College Recommendations

For 2016-2017 students: 

STEP 1:

 
If you would like a college recommendation, please send me an email to my summer email address piratephysicsnet@gmail.com with the following information by Friday, July 28, 2017:
  1. Your full name
  2. Email address
  3. Home phone #
  4. Cell phone #
  5. Your guidance counselor
I would like for you to write a recommendation for yourself as if you were me (that means to write about yourself in 3rd person). Think about what I know about you and what I would say in a letter about you.  Give specific anecdotes about yourself which demonstrate why a college would like to have you as part of their school.  I will write my letter first without looking at yours, and then refer to your letter for things I've forgotten.  Please don't be too humble in your letter - be honest and forthright about your abilities and your strengths. 
 
Some things to think about as you write your letter:  How were the following qualities demonstrated to me in the classroom?
  • Motivation
  • Maturity
  • Integrity
  • Independence
  • Originality
  • Initiative
  • Preparedness
  • Leadership
  • Ability to learn from mistakes/grow
  • Special talents
  • Enthusiasm
  • Helpfulness
  • Engagement/participation
  • Interest in the topic
  • Willingness to go above-and-beyond
You might also think about the following questions as you're writing your letter, but it is certainly not required that ALL of these be addressed:
  1. What words best describe you and WHY?  (What do you most want colleges to know about you?)
  2. What was your favorite unit in Physics?  Why?
  3. Describe your overall strengths in Physics and in school in general.
  4. Describe the single event in Physics that you are most proud of and explain why.
  5. What major are you considering for college and why?
  6. What distinguishes you from other students this year?  What makes you exceptional?  What do you think makes you stand out compared to all the students I've taught throughout the years?
There is no length requirement, but the more information you give me, the more memories you might jog in my brain.  Three paragraphs is a good guideline.  I will not read your answers to your questions on Naviance, so you don't have to fill those out for me, although you might have to do them for other teachers.

Again, please email all of the above materials to my summer email address piratephysicsnet@gmail.com by Friday, July 28, 2017.  Please write in the subject of your email your full name and the word "recommendation."  If I do not have your information by this date, I reserve the right to deny your recommendation request.  I will send you a confirmation email that I received your request, so if you don't receive one from me by August 7th, please try resending. 
 
Good luck with your recommendation writing, and I hope you're enjoying the summer!

STEP 2:

Then by Friday, September 29, 2017, email me the list of colleges you are applying to and their deadlines.  If you're sending all of your applications through Naviance, you can just email me the above list, and you're done.  If you change your list in the future, make sure you email me again with the change. I will only submit the letter to the colleges on your list. (Remember to be specific with all of your other teachers if you would like them to only submit to certain schools; most teachers submit to all schools by default, and it is impossible for a letter to be unsubmitted.) 

If you have any colleges that need the recommendation sent by mail, keep reading.   The following instructions are very important so READ CAREFULLY:
 
When you prepare your letters and forms to be completed, please fill out all of the teacher information for me in advance.  You should obviously fill out all of your own information as well.  If this is not done, there may be a delay in sending out your recommendations on time.  Here's my info:
 
Barbara C. Fortunato, Physics Teacher
West Windsor-Plainsboro HS South
346 Clarksville Road
West Windsor, NJ  08550
(609) 716-5050
barbara.fortunato@ww-p.org
 
Please remember to sign the waiver if that is your intention, but do not leave it blank.   
 
Please only complete ONE Common Application, and I will photocopy it and put it in the envelopes you have indicated should have one.  Please leave all forms UNFOLDED when possible, and absolutely do NOT stuff them in the envelopes, as this will generate more work for me. 
 
Make sure that you use only the envelopes that have the PEEL OFF STICKERS on the flaps.  One year, I sent out over 150 recommendations - imagine what it's like to lick 150 envelopes!  If you give me the kind of envelopes that I have to lick, I'll return them to you, and you'll have to re-address all of the envelopes on the peel-and-stick type.  Each envelope should be addressed (with my name and the school's address as the return address) and stamped appropriately.  Give me all of the envelopes EMPTY, in ONE giant envelope (not a folder from which papers and envelopes can fall out), with a Post-It on every individual envelope to say when each is due and what kind of form it needs.  If NO form is necessary (only the letter) please indicate that on the Post-It.
 
Please mail ALL of these materials to me in ONE big envelope enough in advance to reach me by Friday, September 29, 2017. Email me to obtain my home address or hand it to me in school.  Do not leave it in my mailbox in the main office. If it's late or if you try to give the envelopes to me in installments, I reserve the right to not send them. 
 
That’s it!  Best of luck in your admissions process.  Please update me when you get in!