West Counseling News

Regent Reporter January 2017

Attention Parents

Please continue to check our Counseling web page for the most up-to-date information. Parents of seniors: If your senior has not yet fine-tuned his/her post high school plans, please encourage him/her to meet with his/her counselor in January or February.


How to Find Scholarships

1. Check out our latest edition of Scholarship Scoops for some great scholarship opportunities!

2. Complete and submit a West high School Scholarship Application between Monday, January 9th and Monday, February 13th. The link will be emailed to your MMSD email.

3. Check out free scholarship search service like fastweb.com or www.collegedate.com

4. Research College Scholarships - Check out the college websites of the colleges you applied to, specifically, look under Financial Aid and Scholarships.

5. Check with community businesses or organizations. Your church, Lions Club, local businesses, etc.

6. Contact the State Department of Higher Education.

West High Scholarship

Each year, many local organizations and individuals generously provide scholarships for West High School Seniors. In recent years, West High has had approximately 90 scholarships to award. Each scholarship donor determines the criteria for their individual scholarship. The criteria vary, but may include one or more of the following: academic achievement, leadership, school/community service, athletic achievement, financial need, special interests/talents, or intended area of study.

To be eligible for a West Scholarship, students must have attended high school in the Madison Metropolitan School District for a minimum of three (3) full semesters and the 8th, or final, semester must be at West. In addition, they must complete and submit a West High Scholarship application. This application will be accessible on the front of the West High school webpage, between Monday, January 9, 2017 and Monday, February 13, 2016 and the front of the counseling webpage. An e-mail with the application link will also be sent to all seniors through their MMSD e-mail account on January 9th at 8:00 a.m. Students must complete this application by 4 pm on Monday, February 13th in order to be considered for any of the West Scholarships, and submit a hard copy of the signature page (last page) to the Secretary in the Counseling Office.

The Scholarship Committee will begin meeting in March and will use the information provided on the applications to select the recipients for the various scholarships. If you have trouble accessing the application or need any assistance completing it, please contact the Secretary, in the counseling office. West Scholarships will be announced at the Senior Honors Convocation in June.

Academic Excellence

Wisconsin Academic Excellence: The State of Wisconsin awards scholarships to the top seniors in high schools across the state who plan to attend a public or private university, college, or VTAE post-secondary institution located in the State of Wisconsin. Every year, five West seniors have been awarded this scholarship.

The scholarship awards are $2,250 per year renewable for up to four years.

Requirements: High school graduate planning to attend an institution of higher learning in the State of Wisconsin. Student must be a legal resident of Wisconsin and a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

Criteria: Highest cumulative GPA for 7 semesters of work. Students and parents will be notified by the Counseling Office if they qualify for the scholarship in February.

MMSD Tie Breaking Procedure for the Academic Excellence & Wisconsin All State Scholarships

Often, schools will have 20 or more students tied for the number one rank, all with cumulative GPAs of 4.0. Top rank for those with 4.0 GPAs will be determined by using the highest composite ACT score (or highest converted SAT score), from a student’s best single test date (tests taken no later than December of senior year). If, after using this test score approach, a tie still exists (eg. six 4.0 students all have composite ACT scores of “35”), our Scholarship Committee declares that a deadlock exists. In this event, there is no further method that would fairly and objectively separate one outstanding candidate from another. At this point the names of the students tied at each test score level would be entered into a random lottery to yield a final rank ordering. The lottery would be supervised by one of the high school principals.



All juniors have been invited to meet with their counselor for a junior conference to discuss their 2016-2017 schedule, to review graduation requirements, and to make a personalized plan for after high school. Any juniors who have not yet met with their counselor should set up an individual conference right away.


The Minnesota/Wisconsin reciprocity agreement allows Wisconsin residents to attend Minnesota public universities at in-state tuition rates. Please visit http://www.heab.state.wi.us/ for more information.

The Midwest Student Exchange Program provides reduced tuition rates. Through the MSEP, public institutions agree to charge students no more than 150% of the in-state resident tuition rate for specific programs; private institutions offer a 10% reduction on their tuition rates. You must be enrolling as a non-resident student at a participating MSEP campus to receive the discount. Please visit http://msep.mhec.org/ for more information.

Youth Options Program

The Youth Options Program was established to allow 11th and 12th grade pupils to enroll at an institution of higher education in Wisconsin to take courses that lead to credit granted toward high school graduation. MMSD is required to pay for a course taken by a high school student at a secondary institute if a comparable course is not offered in the school district. Applications may be obtained in the Counseling Office. Refer to the application for requirements and other information. Note: A course syllabus for each course must be turned in along with the YOP application.

By MARCH 1st for the fall semester, and October 1st for the spring semester, students must notify the school board of their intention to participate in YOP. The application for participation must arrive in the office of the Director of Alternative Programs by the deadline dates. NO EXCEPTIONS to the deadline dates will be granted. A separate application must be processed for each semester that a student applies to participate in YOP. The YOP does not apply to summer school or to Independent Study. See the YOP application (for either the University of Wisconsin-Madison or Madison College) for requirements and other information.

College Entrance Exams

We recommend juniors take the ACT and/or SAT in the spring of their junior year if they plan to apply to college. All UW System Schools accept either the ACT or the SAT. If you have specific colleges in mind, find out from the college which exam they require. BECAUSE COLLEGES TYPICALLY ACCEPT YOUR HIGHEST SCORE, PREPARE EARLY AND TAKE THE TEST MORE THAN ONCE. The UW-Madison is the only university within the Wisconsin System which requires the Writing Test.

ACT Testing Dates

SAT Testing Dates

Test Scores: Students may elect to have their test scores sent directly to the colleges of their choice when they register for the test. However, if a student is applying to a college or university that accepts either the ACT or SAT, the student may elect to compare their test results first, then have only the better score sent (there is a nominal additional fee for this strategy). Also, a student may take the ACT as often as they wish, and not send the scores anywhere, and then later select the best score to report to colleges. Then colleges receive only the best test performance results. SAT also gives you the option to choose which scores are sent to the colleges of your choice – by test date for the SAT and by individual test for the SAT Subject Tests.

Special Testing: Students with current professionally diagnosed and documented disabilities who wish to request special testing accommodations for any college admissions test should see their case manager to review options. Special testing options are different for ACT and SAT. Students should apply for accommodations six weeks in advance of testing.

ACT Test Prep

1. Free ACT Prep is available to every MMSD high school student through Career Cruising. The Method Test Prep offers tutorials, practice questions and two full-length ACT practice tests.

Login Information:

Username: Student ID #
Password: Student 6 digit birthdate first and last initials (no spaces)

2. ZAPS Test Prep

Zaps will offer a test prep course at West High School on February 15th and February 16th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $89.99 and students can register via phone at 877-927-8378 or on this website thttp://www.doorwaytocollege.com/act-test-prep


Sophomores will come to the Counseling Office for Developmental Guidance January 30, 31 and Feb 1. During this time Sophomores will meet in small groups with their Counselor to receive information about course selection for junior year. They selections will be confirmed in Career Cruising the week of February 13th - 17th. Please review your student's course selections with them.


Scheduling - 2nd Semester

Reminder regarding second semester schedules: There will be no schedule changes at semester per our schedule change policy except for schedule adjustments needed for the reasons indicated below:

1. A student did not pass a class that was required and/or the student’s schedule does not meet grade level or graduation requirements (seniors).

2. A student did not pass a class that was a prerequisite for another class.

3. A student’s Youth Options course or other approved MMSD course conflicts with the student’s schedule.

4. A year long class is dropped – in which case a new class for second semester may be added in the same period as the dropped class.

5. Teacher initiated level change for a student.

An Appeal Form must be submitted to the counselor for all other requests during the first week of the new semester. Appeal Forms can be requested in the Highland Office – Room 2011.

SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS WILL TAKE PLACE THE WEEK OF FINALS January 16th - 20th and the first week of Quarter 3 January 23rd - 27th. No new courses can be added to a student's schedule after January 27th.


We would like to call your attention to the procedure for dropping an extra course. A student carrying more than the required number of classes may drop a second semester class without record anytime within the first seven weeks (deadline is March 10th for second semester) providing that student still carries the required course load. If a class is dropped beyond the seventh week of a semester, the student’s record will reflect an “F” (failure) for the current quarter and current semester. (See Student Handbook).


Scheduling information and materials for the 2017-2018 school year will be distributed at middle schools beginning January 17th and at West High on February 6th through West House Connections. Again, this year, the Curriculum Guide can be accessed online, and will not be given out. Go to: http://westweb.madison.k12.wi.us, then “Familes”, then “2017-2018 Curriculum Guide”. Classroom teachers set aside one or more days to talk with students about course offerings within their own departments and will advise students as to appropriate choices for their particular subject area. 9th and 10th grade students will then enter their course selections during their English class between Feb. 13th – Feb 17th and the juniors will enter course selections during their junior conference and confirm them on-line in Career Cruising by February 17th.

Student course choices are considered FINAL. Students and parents should make conscientious choices. Teachers are hired on the basis of course requests. It will not be possible to change your classes later on. Your careful attention to your selections will help the registration and scheduling process run more smoothly.


Please attend one of the following parent nights to obtain course selection and other grade level information for your student(s):

8th Grade January 30th

9th Grade January 23rd

10th Grade January 26th

11th Grade February 2nd