions regarding community service.

How do I find out about community service opportunities?

Monthly community service opportunities are posted in the counseling office, in the Student Resource Office, and on our website.

If I take an AP class, do I have to take the AP exam?

Taking the AP test is strongly recommended for students enrolled in the AP class.

I hear that Honors and AP classes boost your GPA. How does this work?

All of the AP classes receive a 1. 0 boost to your grade. That means if you earn an 'A' in your AP class, you would get 5 points for that grade (an 'A' is normally worth 4). Those points are what we use when we calculate your GPA. A couple of the UPPER-LEVEL Honors classes receive a . 5 boost (your 'A' would be 4. 5 points). Refer to the course offerings sheet (which can be found on our website) to find out which Honors classes receive this boost.

How many Honors and/or AP classes should I take?

That depends on your ability, your other time commitments/activities, your interests, and your goals. Take the classes in which you excel and have an interest. Balancing your life so you can enjoy high school is important!

If I sign up for an Honors or AP class, can I drop it if it is too difficult?

No. Administrators create classes and sections according to initial enrollment. If you are having difficulty in a class, seek assistance from your teacher immediately. Be sure to let your parents know as well. There are many ways to get extra help, but the best practice is to choose your classes wisely right from the start.

What is the difference between College Prep, Honors and AP classes?

The responsibilities, work load, time commitment, and pace get increasingly more difficult. Talk with the teachers of each class/level to find the specific expectations for the class you are considering. You can also refer to the courses link on the counseling website for more information.

How do I participate in sports?

To participate in any sport at CdM, you must have (and maintain) at least a 2. 0 GPA. You may contact the Athletic Department at (949) 515-6008 to find out about try-outs, mandatory informational meetings, mandatory physicals, practices, and athletic schedules. Coaches are also a great source for athletic information.

Which sports are tryout sports, and how do I find out about tryouts?

The CdM course offering sheet lists each sport under the 'P. E.' section (see the course offering section on our website). This sheet marks the try-out sports accordingly. The athletic office can assist you best when considering trying out for sports.

Do I need to be involved in a summer program if I want to play a sport during the year?

Participating in the athletic summer programs (if your sport has one) is strongly advised. This allows the coach to see your abilities and potential. However, if you need a summer class in order to graduate, summer school comes first.

Does my sport count as PE credit?

Yes, in high school.

What is Independent PE, and how do I qualify for it?

Independent PE allows you a period to participate in your sport off campus, while still gaining credit from CdM. You must be nationally ranked in a sport to qualify for Independent PE. You must see the high school Assistant Principal for request forms and approval for Independent PE.

If I qualify for Independent PE, how do I register for it?

You must fill out a request form, and get your request approved by the High School Assistant Principal. You must then see your counselor with a copy of your approved request form.

What should I do if I plan on playing Division I or II college sports?

Tell your counselor and sign up for the NCAA during your junior year. Also, make sure that you are meeting the admission requirements based on NCAA standards. You can learn more about these requirements from your counselor.

I need my easiest class to be 5th/6th period, because I play sports and regularly miss that class. Can you give me my easiest class during that period?

We would love to honor all student requests, but due to the large number of CdM students participating in sports, we cannot honor this request.

Do PE and sports get calculated in my GPA?

For all high school/college purposes, PE and sports grades are not calculated into your GPA. However, for junior high students, we do include PE and Elective grades into your GPA.

Is it better to take the SAT over the ACT?

The decision of which one to take may be determined by the admission criteria from the colleges to which you are applying. However, if the school doesn't specify which test they want, you can choose based on your preference. Although there is no hard science that proves that the ACT or the SAT is easier, you probably want to determine which test format is better suited to your strengths. Each test has different emphases and familiarity with their individual structures may help you sort out which is better suited to you. Your counselor can help you understand the format and emphasis of each test. The vast majority of students perform comparably on both tests.

Where can I find out more information about the SAT and ACT?

CollegeBoard is your best resource for information regarding the PSAT, SAT, and AP exams. For information regarding the ACT, check out the ACT website. Your counselor is also a great resource.

If I take an AP class, do I have to take the AP exam? Why would I want to take the test?

Yes, taking the AP test is a requirement for students enrolled in the AP class at CdM. In addition, some colleges will give you college credit for a passing score on the AP exam. Check with the colleges you are interested in attending to find out their practice with this.

What is PAMA?

The Performing Arts and Multi-media Academy is a small learning community focusing on the performing arts and multi-media. While the courses are tailored to PAMA students in terms of curriculum, range and depth of instruction, thematic content, and project-based learning, the program meets the California state standards.

Can I participate in sports if I do PAMA?

Technically, yes. However, the commitment to PAMA and a sport will be very time consuming, and at times conflicting. We recommend you speak with a PAMA advisor and the coach before committing to both.

Will I be prepared to go to college if I am in PAMA?

The PAMA 4-year plan is designed to prepare students for graduation and college admissions. If a PAMA student follows the recommended schedule (and passes his/her classes), he/she will have met the basic college admission requirements.

What is Adult Education, who can take it, and how can I apply?

Please see your counselor for more information.

Can I take a college class while I'm in high school? How do I do this?

Yes, see the counseling secretary for the appropriate approval form. Then, meet with your counselor for guidance and their required approval. If you plan on taking a class for graduation credit, you must get it PRE-APPROVED.

If a class that is offered at CdM is full, can I go take it somewhere else for graduation credit?

No. If  CdM offers a class, you may not take it outside of our district for graduation credit-it will not even show up on your transcript. However, if you don't need it for graduation, you may take it at a college to fulfill a college admissions requirement. You will need to get a separate transcript from the college. You will send the transcript on the colleges to which you apply. Always work with your counselor when taking classes outside of CdM.

If CdM does not offer a class that I really want to take, can I take it somewhere else and get graduation credit?

If a California accredited public college/university offers a class that is not offered in our school district, you may be able to take it for CdM credit (that means it goes on your CdM transcript, counts toward graduation credits, and is recognized by college admissions). However, you MUST get any outside classes PRE-APPROVED by your counselor and an administrator. See your counselor for the approval and paperwork before enrolling in the class.

What institutions can I take extra classes or make-up classes through and still get CdM credit?

CdM graduation credit is only offered for classes taken:

  • Within the NMUSD, including summer school and Adult Education
  • UC or CSU schools (with pre-approval)
  • Any accredited California community college (with pre-approval)
  • Outside private schools (with pre-approval, see your counselor for more information)

If I take a semester class at the community college, do I get a full year's credit on my CdM transcript?

No, district policy only allows for one semester's credit. However, colleges will give you one year of high school credit for a one semester college course.

What is on my high school transcript?

All the courses, grades, and credits you have earned in high school. It also shows your total GPA, and a high school graduation requirements chart. For assistance in understanding your transcript, see your counselor.

What is an 'official' transcript?

An official transcript is signed and stamped with the official CdM stamp, then sealed in an envelope. Official transcripts are used for college applications, college acceptance, scholarship opportunities, and the NCAA.

How can I get a copy of my transcript?

Please see "How to Print Your Unofficial Transcript" (below) for instructions to print your unofficial transcript. You may print it at home or at our Learning Resource Center (LRC) on campus. Unofficial transcripts will not be printed in the office.

Please go to our transcript requests page for instructions on requesting an official transcript. Per NMUSD policy, please allow up to 5 business days to process your transcript request.

Why do my 8th grade foreign language and math classes show up on my high school transcript?

Colleges and universities want to see high school level courses listed on your transcript even if you took them in middle school. No middle school grades will be used in calculating your high school GPA; it is just a record that you took the high school level course.

The video below is for incoming seniors only. During the video, counselors go over what is needed for the counselor college packets. This includes the documents you need, where to turn it in, and when the deadlines are. They also discuss teacher letters of recommendation. Please contact your counselor directly if you do not have your counselor's Google Classroom class code. 

Class of 2023 College Application Process Video

Your username email is your student ID # (example:

Click on sign in with Google, then click Next 

Your password is your network login ID used to get on the computers at school. If you do not know your network login ID, please see Mary Russell in the Learning Resource Center (LRC).   

  • Step #3: Click on the Grades tab, then click on Transcripts  
  • Step #4: Print your unofficial transcript   

It can be used for your teacher/counselor college packet or anything else requiring an unofficial transcript.

At CdM, counselors often answer questions about advanced classes, college and career preparation, hiring a college counselor, and how do we support students.  In lieu of the Coffee with Counselors event we had schedule with PTA in the Spring of 2020, we decided to record our answers to some of these "hot topics."  

Counselors answer FAQs, May 2020

The video refers to a project from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Turning the Tide and Turning the Tide 2. Here are links to those reports:

Turning the Tide (original, 2016)

Turning the Tide 2 (2019)

Turning the Tide Video