Welcome Back Counseling Newsletter

West High School Counseling Department

Welcome To The 2020-21 School Year

The Counseling Department welcomes all new and returning students and families to West High School for the 2020-21 school year. We look forward to a positive and productive year, despite the uncertainties that the Covid-19 pandemic presents.

Trust that we will do all we can to ensure that your experience at West is one that you will cherish and reflect on positively for the rest of your life. For freshmen coming from middle school, we look forward to getting to know you and helping you make a successful transition to West.

We feel that in a large metropolitan high school, it is important to communicate information in a timely and effective manner. This newsletter is intended to give you a summary of important grade level counseling information which should be useful in making plans and navigating high school as well as life after graduation.

If you have questions please contact your assigned counselor, who is listed at the bottom of your schedule in Row 10. In addition, please make sure you read the “School Counseling News” section of the Regent Reporter, which is sent out at the beginning of each month and can be found on West’s website: west.mmsd.org. To find other specific information relating to the Counseling office, go to the same website and click on For Families and then Counseling, or click here.

We want to encourage all students to set up phone notifications for their school email on their devices and read all school emails carefully for important announcements, opportunities and updates. You can also sign up to receive text messages right to your phone from the Counseling Department (see info on how to sign up below).

West High School Counseling Team

Big picture
Big picture

Stay Connected This School Year

Big picture

Staff Spotlight

Welcome to the newest member of the West High School Counseling Department!

We welcome Ms. Williams to West! She will be taking over Mr. Gussine's caseload for students in both the Highland and Van Hise SLCs.

Ms. Williams received her undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin Madison and her Master’s degree from University of Wisconsin Whitewater. She has worked in child protective services and various social service agencies in the Milwaukee area. She worked as a school counselor in Plymouth, Wisconsin before moving to Washington, D.C. While in Washington, D.C., she worked as a job counselor and school counselor at an independent school.

Class Schedule Change Reminder

Student schedules for the 2020-21 school year will be released in Infinite Campus on August 24th.

Information on requesting schedule changes can be found here and must be made before Sept. 15th.

Graduation Requirements

Big picture

Wisconsin Education Fair (WEF) is Virtual!

WEF will continue to be a resource for our students and schools. We're expecting nearly 100 colleges, universities, military branches, and specialty schools to participate in the college fair portion.

Free to attend. Interested students should REGISTER HERE

Offering a monthly virtual college fair from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m., followed by 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. interactive financial aid presentation brought to you by College Goal Wisconsin.

  • Wednesday, 9/16
  • Wednesday, 10/7
  • Sunday, 11/8
  • Wednesday, 2/10
  • Wednesday, 3/10
  • Sunday, 4/11

HBCU Information

Apply now to any number of 55 Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) with the Common Black College Application at www.commonblackcollegeapp.com for only $20.

The second FREE HBCU Facebook Live WORLD WIDE College Fair will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2020 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm EST. Register now at www.commonblackcollegeapp.com/collegefair.

Weekend Testing @ West


Sending Test Scores

ACT & SAT Test Scores

It is the student's responsibility to have the appropriate test scores (i.e., ACT or SAT ) sent directly from the testing service to colleges. West High will not send test scores. Most colleges (including UW System Schools) require that your score be sent to the admissions office directly from the ACT or SAT testing company. You can request that your scores be sent when you register for an ACT or SAT by filling in the appropriate college codes. If you took the ACT or SAT as a junior but did not send your scores to colleges at that time, you now need to go online or call the testing company to have your scores sent for an additional fee. (ACT – 319-337-1270; SAT 866-756-7346).

Due to COVID-19, many colleges and universities have announced test-optional admissions for the 2020-21 application season. Please check individual school websites for the latest update on their test policy. Test availability is still limited across the US, including Madison. Students who wish to take the ACT or SAT can register on their own through the test agency's website and search for nearby test locations that are offering testing on their preferred date.
Searchable Database of Test Optional Schools

1,450+ Accredited, 4-Year Colleges & Universities with ACT/SAT-Optional Testing Policies for Fall


WEST High School Transcripts are ordered and delivered electronically (on-line). The Madison Metropolitan School District has joined the Wisconsin e-transcript initiative to bring you a quick, confidential, and paperless way to send your transcripts directly to colleges, the NCAA, the Common Application and other destinations of your choice.

It is the student's responsibility to order/send transcripts. School Counselors do not send student transcripts.

Make Up Dates for Chromebook Distribution

Makeup times for Chromebook pickup have been announced:

This is the perfect time for any family that missed their date to pick up a device, did not have a device in the Spring, is new to the district, or still need to exchange a device.

Makeup dates:

    • Tuesday, September 8, 8 am-3 pm
    • Wednesday, September 9, 12-7 pm
    • Thursday, September 10, 12-7 pm
    • Friday, September 11, 8am-3pm

You would go to Wright MS (not West) during one of those times. Note that teachers will be understanding that your student may not have their device immediately upon the start of the school year.

Single Sign-On Starts August 17

A message from Tech Services:

When logging into school-issued Chromebooks, each student will now need to use their 6 digit MMSD student ID# as their account username, and their current MMSD account password versus using their email address in previous school years. Please know that the password will remain the same.

Once logged in to ClassLink, the Dashboard of application icons will be the default web page. These icons include essential software such as G Suite tools like Google Docs, Sheets, Classroom, Gmail, and a host of other instructional software programs. To use these icons, a student just needs to click onto the icon and they will automatically be logged into that application.

To access ClassLink Launchpad from a non-MMSD issued device, a student would go to: https://launchpad.classlink.com/mmsd

Please know that these changes will be made as of August 17th, 2020.

Work Based Learning

MMSD high school students have the opportunity to earn elective high school credit through work or volunteer experiences. The number of credits earned is based on the number of documented work/volunteer hours, ¼ credit for every 45 hours worked, while completing school requirements.

Please contact your counselor to discuss work based learning and complete the required paperwork.

Earn College Credit While Still in High School

If you are interested in taking a college course for Spring 2021 through MMSD’s Early College Credit Options program, be sure to visit the program’s website HERE for important information about the application process.

Start College Now (SCN) allows current students in grades 11 and 12 the opportunity to take college courses at Wisconsin Technical Colleges in the Fall or Spring terms. The Early College Credit Program (ECCP) allows high school students (please note that most participating universities have restrictions for students in grade 10 or lower) the opportunity to take college courses at Wisconsin public (University of Wisconsin) and private universities in the Fall, Spring or Summer terms.

Applications for the Spring 2021 term are due to your school counselor by October 1, 2020.

The application process involves multiple steps, but begins with the student completing the application for MMSD approval. Please visit the ECCP website for links to the application. MMSD approval does not mean course approval by the college. Each college/university has its own process which may vary, though most require an additional online application. MMSD decisions are communicated to a student’s MMSD email address. If approved, students will receive information about next steps in the process. Please see your school counselor with any questions.

Job Opportunity for Juniors & Seniors

Exciting opportunity for juniors and seniors!

Get paid professional experience while learning about a career in one of the fastest-growing, highest-paid fields - data analytics, the art and science of answering questions about the world and identifying patterns using numbers. This partnership between the City of Madison and Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) provides work credit and an opportunity to earn the Employability Skills Certification.

The City of Madison's Data Team is seeking a paid high school intern to assist with collecting, entering, and finding patterns in COVID-related data. You'll learn skills for analyzing data and using data software. Open to all interested students. No prior training or experience required. The City of Madison, in partnership with MMSD, is a multicultural learning and working environment where differences are valued and respected. We encourage students from all backgrounds-including students of color, low-income students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ students, female students, and students at the intersections of these identities-to apply.

We're looking for students who:

  • can work with both the big picture and the small details
  • are open-minded, curious, and always want to learn more
  • are always teaching themselves something new (school-related or not)
  • are always looking for new and better ways of doing things
  • are systematic thinkers
  • can to dig in and find out why when something doesn't work right
  • are quick to notice patterns
  • are good at working independently and as part of a team
Important info:
  • $14.10/hour
  • 10 hours per week - two hours every weekday when school is in session, either during your first two
  • class periods or your last two class periods
  • Time period: beginning of the school year until winter break
  • Must be authorized to legally work in the US
  • By applying, you agree to meet MMSD's Education and Training Agreement if selected
Application process:
  • No special materials or preparation needed - you only need to answer a few questions about yourself
  • We'll contact selected students the week of August 24, for a telephone interview the week of August 31
  • If we get a high application volume, we may randomly select applications to review
  • The application will close at 11:59pm on Sunday, August 23

If this describes you, fill out the application now! Please contact datateam@cityofmadison.com with any additional questions.

NCAA Eligibility Center

A message for student athletes from NCAA: As we head into a new school year, please encourage any student-athletes wanting to play sports in college to create an EC account at eligibilitycenter.org . Incoming freshman and undecided student-athletes may want to register for a free Profile Page account. These accounts can be transferred to paid a Certification account at any time. Profile Page account registrants also get an NCAA ID and important reminders from the EC as they complete high school.

Any student-athletes planning to compete at an NCAA Division I or II school need to create a Certification account.

Click here to learn more about which account is right for your student-athletes.

Big picture

Looking forward to a great school year!