Junior College Career Newsletter

Edgewood High School Student Services - May 1, 2020

A College Admissions Dean Writes Open Letter To Panicked High School Juniors

Andrew Palumbo is the Dean of Admissinos & Financial Aid at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and wrote an absolutely spot-on reflection on the current status of admissions as they relate to junior high school students. I wish I could REQUIRE you all to read his letter, but instead highly encourage you to take some time and hear his words of wisdom. Please click below for Mr. Palumbo's letter, featured in the Washington Post.



Unfortunately, the world continues to be in a pattern of making, adjusting, confirming, cancelling, and rescheduling. The ACT is no exception to this pattern and therefore, although it was announced a few weeks ago that the June ACT would be administered as scheduled, that information has changed.

Due to Governor Evers' announcement of school buildings being closed for academic and extracurricular purposes through June 30th, EHS is no longer able to administer the June 13 ACT. This is especially frustrating as ACT has not made a state-wide or nation-wide decision to cancel the June ACT, and even within the state of WI, some testing centers that do not take place in K-12 institutions are planning to be administered. Collectively, the entire college admissions community is calling on ACT to promptly ensure that there is equity and fairness in which students are able to take exams when test centers are not consistently available to offer exams on a national level.

Edgewood is working with ACT to plan a potential school-day test for all students in October, in addition to the nationally scheduled dates posted on the website. This will provide an additional opportunity to take the exam, especially in light of the ongoing cancellations this summer. Again, I will be in contact with you as soon as I have additional details on this potential solution.

I will be in touch with you AS SOON as there is any additional information regarding upcoming exams. Students who were registered for the June ACT will be receiving communication directly from ACT about switching their registrations or requesting a refund.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility!

Preparing for 2020 AP Exams Zoom Meeting

Wednesday, May 6th, 3:30pm

This is an online event.

If you are registered to take AP Exams in May 2020, you should have received a comprehensive email from CollegeBoard earlier this week outlining some important information, explanations, and video guidelines to help you understand the logistics of AP exams in a few weeks.

PLEASE REVIEW THIS AP TESTING GUIDE ASAP to be sure that you are familiar with all of the procedures and expectations and schedules for completing AP EXAMS.

I will be hosting a ZOOM MEETING on Wednesday, May 6th at 3:30pm for a summary of what to expect, how to prepare, etc. as well as provide a Q&A session to clarify any concerns you have, AFTER HAVING REVIEWED THE LINK ABOVE BEFOREHAND!!! PLEASE ATTEND TO BE SURE YOU ARE PREPARED!!!

Please join this meeting through this link:

Meeting ID: 769 6533 8765
Password: 0dMhfc

Please let me know what questions you have!

Update: Summer Workshops

Because the most recent "stay at home" orders from Governor Evers include a mandate that all schools are closed through June 30th to students for academic and extracurricular purposes, our MAY and JUNE College Workshops will not be offered in their current formats.

Instead, especially in the months of May and June, EHS would like to offer students the opportunity to begin working on their Common App & Personal Essays, as intended through these in-person workshops, VIRTUALLY through individual Zoom Meetings and deadlines over the course of one week - whether during the originally scheduled workshop or adjusted based on your schedule. This will ensure some flexibility on students' part but is also still geared to be an "intensive" experience to result in a complete essay and/or Common App within a short period of time, as these workshops would have.

Our JULY and AUGUST dates are still scheduled to be offered as originally intended.

The registration form can be found BY CLICKING HERE - please mail in to Student Services @ Edgewood High School, 2219 Monroe Street, Madison WI 53711.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation have a varying role in college applications. Below are some points to consider as you begin preparing your college applications:

Why To Ask For Letters of Recommendation

All components of your college application aim to share a different angle of who you are as a student.

The "quantitative" or fact-based/measureable factors of your application include your GPA, grades, coursework, and standardized test scores.

The "qualitative" or more descriptive/personal factors of your application include your activities/resume, personal essay, and letters of recommendation.

Specifically regarding letters of recommendation, colleges and universities are looking to get an independent professional's perspective of what kind of student and community member they can expect you to be on their campus, that complements what you have reported about yourself throughout your application.

Who To Ask?

Generally, it is suggested that you have 1-2 academic letters of recommendation, typically from teachers you had during your junior year, and in academic areas that you are interested in continuing to study.

For example, if you have hopes of majoring in engineering, a math or science teacher you had recently should be able to speak more to your skill set and potential success in college than would your freshman English teacher.

That being said, Edgewood High School prides itself on educating the "whole" person and every class you take at EHS is preparing you for success in college. So, if you felt like there was a specific teacher or class in which you CLEARLY displayed some promising academic skills, please do not hesitate to ask that teacher!

The most important part of any academic letter of recommendation is that it presents some new information about who you are. If a letter says that you're nice and always showed up on time, that will not have as much impact as a letter that highlights a specific project you knocked out of the park, a continuous curiosity you showed, a commitment to go "above and beyond" in a subject beyond just turning in your homework and checking out, a willingness to support your classmates who may be struggling, or a sense of self-advocacy displayed through asking questions, coming in for help, or rising to a challenge and overcoming a rocky start/initial bad grade.

You're also encouraged to have 1 letter of recommendation from a community member, if applicable. This can be a coach, youth minister, volunteer supervisor or employer, and can be a wonderful angle to share any leadership or team-work skills you may have developed.

When To Ask?

Unanimously, EHS teachers ask that you wait until the FALL of senior year to begin asking for letters of recommendation. I am 100% happy to help you brainstorm ideas of who to ask, but ask, on behalf of your teachers' requests, that you not approach them about letters of recommendation until you return for your senior year. Any letters of recommendation that you wish to have submitted with an application by November 1 must be requested no later than SEPTEMBER 15. That gives you about a month to contact any teachers and meet with them to plan a letter to be written.

As you continue exploring schools to which you'll eventually apply, you will notice that different schools have different requirements for letters of recommendation. Some don't ALLOW any letters, others don't require, but will accept, letters, and yet others will have specific parameters on how many/which subject area of recommenders they'd like to see. For this additional reason, we ask that you wait until the fall to be sure you're asking the appropriate amount of teachers for letters and are being mindful of their busy schedules and time, if a letter is not accepted/necessary.

How/Where/What To Ask?

Some of our teachers end up writing DOZENS of letters of recommendations.. and they are happy to do so, as long as there is some organization in the process. Therefore, we have a "Letter of Recommendation Request Form" that we require all EHS seniors to use in order to streamline their requests. Please follow the process below in requesting a letter:

1 - Contact your teacher to set up an in-person meeting during an off-mod. It is very important that you practice appropriate etiquette and DO NOT ASK for a letter through email or approach a teacher in between classes or when they are distracted with other tasks.

2 - After setting up a 10-15 minute meeting with a teacher, please bring a completed copy of this LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION REQUEST FORM to your in-person meeting. Please be ready to share some of the main points shared in this letter with your teacher and have a conversation about your future goals.

3 - When completed, your recommenders will send a copy of their letter to Mrs Ladell. You do not receive a copy of your letter, and must request for it to be sent to any colleges you are applying to through SCOIR.

4 - Follow up with your recommenders a week prior your college application deadline to remind them that the deadline is approaching.

5 - WRITE A THANK YOU NOTE AND EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUTE! These letters of recommendation are quite time consuming and are written in addition to planning for classes, grading assignments, etc. These teachers are taking their own personal time to write these letters for you!!!

Method Test Prep - Available to ALL

All EHS students have access to Method Test Prep, a free online ACT and SAT prep program accessible 24/7!

If you in-person ACT/SAT prep has been cancelled, or you have some extra time on your hands, log into your METHOD TEST PREP Account! You can do a full 20 week online prep curriculum, a brief "evaluation test" in each area to identify areas for growth, and take two full-length exams!

(Earlier this year, you received directions on how to access Method Test Prep through PowerSchool - these directions no longer work, and instead we ask that you bookmark this website directly to log in!):


USERNAME: firstname.lastname (same as your email/EHS log in)

TEMPORARY PASSWORD for FIRST TIME LOG-IN ONLY: Edgewood123! (make sure to change your password ASAP after logging in)

PowerSchool Learning - Virtual Workshop Videos

The "College Information" section in the "Extras" tab of your PowerSchool Learning account has links to videos on topics including your resume/activities section, Common App, and Personal Essay. Ignore the dates listed and work through the dates as you have time - any work you put towards your college apps now = more free time later!

SCOIR - Stay Active!

As the school year wraps up, I will be looking through all junior SCOIR accounts to suggest additional schools, review your list of schools you're "following," and add some feedback/follow up questions. There is a MESSAGE function in SCOIR that I will be using, so please stay active on your SCOIR accounts and watch for some messages from me :-)

ALSO - if you go to the *PROFILE* section of your SCOIR Account and scroll about 75% down the page, you will see a link to YOUSCIENCE - an hour-long assessment of not only your career interests, but also your attention to detail, spatial reasoning skills, and other aspects of yourself as a learner and worker, that can help you narrow in on potential career or major options!

Big picture

EHS Student Services

Emily Watson, 9-12 School Counselor (+ Transfer Students)

Lindsey Edquist, 9-12 School Counselor

Monica Ladell, Director of College/Career Counseling

Nick Burrows, 10-12 School Counselor (+ International Students)

Sarah Smith, Student Resource Advisor & Attendance

Shannon McDonough, Associate Principal