Schools are closed during Thanksgiving week in the Pasadena Unified School District but counselor Alejandra Diaz will be on duty from home. Like an on-call emergency physician, she will be busy answering numerous panicky phone calls and emails.
She will offer last-minute advice and soothing words to high school seniors facing the Nov. 30 deadline to file their college admissions applications to the University of California and Cal State systems.
"They get a little nervous before they send it in. They want reassurances that everything is OK," said Diaz, who rotates among several Pasadena high schools.
This year, she noted, brings two advantages. Nov. 30 is a...