Hawktalk Express

Madison Counseling Department


Welcome everyone to the 2021-2022 school year! The Hawktalk express is a newsletter from your Madison counselors emailed home during the following months: September, November, January, March, and May. Grade specific information along with important dates, events, and resources are included in every hawktalk express.

Madison Counselors

Angie Colón, Head Counselor (H-N), acolon@sandi.net

Elizabeth Guerra, Counselor (A-G), eguerra@sandi.net

Michelle Sphonix-Rust, Counselor (O-Z), mfrancescotti@sandi.net


First Progress Reports

Progress reports will be available for parents in PowerSchool on October 15th. These grades are an indication of how the student is doing in their first semester classes. Parents should pay close attention to their student’s progress, and throughout the semester, to identify any challenges. At the end of semester one, the final grades will appear on their transcript. If a student needs help with a specific subject, we recommend that they communicate with their teachers and take advantage of teacher office hours, form a study group with their fellow classmates, or work with a study buddy to get their work done.

Parent Education Events

This year, the counseling department will be hosting a series of parent workshops covering various topics related to college/career readiness and future planning. Please see the flyer below for all the dates and information. All meetings will start out as zoom meetings. If there is a change, we will notify you. Please save the dates in your calendar!

Note: 9th Grade parents, your first parent meeting is tomorrow at 6pm! Here is the Link to join: https://sandiegounified.zoom.us/j/89902051471

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Virtual Latino College Expo

11th and 12th graders: register now to attend the Virtual Latino College Expo on Saturday September 18th from 12pm-3pm. Get the chance to win scholarships, ask questions, receive application fee waivers, and even get accepted on the spot to some participating colleges. Be sure to have a copy of your transcript before attending. You can email Mrs. Gil at igil@sandi.net to request a copy of your transcript. Students must register online to attend. To register, visit: https://hopin.com.events/2nd-annual-virtual-latino-college-expo .

Senior Jump Start

Jump start your senior year at Cal-SOAP’s free virtual event on September 18th! Learn about UC and CSU admissions, scholarships, financial aid, EOP and more. Click here to register for the event!

UCSD Virtual Fall Showcase

Experience UC San Diego from home during our Virtual Fall Showcase! This event will feature live Q&A rooms with Admissions and Financial Aid staff, mix and mingle opportunities with academic departments, and presentations from academic enrichment programs, student life offerings, and more! Oct. 2nd from 10am-1pm. Click here to register.

EDGE: Empowerment and Development for Girls in Engineering

EDGE is a year long program catered to 9-12 graders interested in pursuing an engineering degree. Our mission is to encourage more high school girls to consider STEM related careers in order to bridge the gender gap in engineering fields. Applications for the 2021-2022 school year are now open, and students may apply through this form. The application deadline is September 23, 2021 at 11:59 pm. (attach a flyer maybe?)


College Corner

We are officially in college application season! Seniors will be very busy these next few months as they apply for college, financial aid, scholarships, and other postsecondary options. The counselors will begin hosting college application and financial aid workshops in October. More information is coming soon!

Financial Aid

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) will open on Oct. 1st for the 2022-2023 school year. Filing the FAFSA is the only way for students to receive federal aid for college. So many families struggle with the application or let misunderstandings prevent them from applying. Families that gather all the documents they need before filling out the FAFSA experience a much smoother process. On average, the FAFSA takes about 30 minutes to fill out if you have all the information gathered.


Any and all scholarship opportunities that come across our counselor’s desks are shared with Seniors via their Class of 2022 google classroom page. Applying for scholarships can make a huge difference in a family’s ability to afford a specific college or program. Here are some of our favorite websites to get your started on your search:

  • Fastweb (Scholarship search engine)

  • Unigo

  • College Board

  • Scholly


Freshman Foundations

This course is for freshmen at Madison High School. It was developed with transition to the high school experience in mind since 9th grade is critical for students to find their footing in high school. The course is also an approved “g” elective UC/CSU course, which means it is recognized as a college preparatory elective by the CSU and UC systems. Through a sequence of six modules, students are introduced to college and career exploration, in addition to the following essential elements for student success:

  • How to be a model student and citizen

  • Creating a supportive learning community

  • Developing self-awareness and self-management

  • Building academic strengths and purpose

  • Resolving conflicts and making decisions

  • Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action.

Class of 2025 Counseling Google Classroom

All 9th grade students should join their Class of 2025 Counseling google classroom page. The counselors will post important grade level information and notify students of events and opportunities in the area. This is one of the main ways we communicate with all 9th graders, make sure your student has joined! Join code: nj3jjt7

Thank you!

If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the topics above, please do not hesitate to reach out to your students' counselor.

Angie Colón, Head Counselor (H-N), acolon@sandi.net

Elizabeth Guerra, Counselor (A-G), eguerra@sandi.net

Michelle Sphonix-Rust, Counselor (O-Z), mfrancescotti@sandi.net