Juniors: Teacher Recommendation Information

Teacher Recommendation request period is May 18th – May 29th – early requests are not permitted

Juniors will be notified of teachers’ decisions by June 5th

Next year, most of you will prepare applications for colleges, technical schools, scholarships, jobs or military service.  In support of these applications the high school is often asked to provide written recommendations for you in addition to academic records.  Because these recommendations are often needed in the fall, before senior year teachers will know you well, you should ask teachers from your junior year to prepare recomemndations for you.  Teacher recommendations are kept in Naviance.  Recommendations will be forwarded with each application you submit.

YOU MAY BEGIN ASKING TEACHERS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS beginning Monday, May 18, through Friday, May 29.  This is not a first come, first served contest.  Teachers will consider all requests they get before May 29 to be on-time requests.  They will respond to you by Friday, June 5th.  

If you are uncertain as to whether a particular teacher would be a good choice for you, try asking whether s/he would be able to write a recommendation that would be helpful to your candidacy.  

Your responsibilities in this process are described below: 

  • Ask two teachers from different departments if they would be willing to write recommendations for you.   Select teachers who know you well (even if you did not earn your highest grades in their classes).  Junior-year teachers are much preferred by colleges.  
  • If your recommendations will be used for competitive college admission, it is generally recommended that they be written by academic teachers: typically, one from an English, social studies or foreign language teacher, and one from a math, science, or engineering teacher.  If you are applying to a specialized program (e.g. arts, exercise physiology, business, etc.),  it makes sense to request a third from a teacher who has worked with you in that area.
  • Do not ask for more than two academic recommendations (not including the exceptions listed above).  If we learn that you did, all teachers involved have the right to cancel any agreement they make with you.

Again, you may wish to ask for an additional recommendation from a teacher in the arts or physical education, etc. if you are thinking about entering one of those fields. 

To make a request, you must:

Email your teachers with  the subject line:  TEACHER RECOMMENDATION REQUEST (YOUR NAME)

  1. Email each teacher from whom you will be requesting a recommendation.  Use the subject line:  TEACHER RECOMMENDATION REQUEST (YOUR NAME).  Some teachers may require additional information.  Be sure to ask what else they may need from you before they will agree to write a letter.  Pay close attention to each teacher’s instructions and be sure to do what they expect by their deadline.

       If you feel nervous about what to write in the request email, ask a friend, a parent or guardian,  and/or your counselor for support. Attach the completed Student Recommendation Information Form to each Recommendation Request

  1. Student Recommendation Information Form:  Attach a completed copy of your Student Recommendation Information Form to each Recommendation Request.   Be thorough in your responses.  Teachers can write a better letter if they know more about you.  You will also want to email a copy to your Guidance Counselor.  Many teachers will require a meeting with students and/or written information beyond the student Information form.  Be sure you know what teachers will require of you before they write your recommendation.  If you do not fulfill teachers’ requirements, there may not be a recommendation when you need it!

       Check the appropriate spot FERPA Waiver at the top of the form

  1. Be sure to check the appropriate box on the Student Information Form to indicate whether or not you are reserving your rights to see your letter as per the FERPA Act of 1974:

“Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, a student may waive his or her right of access to letters and statements of recommendation received during the college application process which are used for admission and subsequent counseling purposes.”

A few colleges and universities have indicated that more credence is given to recommendations written when access rights have been waived; other institutions have indicated that they make no such distinction. Waiving or retaining your right of access is a personal decision, which should be made by each student and their family.  Note that some ARHS teachers require that students waive their rights of access.  

Have a Plan B for your teacher recommendation requests

  1. Be considerate with your requests.  The writing of student recommendations is a courtesy from your teachers and counselors.  Teachers may have a limit on the numbers of requests they accept so be sure to ask during the recommendation request week.  It may not always be possible to get your first choices.

        Enter your teacher recommendations in Naviance only AFTER a teacher has agreed to write for you

  1. After teachers agree to write for you, go into Naviance and under colleges/letters of recommendation, select your teachers from the dropdown list.  Naviance allows you to individualize recommendations by college.  Most of you will want both of your recommendations to go to all colleges.  Choose “all colleges” and amend it later if needed.  A Naviance request without an in-person conversation with a teacher is not a sufficient request.

      Make an appointment with you guidance counselor, or the college and career advisor for a school counselor recommendation

  1. Make an appointment to meet with your counselor this spring, if you intend to apply early, or next  fall. This should be at least three weeks before your first application is due, to discuss this recommendation.  All counselor recommendations are assumed to be confidential.  

  2. Open a Common Application account.  Write your user name and password in a secure and accessible place for future reference.  Then complete the Education section and the FERPA waiver section of the Common Application (you have to add one college or university to be able to complete this task.  The confidentiality status on your Recommendation Confidentiality Form and on your Common Application must match. 

  3. Then go to “Colleges/ Colleges I’m Applying to” in Naviance Family Connection and enter the e-mail address you use for the Common Application.  This will link your Common Application and Naviance so we can submit your transcript and recommendations.  

  4.  It will be your responsibility to see that your teachers upload your recommendations to Naviance in the fall.  Our internal deadlines for receiving teacher recommendations are Monday, October 19 for students with first deadlines on or before November 1, Monday, November 2 for students with first deadlines on or before November 15, and Monday, December 7 for students with first deadlines of January 1 or 15.   The guidance staff cannot “chase down” missing recommendations; that is your job.

Say thank you and remember to let your teachers know the decisions for the schools you applied to!

Your final task will be to extend your gratitude to your teachers and counselor for having taken the time to craft a letter on your behalf.  After you have made your college selection next year, write a thank you note.  Be sure to tell them about the choice you made.  

Attachments:
STUDENT RECOMMENDATION INFORMATION FORM.docx
student teacher recommendation packet CL2021 Final.pdf
Sincerely,
Your Friendly Neighborhood College and Career Counselor, Deidre Cuffee-Gray

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