M.A. Counseling Newsletter

October 2019

In This Issue

  • Upcoming Events
  • Conferences
  • Practice ACT with Breakaway Test Prep
  • PSAT Testing Day
  • FMSC Volunteer Day
  • NACCAP Christian College Fairs
  • FAFSA and CSS Profile
  • Free Application Opportunities for Minnesota Colleges & Universities
  • Upcoming College Application Deadlines
  • Family Media Agreement
  • Wellness Corner

Upcoming Events

  • Conferences - Thursday, October 3rd from 2-8PM and Friday, October 4th from 8 AM-4 PM.
  • Practice ACT with Breakaway Prep - Saturday Oct 5th at Minnehaha Academy Upper School.
  • PSAT Testing - 10th and 11th graders Oct 16th 8:30 AM-12:00 PM.
  • FMSC Volunteer Day - 9th graders Oct 16th 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM.
  • NACCAP Christian College Fairs - Monday, Oct 21st and Tuesday Oct 22nd
  • Junior Parent Night - Tuesday, November 12 - 6:30-7:30 PM - Campus Room
  • Sophomore Parent Night - Monday, February 10 - 6:30-7:30 PM - Campus Room
  • ACT Exam (for juniors) - Saturday, February 8 at Minnehaha Academy Upper School - Register here.

Counselors are Available for Conferences!

If you have concerns about your student that you would like to discuss with their counselor, sign up for a conference time slot in the same way you would with teachers. Students with last names A-K Wanda Monroe (for Kristin Overton) and L-Z Christine Paton

Here is the link: https://pickatime.com/MinnehahaUpperSchool/Fall_Conf

Practice ACT with Breakaway Test Prep

Breakaway Test Prep and Minnehaha Academy are teaming up once again to offer a full-length, proctored practice ACT this Fall. Practice tests are an invaluable component of the test prep process. Taking a full-length test gives students critical experience dealing with the pressure of the test situation while getting practice on all sections of a test in a classroom full of their peers. Students that take the time to sit for a practice test prior to taking an actual ACT show dramatically stronger results than students that sit down cold on test-day.

The practice test will take place on October 5th, 2019, at the Minnehaha Academy Upper School campus. Room information will be sent a few days prior to test-day to all registrants. The practice test will begin at 9:00am sharp and will be completed by 12:05pm. Students must arrive on test-day by 8:45am. Students should bring #2 pencils and a calculator. Results will be made available the same day.

To register your student for the October 5th practice test, please use the sign-up form below. There is no cost to attend the practice test. You will receive a confirmation email after signing up. if you should have any questions about the practice test or test-prep, please contact Breakaway’s Education Director, Matt McManus, via email at matt@breakawaytestprep.com or at 612-578-9995 (text or call).

Sign up today! http://www.breakawaytestprep.com/minnehaha-practice-act

PSAT Testing Day - October 16th

On Wednesday, October 16th, students in 10th and 11th grade will be taking the PSAT. For the 11th graders, the PSAT also counts as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Exam so students who perform well on the 11th grade PSAT may have the opportunity to earn National Merit Scholarship recognition. Testing will begin promptly at 8:30 AM in the gym and will conclude at approximately 12:00 PM. Buses run at the normal times that day so students can stay at school until the buses and vans arrive at the normal times or they can be picked up at noon. There will be a light lunch service available that day for students who need to remain on campus.

The 9th graders will participate in a volunteer day at Feed My Starving Children.

For our seniors, the counselors will be available in the Campus Room to help them work on college application completion. Teachers will also be available to review and give feedback on student's college essays. Mrs. Paton will bring donuts!

Feed My Starving Children for 9th graders

On October 16th, all 9th graders will meet at the Upper School for a light breakfast snack at 8:30 AM and then bused over to Feed My Starving Children in Eagan to pack food. They will return to school at noon. Students can be picked up at this time, or wait for the buses and vans to pick them up at their normal times.

NACCAP Christian College Fairs

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Interested in attending a distinctively Christian college? Attend one of two upcoming NACCAP Christian College Fairs to learn more about the many options across the country. Don't miss out!

Monday, Oct. 21st, Southwest Christian High School - 6:30-8:30

Tuesday, Oct 22nd, New Life Academy - 6:30-8:30


FAFSA and CSS Profile: October 1st

The FAFSA and CSS profile are both open as of October 1st for completion. If you are interested in applying for financial aid, complete the FAFSA as soon as you are able. The CSS profile is required for only a select number of colleges and universities. If you missed the Financial Aid night, the power point is posted on parent square. Call or email with any questions.

Free Application Opportunities for Minnesota Colleges & Universities

October is College Knowledge Month in Minnesota!

Here is a link to all of the Minnesota Colleges and Universities that offer free applications during the month of October and throughout the year:

Download the complete list of where - and when - students can apply to Minnesota postsecondary institutions without a fee during 2019 College Knowledge Month and throughout the 2019-2020 academic year.

Upcoming College Application Deadlines

Many Colleges and Universities have early action deadlines on November 1st, and a few as early as Oct 15th. Be sure that your student sends their ACT and/or SAT scores two weeks prior to their deadline to ensure it arrives in time. Remind your student to have a counselor review their application prior to submission.

If your students is applying Early Decision, which is a binding decision, be sure they connect with their counselor to receive and sign the ED form. Parents must also sign the form and return to the counseling office.

Family Media Agreement

As parents it is often challenging to manage the technology use of our teens, even under our own roof. Truth-be-told they do not remember a time without a smartphone or tablet; it is woven into their dailiness of life like never before. Although connection to peers is a foundation of adolescent development, it is imperative that as parents you feel confident when setting healthy boundaries around technology. Common Sense Media has a fantastic Family Media Agreement worth checking out.

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Wellness Corner

Proverbs 3: 5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

My stroke of insight | Jill Bolte Taylor
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M.A. Counseling Team and Services


Mike DiNardo, Vice Principal/Director of Counseling


Kristin Overton, College & Guidance Counselor (Last Names A-K) overtonkristin@minnehahaacademy.net

Christine Paton, College & Guidance Counselor (Last Names L-Z) patonchristine@minnehahaacademy.net

Wanda Monroe, Non-Public Counselor


Diane Rahm, Counseling Office Assistant, Registrar



Academic Advising

  • Guiding toward an appropriately challenging course load

  • Additional support to teachers, parents, and students
Social-Emotional Counseling
  • Safe, welcoming and confidential
  • Addressing issues around anxiety, depression, and general well-being
  • Peer and family relationship challenges
College and Career Readiness
  • College fit
  • Career/personality inventories
  • Counselors visiting various colleges and universities throughout the U.S. to provide firsthand information