Counselor Connections

VHS Counseling Department Newsletter - October 2022

Academic Support Opportunities

  • Teacher Office Hours: M/T/Th/F, 3:05 - 3:35 PM

  • Math Tutoring (A2): M/T/Th, 3:10 - 4:00 PM

  • Viper Connect: M/Th/F, during the school day


The Maricopa ACE Scholars Program is a scholarship program that targets high school sophomores and assists them in making the smooth transition from high school, through community college, and on to a university.

Some of the benefits of this program are:

1. Students can earn 24 college credits,

2. Attend college success workshops,

3. Internships/Scholarship opportunities and

4. Provide support and guidance to help students have a successful college experience.

There are specific requirements for this program; to learn more, go to We will also host a presentation this month during Viper Connect for interested students.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

AP Students -

Be sure you have joined your AP teacher's College Board AP Classroom. This is different from their Google Classroom and will need a separate join code (your AP teacher has this).

Please review Mr. Pratt's presentation below for more information about the registration process for exams.

See your teacher, Mr. Lees, or Mr. Pratt if you have any questions!


While the counselors do not handle Student Attendance, we do want to remind you that you can lose credit in a class (even if you are passing), if you are not attending the class. Talk with one of our administrators to learn more about the attendance process. Stay focused and stay on-track to graduate!

College Athletics

Want to compete in college athletics? You need to know the eligibility requirements. Check out the following sites:

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Counselor Cart & More

Pictured above (left to right): Ms. Palmgren, Mr. Navarro, and Ms. Enders at lunch with the Counselor Cart during Spirit Week.

The Counselor Cart will be out on Mondays & Fridays. Mr. Navarro, our College & Career Specialist, will be with it as will a School Counselor. If you have a question related to your academics, college, career, etcetera, please stop by and ask.

Also during lunches, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays the School Counselors and Student Support Specialists will open the Innovation Lounge for our Zen Den. This is intended to be a calm and quiet space for students to come in and have lunch. We have coloring, quiet games, and calming tools for students to use.

Course Questions or Concerns

Have a question about a grade in a course, assignment, assessment, or other class concern? Students should speak with their teacher. After that, if there is something the student does not understand or believes is unresolved, we encourage the student and parents to speak with the teacher. Students can reach out to their counselor if they need assistance talking with their teacher. With every year, we want our students to grow in their ability to self-advocate as this will assist them in their life after high school.

Cumulative vs Core GPA

A cumulative grade point average (GPA) uses grades from ALL classes taken during the regular school day. Your cumulative weighted and unweighted GPA are reported on your transcript.

A core GPA uses only the grades of courses required by the college/university for admissions to their school.

We encourage students to research what type of GPA is used for admission and scholarships at the schools they plan to apply to.

Did you know?

During Viper Connect, the Counselors have two groups, MPOWRD and S2S, that meet. We also offer presentations and workshops.

MPOWRD is a research-based educational program focused on leadership and prevention. This is a peer-to-peer group where teens support one another in making healthy decisions and dealing with the difficult issues teens face. Attendance is voluntary and completely confidential. Teens join to support themselves or others. Ms. Schepker (School Counselor) and Ms. Booth (Student Support Specialist) lead this group.

S2S is a program that joins returning students with students new to Verrado. It is designed to ease the transition for new students. Ms. Palmgren (School Counselor) and Ms. Schepker (School Counselor) lead this group.

This month the counselors will also offer sessions on West-MEC, EMCC's ACE & Hoop of Learning Programs, mindfulness, and more!

In addition, Mr. Navarro, our College & Career Specialist, offers a variety visits from college reps and workshops.

Be sure to look for Viper Connect sessions from the Counseling and Career Centers.

FREE Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA opens October 1, 2022 for current seniors.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),, determines your eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs. Colleges/universities may require you to complete the FAFSA for their merit-based scholarships (even if the scholarships are not need-based)...don't be caught off-guard...complete you FAFSA!

Visit, to learn more about the FAFSA.

You and your parents will need an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA.

Go to to create a FSA ID. This is required to start the FAFSA.

If you want to know the information you will need to complete the FAFSA, go to

Remember, completing the FAFSA is just one step in the financial aid process! Learn more at

Google Classrooms - from the Counselors

Each grade level (cohort) has their own Google Classroom that the counselors oversee. Students can find Wellness Wednesday activities/information, announcements, and more. Be sure you are checking your cohort's Google Classroom throughout the year as it will continue to grow!

Hoop of Learning

The EMCC Hoop of Learning Program's mission is to encourage, enable and empower Native American students to complete high school and transition successfully to higher education. It was established from a need to help Native American students stay in school and pursue a college degree. Native American high school students, grades 9th through 12th, are given a scholarship opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school.

Some of the benefits of this program are:

1. Tuition, books, and fees covered by scholarship,

2. Earn college credit,

3. Increase academic achievements,

4. Increased preparedness,

5. Specialized advisement and

6. Participation in activities to enhance growth

There are specific requirements for this program; go to to learn more. We will also host a presentation this month for interested students. - Official Transcript Option

Official transcripts can be ordered on for a fee. This method allows you to track your request and expedites the process.

If you prefer to not pay the fee, you can still order through our Registrar, Ms. Nanette Rodriguez. You will need to complete an Official Transcript Request Form in the main Counseling Center.

Please note: If you would like your class ranking on your transcript you must indicate such in your request.


ParentVue is program used by many districts to allow parents access to their student's grades, attendance, etc. When you login, be sure to work from AFUHSD site,

Remember, 1st quarter grades will be posted on Friday, October 7th. Report cards will be accessible via ParentVue.

Within ParentVue, there are a number of auto notify options such as Attendance and Grade Book notifications. You can select the day of the week you would like to receive notifications. Log into ParentVue, then click on the My Account tab near the top right of the page. If you are having any difficulties with ParentVue access, please contact the main Counseling Center at 623-932-7400.

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VHS Counselors REMIND

Parents & students - If you are not signed up for the Counseling Department's Remind messaging account, you may be missing out on important information related to career and college, academics, and social/emotional well-being.

For text messages, send the following cohort-specific message to 81010:

  • Seniors message = @verrado23

  • Juniors message = @verrado24

  • Sophomores message = @verrado25

  • Freshmen message = @verrado26

Thank you!

Thank you to the Arizona Department of Education and! Last year, Mrs. Hink submitted a request for calming tools, including coloring books, colored pencils, stress balls, breathing balls, tissue, and more. With the donation, the counselors each have a “calming box” in their office that can be used at any time of need but also used for specific outreach opportunities like our Zen Den (at lunches on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays). Below are a few pictures of the donation:

West-MEC 2023-24

The 2023-24 West-MEC program application is projected to open on October 17th.

Check out their website at and attend one of their Open House events,, to learn more about their programs and requirements.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can apply to attend a West-MEC program; however, completion of an application does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Also, take a look at the various upcoming West-MEC presentations we will have on campus (see the Upcoming Events section of this newsletter).

Students apply online at, then, print the verification form. Once you and your parent have signed the verification form, you must turn it in to your VHS counselor by December 22, 2022 for consideration in the primary round of allocations.


The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is a tuition-discount agreement between participating public colleges/universities in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) member states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Students may pay 150 percent (or less) of the enrolling school’s resident tuition (which is less than paying the school's nonresident tuition rates). Learn more at

Upcoming Events

College & Career Wear Day


Counselor Cart

Mondays & Fridays



Zen Den

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays


Innovation Lounge

Academic Letter/Pin Recognition

October 6 (11th & 12th)

October 7 (10th)

Viper Connect

*by invitation

Military Appreciation Night

October 7

@ the VHS Football Game

NACAC Virtual College Fairs

October 9

November 6

2023-24 West-MEC Application Opens (tentative)

October 17

Tri-University (ASU, NAU, UofA) Admission & Financial Aid Virtual Sessions

October 17 – 22

West-MEC Open House Events

October - December

Dates and times vary by campus during this window. Check out the following for details:

West-MEC Presentation

October 20

Viper Connect

Taking Steps Towards College Success

October 23

8:30 - 11:30 AM

Civic Space Park

Greater Phoenix National College Fair

October 23

11 AM – 3 PM

Phoenix Convention Center

West-MEC Presentation

October 24


Innovation Lounge


October 25

8:15 AM

for students that registered to test

AFUHSD FAFSA Completion Night

November 3

Time TBD

@ Millennium High School

West-MEC Application Help

November 7

December 5


Innovation Lounge


November 10

8:15 AM


*Seniors that did not test previously or opt to retest, see Mr. Navarro

MHS/VHS College & Career Night

November 15

5:30 - 7:30 PM

@ Millennium High School

VHS Scholarship Marathon

November 16

1:30 - 3:00 PM


Seniors Only

West-MEC Lunch Table Visit

November 21

VHS Application Campaign

November 30

1:30 - 3:00 PM


2023-24 Course Selection Week for Class of 2026

December 5 - 9 (tentative)

Instagram: vhscounseling

Twitter: @Counselors_VHS