Counseling Department Newsletter

February 2019

February is here and we are ready for a warm up! The cold weather school cancellations caused many events and deadlines to be sure to check out the google doc below for the latest information.


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9th, 10th and 11th Grade Course Selection Night & Dr. Boran's School Address

Monday, Feb. 11th, 6:30pm

30 Ash Street

Madison, WI

NOTE THE NEW DATE! Join us for a multi-grade level event. All grades will hear an all-school address from Dr. Boran in the auditorium and then move to grade-level breakout sessions to learn about scheduling information pertinent to each grade level.

Course Selection for 2019-20

During the week of February 4th, students in grades 9, 10 and 11 will hear the scheduling presentation from counselors and receive his or her course selection card.

If you miss class on the day of the presentation, please review the grade-level presentations posted HERE following the presentations. Stop by the Counseling Office, Rm. 2003, to pick up a course card if you did not receive one.

Students should be discussing next year's course choices with their current teachers, school counselor, and parents. Course card due dates are listed below:

UPDATE: In order to make up for lost instruction days due to the cold weather closures, students will no longer be entering their course selections into Xello. SCHOOL COUNSELORS WILL BE HAND-ENTERING ALL COURSE CARD REQUESTS. Please ensure that your card is accurate and includes COURSE NUMBERS as well as your COUNSELOR'S NAME on the top of your card.

9th grade students should bring completed course cards to their Biology class on Thursday, Feb. 21st.

10th grade students should bring completed course cards to their Health/PE class on Tuesday, February 19th. **students who do not have Health or Phy Ed this semester can drop off course cards in the counseling office, Room 2003.

11th grade students should bring completed course cards to their Social Studies class on Monday, February 18th.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

Are you planning on taking any AP exams this spring? AP Exam Registration is NOW OPEN for the May AP Tests!
Registration closes March 1st at 6 pm CST.


AP Test Accommodations: If your student qualifies for accommodations, please contact Mike McGarry for IEP accommodations or Brook Gard for 504 accommodations. Accommodation application window closes February 22nd.

Any student that receives Free/Reduced lunch will not need to submit a payment upon registration, the fee will automatically be waived.

To register and for more information, visit:

New this year: Transportation will be provided for students to and from the Alliant Energy Center during testing. See your counselor if you need transportation.

Early College Credit Options

If you plan to request to enroll in a college course through Early College Credit Program or Start College Now for the Fall 2019 semester, be sure to submit your application to your counselor by the March 1st deadline.

More information on Early College Credit Options, as well as the application can be found HERE

Looking for things to do this SUMMER?

Are you already dreaming of warm sunny days? Make sure your summer plans involve a mix of both relaxation & meaningful experiences! Summer is a great time to explore future career interests, obtain volunteer hours or create networking opportunities!

Check out the list of possible activities, events, camps and & experiences HERE. (this list is continually being updated, so check back often!)

SMAHRT: Summer Research Scholars Program at UW Madison

Applications now open!

Each summer, the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT) hosts the Summer Research Scholars program. This week-long program provides 9th – 12th grade students with the opportunity to conduct their own research project.

These research projects are centered on teen health and social media. Scholars will learn different types of research methods, discover a variety of career paths in research and health-related fields and practice their public speaking and presentation skills.

The Summer Research Scholars program aims to engage students who may not have other opportunities to engage with topics in research and health-related fields.

SMAHRT strives to…

  • Teach the research process in an interactive, hands-on and enjoyable way
  • Mentor Summer Research Scholars toward creating a research poster to present by the end of the session
  • Provide the opportunity to learn about future careers involving research

Find out more information HERE

GSAFE Leadership Training Institute (LTI) 2019 Application

GSAFE's summer Leadership Training Institute (LTI) is a four day, three night camp for LGBTQ+ high school students who are interested in activism. Campers participate in workshops on queer and racial justice, disability justice, and how to create change in their schools

Scholarships are available. Students in grades 9, 10 and 11 can apply for LTI.

Click HERE to view and complete the application.

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Schools Asking For Your Mid-Year Transcripts?

Semester 1 grades were added to transcripts on Friday, Feb. 8th. School Counselors will be uploading mid-year reports to Common Application schools.

If your school is NOT on the Common Application, students are required to request their mid-year transcript via .

West HS Scholarship Application Closes Feb. 11th at 4 PM!

You won't be considered for one of many scholarships that are awarded to Seniors if you do not apply. The application can be found HERE. SAVING AND EDITING THIS FORM: You are able to return to this application at any time to make edits up until the deadline date. To save your progress, you must "SUBMIT" every time you make a change, even if your application is only partially complete. You will need to type a character in every required box in order to save and submit. Then, an email will be sent to you with a link that allows you to re-enter your application to make changes.


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Wisconsin American Legion Law Enforcement Career Academy - Applications are open!

Are you a current Junior or Senior interested in a future career in Law Enforcement? Be sure to check out The Wisconsin American Legion’s 2019 Law Enforcement Career Academy! The deadline to apply is February 26, 2019.

The application is available on-line The academy is available to current high school juniors and seniors. The application will need to be printed, completed, signed by a parent/guardian and signed by the student’s school counselor, then mailed or scanned and emailed to Sheri Hicks, Program Coordinator at The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin. Her email address is The cadets chosen will be notified via email and US mail in March 2019.

WALLECA is for students who are interested in a career in law enforcement. 50 cadets will be chosen to attend WALLECA.

WALLECA consists of class room instruction and physical training. Some of the classes are Crime Scene Investigation, Computer Crimes, Firearms Training, Ethics, Tactical Response and many more. The physical training portion of the academy is required. The academy instructors are current or retired law enforcement professionals.

WALLECA will be held at the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy from June 24 – 28, 2019. The cadets will stay in the academy dormitory. All meals are included. Registration will be Monday, June 24 at 10:00am, dismissal will be Friday, June 28 in the afternoon after the graduation ceremony. Graduating cadets will be able to invite family and friends to attend the graduation ceremony.

There is no cost to the cadet.

Any questions regarding WALLECA can be directed to Sheri Hicks, Programs Coordinator at The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin.


ACT February 20th

All Juniors will take the ACT on Wednesday, February 20th at school. Read all the important ACT-related details HERE.

Looking for FREE TEST PREP?

Don't forget that students have access to Method Test Prep through your student Xello account (formerly Career Cruising). To access your Xello account, visit the West High School Website and find the Xello link at the bottom left-hand side of the page. Use your MMSD gmail account and you will automatically be directed to your Xello account.

ACT Academy on the ACT website also provides FREE test prep. You can sign up for an account HERE

Junior Conferences

There is still time to schedule your appointment with your counselor for a Junior Conference. During your conference, you and your counselor will discuss the following topics:

  • Transcript Review
  • Course selection for Senior year
  • Discussion of post-high school plans

A summary page will be shared with student and family following the conference. Included in this summary is a timeline of next steps for post-high school plans.

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WEF College Fair

Monday, March 11th, 6pm

James Madison Memorial High School

Target Grade Level: 11th graders (but all grades are welcome!)

Free Admission, Transportation is available

Pre-registration is encouraged. See more info HERE



Are you a 10th grader in the Health Services Pathway Program? Are you interested in gaining hands on research experience at UW Madison? Then be sure to apply for the UW Madison LEAP Forward Internship! Applications are now available. Read HERE for more info and to access the application.


UW Madison's Business Emerging Leader (BEL) Program

The Business Emerging Leaders (BEL) Program is designed for promising students who come from diverse backgrounds and have strong academic records and demonstrated leadership skills. Program participation gives students a distinct competitive advantage when adjusting to college life, learning in classes, and applying for internship opportunities, ultimately preparing them for successful careers in business.

BEL Program students who are admitted to UW–Madison and major in business are granted a full-tuition scholarship for four years of attendance. (Completion of the program does not guarantee admission into the university.) The BEL Program meets every summer for three years, beginning the summer after tenth grade. Learn more on the Program Details page.

Students are selected based on their demonstrated academic success, leadership skills, commitment to diversity, and potential to excel in business at the university.

BEL applicants must:

  • Be a current 10th grade student
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have and maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (unweighted on a 4.0 scale)

BEL applicants must identify as at least one of the following:

  • African American
  • Southeast Asian American (Hmong, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian)
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • Native American
  • Low-income student (defined as a student who receives free or reduced lunch benefits at school)

Find out more information on the BEL Program and access the application HERE.

Note the application deadline of February 8, 2019.


Rotary Outstanding Student

Congratulations to Omeed Soltaninassab (pictured here with Rotary Member George Silverwood and School Counselor Cynthia Nordmeyer), who was nominated as Rotary's Outstanding Student. Omeed is "incredibly gracious and modest." He has a passion for singing and has traveled to Scotland to perform. He will be in the Mama Mia spring musical. In addition to his schoolwork and musical interests, Omeed help his family with caregiving for his older brother with special needs. Congratulations, Omeed!
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National School Counseling Week 2019, "School Counselors: Providing Lessons for Life," will be celebrated from Feb. 4-8, 2019, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. National School Counseling Week is always celebrated the first full week in February.
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