March 2021 Newsletter

West High School Counseling Department

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This month's newsletter includes information on the following:

AP Test Info


Scholarship Resources

WEF Virtual College Fair & College Board's Big Future Days

FAFSA Completion Assistance

Junior Conference Wrap Up

National Honor Society

West Supports (Tutoring, Tech Help, Mentorship)

Work Credit & Work Permits

and more!

NEW Virtual Bell Schedule Starts March 8th!

Asynchronous learning days are moved to MONDAYS. Check out the new weekly schedule.

Monday Secondary Attendance Shift

Beginning March 8th, Mondays will become asynchronous learning days for all Middle and High/Secondary students and synchronous virtual learning will be available Tuesday through Friday.

Based on all the input we've received, as part of the change in schedule, Secondary attendance practices will shift to mirror our Elementary attendance practices. At Secondary, students will be attending on asynchronous days by completing assigned work, getting additional support as needed, or connecting with virtual mentors. Due to the flexibility in this approach, staff (virtual mentor/advisor/homeroom teacher) will presumptively submit all students on their roster as present when taking attendance on Mondays.

We will continue to ask that families communicate with their school to provide an excusable reason if their student will not be attending on Monday. These absences will be coded and entered by administrative assistants. If any absences are reported directly to staff by a family, the staff member should communicate this to administrative assistants, and request/support families to contact the office directly.

This shift will mitigate the disproportionate negative impact of habitual truancy tagging compounded on asynchronous days by secondary students and bring our district into full attendance practice alignment as we make the shift to in-person learning.

We are truly hoping this shift will help reduce stress for all involved and allow additional to promote relationship, engagement, and wellbeing as we all adjust to our new weekly schedule.

Questions? Megan Miller, Lead Attendance Social Worker, mjmiller@ or Jay Affeldt, Director of Student and Staff Support Dept., jaffeldt@

Dropping a Course Deadline

A student carrying more than the required number of classes may drop a class without penalty anytime within the first seven weeks of the semester (Deadline is Friday, March 12th for Second Semester). If a class is dropped beyond the seventh week of a semester, the student’s record will reflect an “NP” (No Pass) for the current quarter and current semester. (See Student Handbook).

West Student Mentorship Program Interest Form

Student Council has created the Student Mentorship Program, which will match students together at West to help younger students feel more comfortable, have an older student who can support them and create a safe space for people at West.

Real Talk: HBCU Edition

Last fall we launched Real Talk, a virtual college exploration initiative designed to connect Black students and families with admissions representatives from universities across the country. Real Talk is not your traditional college fair. This series is intentionally designed to feel informal, authentic, and, most of all, real. In this virtual environment, we're committed to creating pathways for Black students to meaningfully engage with colleges and universities.

We're thrilled to launch our spring series in partnership with College Board's A Dream Deferred™ Conference. Join us for a special, two-night Real Talk: HBCU Edition on Wednesday, March 3, and Thursday, March 4. Your students will have an opportunity to connect with admissions representatives from the best HBCUs in the country and get questions answered in real time. We'll cover topics such as financial aid, scholarships, academic offerings, career paths, student organizations, Greek life, housing, and more!

All ages and academic achievement levels are welcome. We look forward to connecting with you soon for real talk. RSVP today!

Date: Wednesday, March 3, and Thursday, March 4

Time: 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (6 pm Central)

RSVP: Register Now

19 HBCUs will be featured during this two-night event!

Participating institutions include:

Alabama A&M University

Morgan State University

Claflin University

North Carolina A&T University

Dillard University

North Carolina Central University

Florida A&M University

Shaw University

Hampton University

Southern University

Howard University

Spelman College

Jackson State University

Texas Southern University

Kentucky State University

Tuskegee University

Lincoln University

Xavier University

Morehouse College

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Madison College: Scholars of Promise

Program benefits include:

  • Tuition Assistance: We cover tuition and fee costs that grants and scholarships do not for up to six consecutive semesters - summers excluded.
  • Mentorship: Work with a mentor your first year, become a mentor your second year.
  • Financial Aid Application Assistance: Dedicated support through focused application completion workshops.
  • Academic Support: Academic advising and career counseling focused on SoP students.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Our newsletter helps you complete the required eight hours of service per term.
  • Promise to Promise: Direct college transfer opportunities with UW-Madison's Scholars of Promise program.

Scholars of Promise application and materials must be submitted by April 1st, 2021. Click on the button below for more information.

Scholarships in Xello

Seniors should check out MMSD's directory of local scholarships by logging into Xello and clicking on "College Resources." This scholarship list is continually being updated as we find out about local scholarships. Students can also save a list of scholarships they wish to apply to and track their application progress in Xello.

College Board's Scholarship Search

Find scholarships, other financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs. Scholarship information is based on the College Board's Annual Survey of Financial Aid Programs.


UW HELP's Financial Aid Panel will feature a panel of special guest speakers. This is a great opportunity to hear about financial aid and budgeting, as well as answer any questions you may have. Registration is required.

College Rep & Special Programs Contact List

In lieu of college visits at West, we've complied a list of schools and programs that have reached out to us. Check to see if your schools of interest are on the list and reach out with any questions.

ACT Info

Update on ACT testing in MMSD

As a reminder, the State of Wisconsin requires all juniors to take the ACT on one of 3 primary dates. This testing must be administered in-person (face-to-face). Our original testing date was March 9th, but in order to plan thoughtfully and ensure the health and safety of our students and staff, we will be shifting the test administration window to a later date.

Instead of March 9, we plan on administering the ACT beginning on April 13th . March 9th will be a full day for all students, rather than a “juniors only day”. All students are expected to be in attendance on March 9.

Moving the ACT test date to April 13 will allow our schools to thoroughly plan and implement safe testing protocols for the April test administration. This will include options of pencil/paper testing or small group on-line testing; this will also ensure that students with accommodations get the proper supports. Specific details about what options are available and what testing will look like in MMSD will be shared by March 12. This communication will be coming from the schools as well as the district website.

This information is specifically regarding the state-mandated ACT for all juniors, it does not reflectdecisions about the national ACT testing dates (typically on Saturdays). More information regarding those dates will follow.

As a reminder, MMSD offers free test prep for the ACT through Xello. Students can access Method Test Prep through their Xello account (via your student gmail account). A link to Xello can be found by scrolling to the bottom of West’s homepage and clicking on the link to Xello or clicking the icon for Xello in Classlink.

Junior Conferences Wrapping Up in March

If you have not yet completed your Junior Conference with your School Counselor, please be sure to schedule yours this month!

Junior Conferences will wrap up by the end of March.

This is a great opportunity to connect one-on-one with your School Counselor and go over your plans for after high school.

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National Honors Society

Juniors who meet the following criteria should be on the lookout for an invitation letter to join NHS. These letters will arrive at home mailboxes early to mid-March. Juniors who receive an invitation letter should be sure to note the application deadline of Friday, March 27th!

Criteria for NHS selection are as follows:

Juniors who have been at West for at least one year, who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher at the end of five semesters of high school work and who demonstrate good character, honesty, respect, and compassion toward others.

As a reminder the number of service hours has been reduced to 30 hours (volunteer hours accumulated since summer of 8th grade through present) due to the pandemic.

Students who wish to join NHS should follow the requirements listed on their invitation letter. More information on NHS can be found HERE

Princeton Summer Journalism Program for Juniors

The Princeton Summer Journalism Program was founded in 2002 by Richard Just, Michael Koike, Gregory Mancini and Rich Tucker — four alumni of the Princeton University Class of 2001 and editors for the Daily Princetonian. Their goal was to diversify college and professional newsrooms, where women, people of color, and from lower-income and middle-class backgrounds, rural communities and other parts of the country had been historically underrepresented. Today, despite innovations in technology, the expansion of social media platforms, and increased attention to diversity, this need is arguably more crucial than ever.

Students who meet eligibilty critiera should apply by March 15th. Click here for more info.

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WEF College Fair Info

Explore colleges from the comfort of home!

Register for the FREE virtual Wisconsin Education Fair (WEF) to find colleges, universities, military branches and specialty schools that you’re most interested in.

WEF Spring Dates:

  • Wed., March 10
  • Sun., April 4

To attend either of the upcoming WEFs, please register as a student. Once you’re registered, you’ll get to:

  • Attend any of the virtual WEFs offered
  • Filter through schools to find the ones you’re most interested in
  • Live chat with college admission representatives to get your questions answered
  • Attend an interactive financial aid session brought to you by College Goal Wisconsin

For additional details on the upcoming WEFs and what to expect, click here.

How to get the most out of the virtual college fair

College Board's Big Future Days

What to Expect

BigFuture Day events are four hours long. You can drop in and out of the event at the times that work for your schedule. The College Panels and College Planning sessions will be recorded for future viewing. You need to register in advance to attend the live events and access the recordings.

Here's an overview of the activities and sessions you can expect at each BigFuture Day event:

  • Visit College Booths
  • Attend College Panels
  • Listen and Learn at College Planning Sessions

How to Attend

You can register for any event and more than one.

Who: This event is meant for high school sophomores and juniors, but younger and older students are welcome. We also encourage parents/guardians to join along with their students.

When: Click the events below to learn more about the colleges and states included in that region.

BigFuture Days Northeast
Sunday, March 7, 4:00-8:00 PM ET/1:00-5:00 PM PT

BigFuture Days West + Southwest
Tuesday, March 30, 5:00-9:00 PM ET / 2:00-6:00 PM PT

BigFuture Days Midwest
Sunday, April 18, 4:00-8:00 PM ET / 1:00-5:00 PT

BigFuture Days Southeast
Thursday, April 29, 5:00-9:00 PM ET / 2:00-6:00 PM PT

Sign Me Up Now

More Info HERE

BigFuture Days - The College Board's First Ever Virtual College Fair
WI Technical College System Website

Check out the brand new website for Wisconsin Technical College System – all you need in one place. Search the more than 500 programs, order Guidebooks, brochures, posters and more!

Technology Help Ticket

Is your chromebook having issues? Fill out the help ticket to request tech support.

Work Permits

MMSD Schools are Closed at this time and students will need to obtain a work permit from one of the following offices. (We suggest that you call ahead to check on office hours.):

Commonwealth Development

1501 Williamson Street


Briarpatch Youth Services

2720 Rimrock Road


ALCS Abundant Life School

4901 E Buckeye Road


Please note that students will need to bring the following items:

  • An ID issued by the state (birth certificate, baptismal certificate, driver’s license, state ID or previous child labor permit),
  • A letter from the employer saying he/she have hired you and lists the nature of the business, your job duties, hours of work, and time of day you will work.
  • A letter from parent/guardian giving student permission to accept the job (this may be a parent note or signature on the employer’s letter),
  • A Social Security card, or verification of number with insurance or tax form and
  • $10

Work Based Learning

Did you know that MMSD high school students have the opportunity to earn elective high school credit through paid work or volunteer experiences? During COVID-19 students also have the opportunity to earn credit through caretaking/babysitting. Enrollment in the program is rolling throughout the year.

Learn more about earning credit through work or volunteer experiences by clicking here. For information about earning credit through caretaking, please review this checklist.



is now open from 8:30-3:30, Monday - Friday following the school calendar! If you requested tutoring supports, please check your email for information and the link to the Zoom Room. If you would like to request a tutor, please complete this TUTOR REQUEST FORM. If you would like to visit the tutor room with questions please click here. You may contact Mrs. Schumacher or Ms. Swenson with any questions.

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Wanda Fullmore Youth Internship Program

Applications are currently open! Youth will get a link to the open interviews once they have completed the online application.

Interns will work up to 16 hours per week focused on their project and other additional professional development workshops. Wages start at $10.50/hour for this 8-week summer opportunity.

Please see our website for more details, and for applications.

In order to be considered:

  • Students must reside in the City of Madison limits OR attend a Madison Metropolitan School and be at least 14 years of age when applying
  • Interested students must:
  1. Submit a completed YOUTH and PARENT/GUARDIAN application
  2. Attend one VIRTUAL open interview time (dates, times, and locations are listed on the youth application and a staff member will reach out with invites/more details

***Students will not be considered if they do not have complete these two components of the application.

For more information and for the links to the online applications, check out our website at:

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