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Friday, July 25, 2014
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High School Seniors- Senior Year Checklist

Senior Year Checklist

Prepared by Hope M. Garcia, Veteran Homeschooler and RGES Mom of many years

List was updated for 2010 (to give you an idea of how recent this info is)



Congratulations!  You persevered and made it to the end!  Now what do you do?  This checklist has been complied to help you think through the unique preparations that come with that last year of homeschool.


Here are the high points of your “Senior Year Checklist” regarding preparations you may want to make during your student’s senior year.  For your planning purposes, “Cost,” “When to Do,” and various resources and vendors have been listed as suggestions.


Please note:  You should contact the appropriate organization/vendor to verify all information, as requirements and costs may change from year to year.  Also:  the services and vendors suggested are not guaranteed endorsements, but have proved, in some families’ experiences, to work well.


 
Overview and Checklist
Put on your refrigerator!


 
___  Academic Testing/Documentation

___  GED

___  ACT

___  High School Transcript


___  Senior Pictures


___  RGES Yearbook

 

___  Yearbook Senior Page

 

___  13 pictures

___  Letter from Parents

___  Student Interview Questionnaire

 

___  Purchase Yearbook

 

___  Senior Recognition Ceremony (Preparation for “graduation ceremony”)

 

___  Cap and Gown

___  Diploma

___  Graduation Announcements

___  Senior Memorabilia

___  Letter from Parents—read during ceremony

___  Pictures for Giant Screen Projection—during ceremony

___  Senior Memory Board Display—after ceremony

 

___  Junior/Senior Seminar (“Junior/Senior Trip”)

Academic Testing/Documentation

 

·        GED

·        ACT

·        High School Transcript

 

Note:  If your student is attending a NM college, this info should work well for most college requirements.  Out-of-state colleges may have requirements that should begin to be prepared in the student’s junior year.  This checklist does not include the myriad of details for college applications and financial aid applications—contact colleges themselves for that.



GED


Cost:  $25 to $50, depending on test site

When to do:  Register in the Fall; take the test in the Spring (in late January, AFTER Spring semester classes at NM colleges actually begin—February should be the earliest, to be safe.  Explanation below, under “Lottery Scholarship”)


·        No State “Diplomas”
The State of New Mexico does NOT give out diplomas or any kind of accreditation for homeschool graduates, even if you have followed suggested guidelines of public school graduation requirements.  You will need to have your student take the GED for entry into most colleges, to qualify for the NM Lottery Scholarship, or to simply show that they have “graduated” from high school, even if they do not pursue higher education.


·        Where to Register
Some places to register and take the GED are:  CNM (Central New Mexico Community College), UNM and UNM-Valencia.  For complete information, additional test sites and costs, go to the Public Education Department website:  http://www.ped.state.nm.us/,

--->PED AZ Directory--->GED Testing Program---->Testing Centers


Register in the FALL, to take the test in the Spring, as testing slots fill up rapidly.  Again, be sure not to actually take the test until the SPRING (see next paragraph for VERY IMPORTANT info), as you do not want your student to be “officially graduated” until then, if you are using the Lottery Scholarship.

 

  •       New Mexico Lottery Scholarship Considerations


 

  •    When to take the GED


 

If you are attending a New Mexico state college (e.g. UNM, CNM, NMSU, NM Tech, etc.) and using the Lottery Scholarship (LS):

If your student TAKES the test in the FALL, he will be considered “graduated” at that time, and this means that he would be required to start attending college full-time in January, in order to qualify for and secure the Lottery Scholarship.

Again:  New Mexico high school graduates must begin attending college, full-time, the Fall or Spring semester (whichever comes first) immediately after “graduation” (which means after taking the GED), in order to guarantee the LS, or they will forever lose the LS.

This is why you do NOT want to take the GED until late January—more specifically, do not take it until AFTER classes at NM colleges begin their Spring semester.  Otherwise, it will still be considered being taken in the “Fall.”

THEREFORE:  It’s safest to take  the GED beginning in February, just to be sure.  (But remember to register for it in the Fall—slots fill up fast.)

 

 

  •      Special Note When Registering for Full-time College Courses (as a college student), after graduation:  if your student has been taking dual-enrollment college classes (at a college) while still a high school student:


 

  •      If they took a college class during their high school years and then register to take the same class again as a full-time college student (maybe for a better grade or for better understanding?), it will NOT count towards the LS minimum required hours that have to be taken every semester, in order to KEEP the LS—be careful!

    Talk carefully with the Financial Aid Office and Academic Advisors of your college, if this is the case!  Your student may need to sign up for an extra 3-credit hour class.
     


ACT (for College Admissions)


Cost:  $32 to $47 for Test, depending on which test you take

            Plus extra charge for tutorial preps, if you choose to purchase

When to do:  Register ASAP, in August; take the test in the Fall, and if needed, again in the Spring.

Most colleges require the ACT when applying for admission.  Go to

http://www.actstudent.org/regist/index.html  to register and get more information as to testing dates, locations, and purchasing optional preparation/test review materials.  You may want to take the test as early as possible, so that if your student needs to improve their scores (some do not do well on the first go-round), they can take it again.  For example:  a student may take the test in October and again in February (but of course, you have to pay twice).


Remember:  check with your potential colleges to see if they require this.  For example, CNM (Central New Mexico Community College) does not require the ACT or SAT.


High School Transcript


Cost:  varies from “no cost,” if you do it yourself, to the price of a “package” you purchase from a vendor.

When to do:  Summer before Senior Year, or Fall, so it is ready for college applications and financial aid applications


Many college admissions require a high school transcript (which covers courses taken in grades 9 through 12).  Check for all applicable requirements with the colleges to which your student is applying.

HOWEVER:  this may not be necessary for all.  For example, UNM does not require a homeschool transcript for admission, but it may be needed for some financial aid applications, if you apply for those.
 

But if you do want or need a transcript, there are guidelines or even formal packages you can find online or in Christian curricula catalogs to help you assemble one.


You may also want to create a list of extracurricular activities, organizations, accomplishments, etc. to accompany your transcript  (e.g. Science Fair honors, membership in an orchestra, music contests, spelling bee honors, Scouting honors, robotics contests, sports team participation, etc.)


For ideas on how to compile a transcript, go to:

http://www.homeschooldiploma.com ---->Information---->Diplomas and Transcripts

--->What About Transcripts.  Various recommended sites listed.



Senior Pictures


This “extra” can range from free amateur photographers (like your family or friends!), to studios.  Please remember that photos for the RGES Yearbook “senior page” are due around the end of January.


Some suggestions for photographers are as follow:
 

Benjamin Moore Photography:  email:  BEN-236@comcast.net, phone:  615-3089

Cost:  As a RGES alum and former homeschooler, Ben gives a deep discount to RGES students—33%, so a full two-hour session is only a $100 flat-fee, at a location that can be chosen by the customer.  This is especially affordable for those who desire to shoot at special locations.  Changes of clothing and use of props (musical instruments, sports equipment, etc.) are also allowed within this flat fee.


Parents receive a CD with all of the edited pictures, with full copyright permission at no extra charge (unlike most studios), so pictures may be duplicated on any media.

When to do:  Turn-around time is approximately two weeks.

Ben Moore is a professional photographer, currently attending UNM.  Ben offers studio-quality photography, without the studio price, with highly individualized service.  I have known Ben for many years, through RGES, and he is a person of integrity (and a great photographer!).  Check out samples of his work here:  www.BenjaminMoorePhotography.com

 

Arielei Sarah Photography:  Phone: (505) 690-3809, Email: vanilla267@msn.com  

Cost:  another RGES alum and former homeschooler, Arielei Kinzer tailors your photo shoot to your budget and needs, ranging from $100 to $200, depending on the number of outfits and locations (indoor, outdoor—any place that is special to you!)


Parents receive a DVD of all images, and the price includes full copyright permission, so photos may be reproduced in any media, any size, any quantity.

When to do:  turnaround time to edit all photos is generally two-to-three weeks, depending on the shoot.

Arielei is a professional photographer, who also does some work at a professional studio.  She is currently attending UNM.  Having known Arielei for some years, I know that she is a trustworthy person, and parents can rest assured that they are working with a Christian-values professional.
Sit back and enjoy the lovely slide show and peaceful background music of Arielei’s great work on her website:  www.ariefoto.com.

 

JC Penny’s Portrait Studio in Cottonwood Mall:  792-0224

Cost:  portrait packages start at $89 (but note the many discounts listed below)

Penny’s gives AAA (auto) members a 50% discount.  They also offer discounts of up to 50% at differing times of the year, so you may want to call to see when they are running specials, or check their website for coupons and more info:  www.jcpportraits.com.  (As a comparison “check:” some studios charge $50 or more for the sitting fee ALONE, not even counting the photographs you order.)

            Penny’s offers 30-minutes sessions, different backgrounds, allow changes of clothes, use of props, computer photo preview, mix & match different poses on your prints, special effects on prints, all at no extra charge.

When to do:  turn-around time is approximately two weeks after your photo session

 

One-of-A-Kind Photography (a division of Kim Jew Photography):  255-9680, 6901 Gruber Ave. NE, Abq. (near I-25 and Paseo del Norte)


Cost:  This is a simple school picture, but it is still a studio photo.  Packages vary in price, from about $12 to $45; payment due on picture-taking day

When to do:  Call in early August to find out when they will begin taking appointments for RGES-assigned days; pictures are taken in Fall and available in November.  Make-up days are usually first week in December.

Please note:  this is the “head shot” only, regular-type school picture that they offer to all homeschoolers every year—it’s not a “senior picture,” per se.  So, keep in mind that this is ONLY a head shot in a 2-minute session.  Nice, but nothing fancy—just like your everyday school pictures that your kids take every year.
Again, just to be clear, this is not the regular “Senior Portrait” session that Kim Jew Photography does.  THAT one starts with a sitting fee of $50 to $100 and goes up from there.  Pretty pricey.

 


Other ideas:  call various studios, even Wal-Mart, for their prices and options.


RGES Yearbook


RGES’ Yearbook/Photography elective class puts together a beautiful, professionally produced yearbook that holds all of the special school memories and pages that students love to have their friends sign.  It’s sure to be a treasured keepsake for years to come.  (You’ve still got your senior yearbook, don’t you?)

The Yearbook teacher will send information to parents regarding requirements and deadlines.  Deadlines are usually late January.


Yearbook Senior Page

 

Cost:  none for the page itself, except for any pictures you have taken, but to have this keepsake, you must purchase the yearbook.

When to do:  deadline for submission is usually late January

·        Pictures:  Each RGES senior gets an entire page for themselves.  It contains approximately a dozen pictures that you choose and submit, from varying stages of life, from infant to high school senior portrait.

·        Letter from Parents:  The page also includes a “Letter from Parents,” which is a special message that the parents write to their graduate:  words of wisdom, reminiscing about special childhood memories, scripture, etc.  If you’d like ideas, look at a past yearbook.  (And be ready with a box of Kleenex when you sit down to write your message and look through years of old photos!)

·        Senior Interview Questionnaire:  Yearbook teacher will send a short list of “favorites” for your senior to fill out.  Info is used to create “Senior Page” in yearbook.

 


Purchase Yearbook


The Yearbook teacher will send out information on specifics, such as cost and ordering deadlines, which vary year-to-year.

Cost:  approximately $35

When to do:  Spring:  usually in March—order and pay
 


Senior Recognition Ceremony
this is the “graduation” ceremony, but since RGES does not “graduate” students, it is not called that.

 



·        Cap and Gown

·        Diploma

·        Graduation Announcements

·        Senior Memorabilia

·        Letter from Parents (read during ceremony)

·        Pictures for Giant Screen Projection (during ceremony)

·        Senior Memory Board Display (after Graduation Ceremony)

 

This ceremony is a beautiful, touching, family tribute to the graduate, and presents special individual recognition that one rarely sees during “traditional” school graduations.

During the RGES Senior Recognition Ceremony (similar to CAPE-NM’s), the graduate is called up to the front of the stage, and their parents stand on either side of him/her.  A few pictures (from different ages of the student’s life, ending with the senior picture) are projected onto a giant screen, while Mr. Kinzer (head of RGES) reads a special message to the graduate (Letter from Parents).

It is also at this time that the diploma is presented to the student, by the parents, if you choose to do so.  


Cap & Gown


RGES uses the same cap and gown that CAPE-NM uses for their ceremony, since some students attend both ceremonies.  It is ordered through HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association), but you do not have to be a member to order (members do get a discount).  It is a navy blue cap and gown.  RGES usually supplies the special tassel that their seniors wear during their Senior Recognition Ceremony, but check with RGES to make sure about that!

Cost:  $50 for non-members of HSLDA ($40 for members)

When to do:  Spring:  turn-around time:  approximately 5 days

Go to HSLDA’s website to order:

http://www.hslda.org/bookstore/items/diploma.asp?PID=4476139481 



Diploma, Graduation Announcements, and other Senior “Memorabilia”


Cost:  varies by quantity ordered and product

When to do:  Spring:  turn-around time:  varies on what products are ordered, but generally two weeks—check to make sure!

Family owned business:  “Home School Diploma” offers quality graduation supplies for small schools: http://www.homeschooldiploma.com/

I have used this company and have been very pleased with the quality, prices, and service.  It has a great selection of all sorts of items:  diplomas, announcements, invitations, and other special memorabilia (such as a special frame that holds a senior picture, an announcement, & a cap “tassel”).

They offer special touches, such as printing the name of your homeschool, and the name of your graduate on the diploma, along with a Bible verse, if you so choose.  Some other companies only give you a blank line to write in those things yourself.

Some families want to present their graduate with a diploma during the Senior Recognition Ceremony, so order it in advance of the ceremony if you want to do that.



Letter from Parents


See info under “RGES Yearbook” section of this checklist.  This same letter for the yearbook is used (read) during the ceremony.


Pictures for Giant Screen Projection (during Senior Recognition Ceremony)


See info under “RGES Yearbook” section of this checklist.  The same pictures you send for the RGES yearbook are used here.



Senior Memory Board Display


Cost:  varies, depending on what you want to create

When to do:  Spring:  Due Date:  day of Senior Recognition Ceremony—just take it with you to the Senior Recognition Ceremony.  Pace yourself!  Some moms can throw one together in a week, some need a month or two to gather everything.  It depends on your level of experience and creativity.
 
After the ceremony, there is a cake-and-punch reception in the fellowship hall of the church where the graduation is held.  Some student art work and other displays are set out on tables.  If you wish to create a “Senior Memory Board,” you may set one out for your graduate.

This board can be any type of display that you’d like to showcase your student’s work, achievements, or simply chronicle their 13-year educational journey!  Some parents use either a poster board, or the tri-fold boards that are used for science projects (purchase at Hobby Lobby).  But it can be anything you wish—no specific “requirements.”

Bonus Idea!—You can also use this board as a special display at any graduation or family party that you may host for your graduate.

 


Junior/Senior Seminar (“Junior/Senior Trip”)


Note:  this information is general in nature, just to give parents some idea of what is available and to play for some approximate costs.  Specific information and registration information is sent to all parents of juniors and seniors.  Deadlines and costs will vary year-to-year.  Check your informational handout for current year’s info.

Cost:  approximately $575, plus airfare.  Airfare prices at this writing (2010) were about $300 per student, so total trip costs are approximately $900, plus incidentals.

When to do:  Decisions to attend are usually required in January.

Deposit of $300 is usually required in February.

This unforgettable, fun-filled trip enriches and caps off a student’s academic career.  It usually takes place the week after the Senior Recognition Ceremony.  As of 2010, the trip has been made eight times by RGES students.

This is a chaperoned, educational excursion to places such as Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg, Virginia, to study America’s Christian History, with expert American historian John Kinzer as your guide.

This trip carries a ½ elective credit in history for the RGES program.

This trip is offered to juniors and seniors, every other year—years ending in even numbers:  2008, 2010, 2012, etc.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Senior Year Checklist


Prepared by Hope M. Garcia, Veteran Homeschooler and RGES Mom of many years
List was last updated for 2011 (to give you an idea of how recent this information is)
 
 

Congratulations!  You persevered and made it to the end!  Now what do you do?  This checklist has been compiled to help you think through the unique preparations that come with that last year of homeschool.

Here are the high points of your “Senior Year Checklist” regarding preparations you may want to make during your student’s senior year.  For your planning purposes, “Cost,” “When to Do,” and various resources and vendors have been listed as suggestions.

Please note:  You should contact the appropriate organization/vendor to verify all information, as requirements and
costs may change from year to year. 
Also:  the services and vendors suggested are not guaranteed endorsements, but have proved, in some families’ experiences, to work well.
 


OVERVIEW AND CHECKLIST—Put on your refrigerator!

 

___  Academic Testing/Documentation

 

___  GED

___  ACT

___  High School Transcript

 

___  Senior Pictures

 

___  RGES Yearbook

 

___  Yearbook Senior Page

 

___  13 pictures

___  Letter from Parents

___  Student Interview Questionnaire

 

___  Purchase Yearbook

 

___  Senior Recognition (part of the End of the Year Ceremony)

 

___  Cap and Gown

___  Diploma

___  Graduation Announcements

___  Senior Memorabilia

___  Letter from Parents—read during ceremony

___  Pictures for Giant Screen Projection—during ceremony

___  Senior Memory Board Display—after ceremony

 

___  Junior/Senior Seminar (“Junior/Senior Trip”)
 
 


Academic Testing/Documentation

 

·        GED

·        ACT

·        High School Transcript

Note:  If your student is attending a NM college, this info should work well for most college requirements.  Out-of-state colleges may have requirements that should begin to be prepared in the student’s junior year.  This checklist does not include the myriad of details for college applications and financial aid applications—contact colleges themselves for that.
 


GED


Cost:  $25 to $50, depending on test site

When to do:  Register in the Fall; take the test in the Spring (in late January, AFTER Spring semester classes at NM colleges actually begin—February should be the earliest, to be safe.  Explanation below, under “Lottery Scholarship”)

·        No State “Diplomas”

The State of New Mexico does NOT give out diplomas or any kind of accreditation for homeschool graduates, even if you have followed suggested guidelines of public school graduation requirements.  You will need to have your student take the GED for entry into most colleges, to qualify for the NM Lottery Scholarship, or to simply show that they have “graduated” from high school, even if they do not pursue higher education.

·        Where to Register

Some places to register and take the GED are:  CNM (Central New Mexico Community College), UNM and UNM-Valencia.  For complete information, additional test sites and costs, go to the Public Education Department website:  http://www.ped.state.nm.us/,

--->PED AZ Directory--->GED Testing Program---->Testing Centers

Register in the FALL, to take the test in the Spring, as testing slots fill up rapidly.  Again, be sure not to actually take the test until the SPRING (see next paragraph for VERY IMPORTANT info), as you do not want your student to be “officially graduated” until then, if you are using the Lottery Scholarship.

·        New Mexico Lottery Scholarship Considerations

o       When to take the GED
If you are attending a New Mexico state college (e.g. UNM, CNM, NMSU, NM Tech, etc.) and using the Lottery Scholarship (LS):
If your student TAKES the test in the FALL, he will be considered “graduated” at that time, and this means that he would be required to start attending college full-time in January, in order to qualify for and secure the Lottery Scholarship.

Again:  New Mexico high school graduates must begin attending college, full-time, the Fall or Spring semester (whichever comes first) immediately after “graduation” (which means after taking the GED), in order to guarantee the LS, or they will forever lose the LS.

This is why you do NOT want to take the GED until late January—more specifically, do not take it until AFTER classes at NM colleges begin their Spring semester.  Otherwise, it will still be considered being taken in the “Fall.”

THEREFORE:  It’s safest to take  the GED beginning in February, just to be sure.  (But remember to register for it in the Fall—slots fill up fast.)

o       Special Note When Registering for Full-time College Courses (as a college student), after graduation:  if your student has been taking dual-enrollment college classes (at a college) while still a high school student:

     §         If they took a college class during their high school years and then register to take the same class again as a full-time college student (maybe for a better grade or for better understanding?), it will NOT count towards the LS minimum required hours that have to be taken every semester, in order to KEEP the LS—be careful!

Talk carefully with the Financial Aid Office and Academic Advisors of your college, if this is the case!  Your student may need to sign up for an extra 3-credit hour class.
 


ACT (for College Admissions)


Cost:  $32 to $47 for Test, depending on which test you take
            Plus extra charge for tutorial preps, if you choose to purchase

When to do:  Register ASAP, in August; take the test in the Fall, and if needed, again in the Spring.

Most colleges require the ACT when applying for admission. 
 
Go to http://www.actstudent.org/regist/index.html  to register and get more information as to testing dates, locations, and purchasing optional preparation/test review materials.  You may want to take the test as early as possible, so that if your student needs to improve their scores (some do not do well on the first go-round), they can take it again.  For example:  a student may take the test in October and again in February (but of course, you have to pay twice).

Remember:  check with your potential colleges to see if they require this.  For example, CNM (Central New Mexico Community College) does not require the ACT or SAT.
 
 

High School Transcript


Cost:  varies from “no cost,” if you do it yourself, to the price of a “package” you purchase from a vendor.

When to do:  Summer before Senior Year, or Fall, so it is ready for college applications and financial aid applications
Many college admissions require a high school transcript (which covers courses taken in grades 9 through 12).  Check for all applicable requirements with the colleges to which your student is applying.

HOWEVER:  this may not be necessary for all.  For example, UNM does not require a homeschool transcript for admission, but it may be needed for some financial aid applications, if you apply for those.
But if you do want or need a transcript, there are guidelines or even formal packages you can find online or in Christian curricula catalogs to help you assemble one.

You may also want to create a list of extracurricular activities, organizations, accomplishments, etc. to accompany your transcript  (e.g. Science Fair honors, membership in an orchestra, music contests, spelling bee honors, Scouting honors, robotics contests, sports team participation, etc.)

For ideas on how to compile a transcript, go to:
http://www.homeschooldiploma.com ---->Information---->Diplomas and Transcripts

--->What About Transcripts.  Various recommended sites listed.
 


Senior Pictures


This “extra” can range from free amateur photographers (like your family or friends!), to studios.  Please remember that photos for the RGES Yearbook “senior page” are due around the end of January.

Some suggestions for photographers are as follow:
 

Benjamin Moore Photography:  email:  BEN-236@comcast.net, phone:  615-3089

Cost:  As a RGES alum and former homeschooler, Ben gives a deep discount to RGES students—33%, so a full two-hour session is only a $100 flat-fee, at a location that can be chosen by the customer.  This is especially affordable for those who desire to shoot at special locations.  Changes of clothing and use of props (musical instruments, sports equipment, etc.) are also allowed within this flat fee.

Parents receive a CD with all of the edited pictures, with full copyright permission at no extra charge (unlike most studios), so pictures may be duplicated on any media.

When to do: 
Turn-around time is approximately two weeks.

Ben Moore is a professional photographer, currently attending UNM.  Ben offers studio-quality photography, without the studio price, with highly individualized service.  I have known Ben for many years, through RGES, and he is a person of integrity (and a great photographer!).  Check out samples of his work here:  www.BenjaminMoorePhotography.com
 
 
Arielei Sarah Photography:  Phone: (505) 690-3809, Email: vanilla267@msn.com  

Cost:  another RGES alum and former homeschooler, Arielei Kinzer tailors your photo shoot to your budget and needs, ranging from $100 to $200, depending on the number of outfits and locations (indoor, outdoor—any place that is special to you!) Sittings are not limited to amount of time, but she plans to spend 2-3 hours on each shoot or more, depending on number of locations, etc.

Parents receive a DVD of all images, and the price includes full copyright permission, so photos may be reproduced in any media, any size, any quantity.

When to do:  turnaround time to edit all photos is generally two-to-four weeks, depending on the shoot.

Arielei is a professional photographer, who also does some work at a professional studio.  She is currently attending Liberty University, but is home in NM for holidays and summers.   Having known Arielei for some years, I know that she is a trustworthy person, and parents can rest assured that they are working with a Christian-values professional.
Sit back and enjoy the lovely slide show and peaceful background music of Arielei’s great work on her website:  www.ariefoto.com.
 

JC Penny’s Portrait Studio in Cottonwood Mall:  792-0224
Cost:  portrait packages start at $89 (but note the many discounts listed below)

Penny’s gives AAA (auto) members a 50% discount.  They also offer discounts of up to 50% at differing times of the year, so you may want to call to see when they are running specials, or check their website for coupons and more info:  www.jcpportraits.com.  (As a comparison “check:” some studios charge $50 or more for the sitting fee ALONE, not even counting the photographs you order.)

            Penny’s offers 30-minutes sessions, different backgrounds, allow changes of clothes, use of props, computer photo preview, mix & match different poses on your prints, special effects on prints, all at no extra charge.

When to do:  turn-around time is approximately two weeks after your photo session.
 

One-of-A-Kind Photography (a division of Kim Jew Photography):  255-9680, 6901 Gruber Ave. NE, Abq. (near I-25 and Paseo del Norte)

Cost:  This is a simple school picture, but it is still a studio photo.  Packages vary in price, from about $12 to $45; payment due on picture-taking day
When to do:  Call in early August to find out when they will begin taking appointments for RGES-assigned days; pictures are taken in Fall and available in November.  Make-up days are usually first week in December.

Please note:  this is the “head shot” only, regular-type school picture that they offer to all homeschoolers every year—it’s not a “senior picture,” per se.  So, keep in mind that this is ONLY a head shot in a 2-minute session.  Nice, but nothing fancy—just like your everyday school pictures that your kids take every year.

Again, just to be clear, this is not the regular “Senior Portrait” session that Kim Jew Photography does.  THAT one starts with a sitting fee of $50 to $100 and goes up from there.  Pretty pricey.
 

Other ideas:  call various studios, even Wal-Mart, for their prices and options.
 
 

RGES Yearbook

 

RGES’ Yearbook/Photography elective class puts together a beautiful, professionally produced yearbook that holds all of the special school memories and pages that students love to have their friends sign.  It’s sure to be a treasured keepsake for years to come.  (You’ve still got your senior yearbook, don’t you?)

The Yearbook teacher will send information to parents regarding requirements and deadlines.  Deadlines are usually late January.
Yearbook Senior Page

Cost:  none for the page itself, except for any pictures you have taken, but to have this keepsake, you must purchase the yearbook.

When to do:  deadline for submission is usually late January

·        Pictures:  Each RGES senior gets an entire page for themselves.  It contains approximately a dozen pictures that you choose and submit, from varying stages of life, from infant to high school senior portrait.

·        Letter from Parents:  The page also includes a “Letter from Parents,” which is a special message that the parents write to their graduate:  words of wisdom, reminiscing about special childhood memories, scripture, etc.  If you’d like ideas, look at a past yearbook.  (And be ready with a box of Kleenex when you sit down to write your message and look through years of old photos!)

·        Senior Interview Questionnaire:  Yearbook teacher will send a short list of “favorites” for your senior to fill out.  Info is used to create “Senior Page” in yearbook.
 


Purchase Yearbook


The Yearbook teacher will send out information on specifics, such as cost and ordering deadlines, which vary year-to-year.

Cost:  approximately $35

When to do:  Spring:  usually in March—order and pay
 


Senior Recognition - this is the “graduation” ceremony, but since RGES does not “graduate” students, it is not called that.  It is part of the annual End of the Year Ceremony.

 

·        Cap and Gown

·        Diploma

·        Graduation Announcements

·        Senior Memorabilia

·        Letter from Parents (read during ceremony)

·        Pictures for Giant Screen Projection (during ceremony)

·        Senior Memory Board Display (after Graduation Ceremony)

This ceremony is a beautiful, touching, family tribute to the graduate, and presents special individual recognition that one rarely sees during “traditional” school graduations.

During the RGES Senior Recognition (similar to CAPE-NM’s), the graduate is called up to the front of the stage, and their parents stand on either side of him/her.  A few pictures (from different ages of the student’s life, ending with the senior picture) are projected onto a giant screen, while Mr. Kinzer (Director of RGES) reads a special message to the graduate (Letter from Parents).  The special message can be up to 130 words in length.

It is also at this time that the diploma is presented to the student, by the parents, if you choose to do so.  Often pictures are taken of the family in front of an attractive flower display.
 


Cap & Gown


RGES uses the same cap and gown that CAPE-NM uses for their ceremony, since some students attend both ceremonies.  It is ordered through HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association), but you do not have to be a member to order (members do get a discount).  It is a navy blue cap and gown.  RGES usually supplies the special tassel that their seniors wear during their Senior Recognition Ceremony, but check with RGES to make sure about that!

Cost:  $50 for non-members of HSLDA ($40 for members)

When to do
:  Spring:  turn-around time:  approximately 5 days

Go to HSLDA’s website to order:
http://www.hslda.org/bookstore/items/diploma.asp?PID=4476139481 
 


Diploma, Graduation Announcements, and other Senior “Memorabilia”


Cost:  varies by quantity ordered and product

When to do:  Spring:  turn-around time:  varies on what products are ordered, but generally two weeks—check to make sure!

Family owned business:  “Home School Diploma” offers quality graduation supplies for small schools: http://www.homeschooldiploma.com/
I have used this company and have been very pleased with the quality, prices, and service.  It has a great selection of all sorts of items:  diplomas, announcements, invitations, and other special memorabilia (such as a special frame that holds a senior picture, an announcement, & a cap “tassel”).
They offer special touches, such as printing the name of your homeschool, and the name of your graduate on the diploma, along with a Bible verse, if you so choose.  Some other companies only give you a blank line to write in those things yourself.

Some families want to present their graduate with a diploma during the Senior Recognition Ceremony, so order it in advance of the ceremony if you want to do that.
 
 

Letter from Parents


See info under “RGES Yearbook” section of this checklist.  This same letter for the yearbook is can be used or expanded to 130 words and read during the End of the Year Ceremony.


Pictures for Giant Screen Projection (for the Senior Recognition during the End of the Year Ceremony)


See info under “RGES Yearbook” section of this checklist.  The same pictures you send for the RGES yearbook are used here.
 


Senior Memory Board Display


Cost:  varies, depending on what you want to create

When to do:
  Spring:  Due Date:  day of Senior Recognition during the End of the Year Ceremony—just take it with you to the Ceremony.  Pace yourself!  Some moms can throw one together in a week, some need a month or two to gather everything.  It depends on your level of experience and creativity.

After the ceremony, there is a cake-and-punch reception in the fellowship hall of the church where the graduation is held.  Some student art work and other displays are set out on tables.  If you wish to create a “Senior Memory Board,” you may set one out for your graduate.

This board can be any type of display that you’d like to showcase your student’s work, achievements, or simply chronicle their 13-year educational journey!  Some parents use either a poster board, or the tri-fold boards that are used for science projects (purchase at Hobby Lobby).  But it can be anything you wish—no specific “requirements.”

Bonus Idea!—You can also use this board as a special display at any graduation or family party that you may host for your graduate.
 


Junior/Senior Seminar (“Junior/Senior Trip”)


Note:  this information is general in nature, just to give parents some idea of what is available and to play for some approximate costs.  Specific information and registration information is sent to all parents of juniors and seniors who have taken either the RGES American Government class or the RGES American History class.  Deadlines and costs will vary year-to-year.  Check your informational handout for current year’s information.

Cost:  approximately $970 including airfare with all admissions and transportation covered.  Your student will need to bring money on the trip for meals and any souvenirs purchased.

When to do:
  Decisions to attend are usually required in March.

Deposit of $300 is usually required in March.

This unforgettable, fun-filled trip enriches and caps off a student’s academic career.  It usually takes place the week after the End of the Year Ceremony.  As of 2010, the trip has been made eight times by RGES students.
This is a chaperoned, educational excursion to places such as Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg, Virginia, to study America’s Christian History and American Government with expert historian John Kinzer as your guide.

This trip carries a ½ elective credit in history for the RGES program.

This trip is offered to juniors and seniors, every other year—years ending in even numbers:  2008, 2010, 2012, etc. A student desiring to go on the trip must have taken either the RGES American Government or the RGES American History course.