MMSD Counseling Newsletter

Spring 2020 Edition

This newsletter is a collaborative work of MMSD's High School Counseling Departments and is designed to provide students and families the updates, information and resources they need during this uncertain time.

Read on to find out information on the following topics:

Summer Opportunities

Check Back for Updates...this section is being continually updated!

(including information on MMSD summer school,

jobs/internships/volunteering, &

pre-college & enrichement programs)

Post-Secondary Planning

for Juniors & Seniors


Mental Health Resources

Educational Resources

Community Resources/Recursos comunitarios para familias

School Counselor Contact Information

MMSD's COVID-19 Updates

MMSD is continually monitoring the status of the Covid-19 outbreak and posting new information as it becomes available.

summer opportunities

MMSD Summer School 2020

Despite school closures and the start of virtual learning, planning and preparation for summer school is moving ahead using existing dates. We will keep you updated on any potential adjustments made to summer school but we want to at least continue with enrollment in anticipation of a summer school session. 4/10/20.

Find out more information on High School progamming as well as the course catalog HERE

Work Based Learning during Summer School

Due to Covid-19, the following increase in credit that can be earned during summer work based learning is as follows: 45 hours worked = .5 credit

Be sure to talk with your counselor if you plan to be employed this summer and need to earn work credit this summer. There are important steps that need to be followed.

Click here for more information

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Common Wealth Development’s Youth-Business Mentoring Program

Common Wealth Development’s Youth-Business Mentoring Program will be offered to high school students this semester in mid-May.

Our program provides teens with the following:

  1. A 2-week after school training that covers pre-employment and financial literacy topics (online learning format this semester, dates and times TBD)
  2. Help with finding a job placement, as long as students complete the 2-week training, communicate with us regularly, and show proof of eligibility to work.
  3. Wrap-around mentoring support from Common Wealth Youth Programs staff and supportive workplace managers

Students interested in this opportunity should complete the two documents posted below and emailed to

Deadline for applications is Friday, May 8th at 5:00pm!

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West's Summer Opportunities Website

Jobs, Internships, Pre-College & Enrichment Programs

Post-Secondary Resources for Seniors

We Want to Celebrate Our Seniors!

Send us your celebratory photos!! This is the season for college acceptance letters, military commitments and job applications. We want to celebrate with you! Email your photo to your counselor so we can share your good news on social media!

Sending End of Year Transcripts

SENIORS: Is your college or university asking for your end-of-year transcripts? Take care of this step now by logging into your account and selecting "hold for grades". This will ensure that your transcript is sent once final transcripts are ready this June. Counselors will NOT send transcripts on behalf of students.

Find more information about requesting transcripts HERE

Summer Melt Texting Program

Counselors can still support you with your transition to college after you graduate from high school!

Sign up HERE to receive text messages from MMSD School Counselors throughout the summer with reminders of things you need to do to get ready for college in the fall (housing deposits, register for classes, financial aid, etc).

Counselors will be available to answer questions and help you as your plans change or progress.

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NACAC College Admission Updates

As a service to students and families, NACAC is providing this online tool as a central resource for information about changes in college admission events, deposit dates, and more as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Virtual Admission Events & Deposit Info

This crowd-sourced Google Sheet gives a comprehensive look at virtual campus visits and information on when financial commitments need to be met to ensure admission.

Extended Deposit Deadlines

This document lists colleges that have extended their deposit deadlines to or past June 1, 2020. These lists are updated daily.

UW Help: News, Updates & FAQ's due to COVID-19

Application updates & Practices due to Covid-19. Check out each tab to see how campuses are handling admission processes for fall 2020 applicants due to COVID-19 (application fee reduction, transcripts, fee waivers, holistic review process, etc.)

Madison College AAIM (Advising | Application | Information & More) Online Sessions

Ready, set, AAIM!

Have you decided on a program or area of study? If so, then attending an Advising | Application | Information & More (AAIM) session is a great next step. It is your first chance to meet an academic advisor so you can learn important details about the degree you want.

You will learn about:

  • Admission requirements
  • Application deadlines
  • Curriculum
  • Flexible and online learning options
  • Transfer pathways
  • Career outcomes

Get help filling out your free application and find out what your next steps are. Many campus resources will be available such as application specialists, financial aid, Scholars of Promise, Career & Employment Services, Disability Resources, Veterans Services and more.

Register for an online event HERE

Madison College Support Page for Seniors

Keep your goals within reach and stay connected to your dreams

Reading An Award Letter

After completing the FAFSA the college/s applied to will send the student an award letter that details what type of aid and how much financial aid a student is eligible for at that institution. Students can accept all the aid offered or can accept only what they need in order to pay for school. Your Financial Aid Award Explained is a good resource to understand your award letter. Your school counselor can also help explain what is on your award letter. Use the Compare Your Aid Awards tool to get a side-by-side comparison of your aid awards. Read about how to compare your aid awards and analyze your results.

Compare Actual College Prices from Real Financial Aid Offers & Take Control of Your College Search

Emily and Sarah Make Their TuitionFit
MMSD's COVID-19 College Planning Resources

This site is meant to be a useful tool to support you as you continue to plan for and reach your post high school goals during this time. Lots of information for both SENIORS and JUNIORS!

Post-Secondary Resources for Juniors

Virtual Job Shadow Zoom Sessions for Students

Register for sessions that interest you and learn the ins and outs of each profession. Lots of options from skilled trades, psychology, athletic trainer, engineering, sports management & more!

Virtual College Panels in May & June

They are free, open to the public, and a great way for students to learn about colleges in different parts of the country while they still can't visit in person.

Cialfo Online University Fair

Join our Online University Fair

The Cialfo Online University Fair is May 29 & 30! We've pulled together an even greater line-up of content, including admissions officers from 200+ colleges and guest speakers from Common App, NACAC, and the College Board.

See full list of virtual sessions and register here:

WI Private Colleges Webinar May 28th

Wisconsin’s Private Colleges Webinar Thursday, May 28 3:00-4:30pm

Order a UW Systems Summer Workbook

Deadline to request a guidebook to help you apply to UW schools is May 11th. These workbooks will be mailed to your home.

UW Help Guidebooks

Fall Guidebook for Students
Due to the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19 and not knowing what fall 2020 will look like for high schools, we have determined that this publication will be available digitally in a PDF format. We don't make this decision lightly but it's the safest, viable option. We will send the digital PDF in early September.

Request a PDF copy of the UW System GuideBook HERE

Fall 2021 UW System Essay Prompt

Here’s your chance to tell your story based on specific questions or prompts. All UW System campuses now share one common essay question. However, some campuses will require an additional second essay.

Virtual Minnesota State Week: June 22-26

Start the journey to your future with a virtual visit to one or more of your 30 state colleges or 7 state universities during Minnesota State Week and apply for FREE any time that week!

Across our great state, the 54 campuses of Minnesota State are strategically located to provide exceptional education where you need it to be, all with LOWEST TUITION in Minnesota.

Experience life in our classrooms, labs, libraries, and bleachers all from your phone or laptop. Talk to admissions staff and financial aid counselors and apply for FREE.

The colleges and universities of Minnesota State are coming together for one week in June to offer special virtual information sessions so students can learn more about their academic options, financial aid, transferring from a two-year college to a four-year university, and more.

MMSD's Post High School Planning Resources

Resources for Academic & Career Planning, College Planning and Career Planning

Online College Visits

College Visits can be an important part of the college selection process.

Check out the following resources for exploring a college campus virtually.

Campus Reel

The only College review website with Campus & Dorm video reviews and video walkthroughs from real students

You Visit

Visit 600+ Colleges Virtually

Financial Aid

What is Federal Financial Aid?

Financial aid from the federal government can help you pay for education expenses at an eligible college or career school. Grants, loans and work-study are types of federal student aid. You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to apply for this aid. Types of Federal Aid video is a helpful video that explains the difference between types of federal aid available to students. Additional information about federal student aid can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

Who Should Apply for Need-Based Financial Aid?

All students should apply for need-based financial aid. Many families mistakenly think they may not qualify for this type of aid based on their income and assets. However, if students choose not to apply for need-based financial aid, they may be closing the door on opportunities that could help pay for college. There are other sources of financial assistance available regardless of need, but most require that the student file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) first.

How Does A Student Apply For Need-Based Financial Aid?

  • The FAFSA is the form used to apply for need-based financial aid. The student must complete the FAFSA to apply for need-based grants, as well as for federal financial aid and other aid from colleges. Students must apply every year.
  • The FAFSA4caster is a tool designed to assist families to plan for education beyond high school. Students can receive an estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by entering their information into FAFSA4caster, a simplified version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA4caster also provides guidance on next steps for applying for admission, applying for federal student aid, and paying for education beyond high school. A Spanish version is available.

Juniors can begin completing the FAFSA on October 1, 2020.

3 things juniors can do now for college apps

11th graders can use their time wisely RIGHT NOW to prepare for the busy college application season next fall. Check out these three things you can get started on now.

Youth Apprenticeship

If you want to get hands-on experience, there are some careers that offer a Youth Apprenticeship.

Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, is a rigorous one- or two-year elective program for juniors and seniors, that combines academic and technical classroom instruction with mentored, on-the-job training to provide students with industry-established occupational and employability skills. Post-secondary and business partnerships are essential for a successful youth apprenticeship program.

Please note that application to the Youth Apprenticeship program does not guarantee job placement. Full participation in the program and the ability to earn the Youth Apprenticeship certificate requires both on-the-job training and related technical classroom nistruction.

Currently, YA programs are offered in the following areas (click on an individual area to find additional information):

CLICK HERE to see information about various programs and how to apply for next year.

Scholarship Resources

Scholarships are available for all kinds of students! This is FREE money that you do not have to pay back. Check out the MMSD Highlighted Scholarships webpage as a place to start.

Your college of choice will also have a website devoted to scholarships - in many cases you may have to fill out the FAFSA to be considered for these.

Below are a few places to start looking for free money for your education.

Scholarships Pertinent to MMSD students

University of WI System Schools, WI Private Colleges & Universities, WI Technical Schools, Scholarship/Financial Aid Search Engines

West HS: Scholarship Scoops

This list is continually updated as we learn of new scholarships in the counseling office.

Testing Updates

Advanced Placement (AP) Testing Updates

Good luck to all our MMSD students who are taking the AP Exams this year!

Update as of April 3rd, 2020:

A great resource for learning about this year's AP Exams is Trevor Packer's presentation.

Exam Dates

Exams will be given from May 11–22.

Exam Format

Most exams will have one or two free-response questions, and each question will be timed separately. Students will need to write and submit their responses within the allotted time for each question.

Students will be able to take exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. They'll be able to type and upload their responses or write responses by hand and submit a photo via their cell phones.

For most subjects, the exams will be 45 minutes long, plus an additional 5 minutes for uploading. Students will need to access the online testing system 30 minutes early to get set up.

Certain courses—Art and Design: 2D; Art and Design: 3D; Computer Science Principles; Drawing; Research; and Seminar—will use portfolio submissions and will not have a separate online exam. All deadlines for these submissions have been extended to May 26, 2020, 11:59 p.m. ET. Teachers and students may receive separate course-specific communications.

Students taking world language and culture exams will complete two spoken tasks consistent with free-response questions 3 and 4 on the current AP Exam. Written responses will not be required. We'll provide additional details in the coming weeks to help students prepare.

Exam Scores and College Credit

As usual, students' work will be scored by our network of college faculty and AP teachers, and will be reported on a 1–5 scale. We anticipate releasing scores as close to the usual July timeframe as possible.

We're confident that the vast majority of higher ed institutions will award college credit as they have in the past. We've spoken with hundreds of institutions across the country that support our solution for this year's AP Exams.

Exam Security

Like many college-level exams, this year's AP Exams will be open book/open note. The exam format and questions are being designed specifically for an at-home administration, so points will not be earned from content that can be found in textbooks or online. However, students taking the exams may not consult with any other individuals during the testing period. We'll take the necessary steps to protect the integrity of each exam administration, as we do every year.

We're confident that the vast majority of AP students will follow the rules for taking the exams. For the small number of students who may try to gain an unfair advantage, we have a comprehensive and strict set of protocols in place to prevent and detect cheating. While some of these practices are confidential to maximize their effectiveness, students and education professionals can learn more about our security measures.

At a minimum, test takers should understand that those attempting to gain an unfair advantage will either be blocked from testing or their AP scores will be canceled, and their high school will be notified as will colleges or other organizations to which the student has already sent any College Board scores (including SAT® scores). And they may be prohibited from taking a future Advanced Placement® Exam as well as the SAT, SAT Subject Tests™, or CLEP® assessments.

Remote Instruction and Practice

On March 25, we began offering free live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. The courses have been viewed more than 3.2 million times since they became available. On-demand lessons are now available for Art and Design, AP Capstone™, and Computer Science Principles.

AP Online Classes & Review Sessions

Tune in daily for classes

MMSD's AP Testing Information

FAQ's, Updates and Cancellation Information

Colleges Accepting 2020 AP Credit

It appears the vast majority of colleges will accept AP credits the same way they’ve accepted them in previous years. Prompt has already counted more than 100 colleges who’ve confirmed that they will accept AP credits from the 2020 exams.

SAT Updates

June SAT and SAT Subject Test Administration

To keep students safe, and in alignment with public health guidance and school closures across 192 countries, we will not be able to administer the SAT or SAT Subject Tests on June 6, 2020.


August 29, 2020

September 26, 2020

October 3, 2020

November 7, 2020

December 5, 2020

We're working to ensure that students will have opportunities to take the SAT® to make up for this spring's lost administrations. Today we're sharing with you that registration is now open for the fall SAT test administrations.

All students can register for the November or December SAT administration at this time.

To accommodate students who were impacted by recent cancellations, we're offering a weeklong priority registration for August, September, and October administrations to the following groups:

Students who registered for June SAT or SAT Subject Tests™ and didn't cancel their registrations

Students in the class of 2021 without a test score

Students in the class of 2020 without a test score

Registration for August, September, and October administrations will open for all students on June 3 at 8 p.m., ET.

For students who were registered for the June SAT or SAT Subject Test administrations only: Students can simply transfer their registration to any of the upcoming SAT dates. They won't be charged a change fee if they transfer their registration before July 31. When they log in to My SAT, they should select the option to change their registration. Then, they should follow the rest of the required steps until they get to the order confirmation.

For students who are eligible for a fee waiver: As always, eligible students will be able to take the SAT with a fee waiver. To learn more about weekend fee waivers, visit our SAT fee waiver page.

Adding Capacity Throughout the Summer
Together with our members and local communities we're working hard throughout the summer to add more test centers and available seats, so please encourage your students who haven't yet had an opportunity to test to keep checking back. We'll also provide updates periodically via email and social media when we add new test center capacity. We may have limited capacity in certain areas due to public health restrictions, so if students can’t find a nearby test center with availability, they should be sure to check other dates.

FREE SAT Prep (Kahn Academy)

Full-length practice tests and personalized learning tools

ACT Updates

ACT has rescheduled the April 4 exam, moving it to June 13 "in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19)." In the next few days, everyone who registered for the exam will receive information about the new date.
Instructions on how to create your ACT Account

For Juniors who took the March ACT that was administered at school

Free ACT/SAT Prep for MMSD students

All MMSD students have access to free online ACT/SAT prep through Method Test Prep.

To access Method Test Prep, students should go into their Xello account (look for a Xello link on your school's main website page) and locate the Method Test Prep logo at the bottom of their main Xello page. (no log in required for Xello, you will be connected automatically via your school gmail account).

Mental Health Resources

Helping Your Teen With Social Distancing

Article from Mayo Health Clinic

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UW Center for Healthy Minds Well-Being Toolkit

This toolkit has a list of resources to support well-being during this trying time.

NASP: Family & Educator Resources

From the National Association of School Psycholgists: Resources and guidance from NASP, the federal government, and other agencies, offer tips for families and educators during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Free Mental Health Apps for your phone


BellyBioInteractive Breathing

Take a Break! Guided Meditations for Stress Relief


EDC Article: 5 Ways to Help Children Cope

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are experiencing a range of emotions—uncertainty, anxiety, distress. Children in particular are susceptible to fears during this time. Here are five strategies, adults can use to help children cope with anxieties

Educational Resources

Daily Agenda Template

Are you struggling with organizing your day now that school has gone virtual? Make a copy of this handy daily planner and fill it out for each weekday to help you stay on track and not miss an important zoom meeting or assignment due dates! It also allows you to incorporate important self care moments during your day.
The Ins & Outs of Zoom Meetings

Helpful tips for parents and students to navigate Zoom meetings.

MMSD Device and Tech Support Phone Number

The best way to report an issue with a device or a problem logging in or accessing instructional websites is to use the drop-down menu on, which prompts you to email your school’s Library Media Technology Specialist.

We also now have a phone number that you can call if you are unable to send an email: 608-204-5678. You will be asked to leave a voicemail with the following information: a phone number you can be reached at, student ID number, student name, school name and brief description of the issue.

Tutoring Provided by St. Norbert College and UW-Oshkosh

St. Norbert College and UW-Oshkosh teacher-education and human services students are offering free online tutoring to students at all grade levels.

The program will be active from March 25 through May 15. Students will be assigned the same tutor for the duration of the program.

To be eligible for the program, you must have basic WI-FI internet service.

Acceptance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Host Families Needed

Ayusa is looking for placement for exchange students at East, Memorial and La Follette for the 2020-2021 school year.

If families are interested in hosting, they should connect with Parthy:

Parthy Schachter, Community Representative

Madison, WI

Direct: 651-235-4504

Community Resources

Recursos Comunitarios para Familias

Informacion para familias sobre recursos incluyendo: Despensas de Comida Gratis, Trabajadores Sociales por Vecindarios, Salud Mental y mas

Free or Low-Cost Internet Service Providers

Several ISP's are offering free or low cost access options access in response to the COVID-19 health emergency. MMSD does not sponsor or endorse any particular provider.

Phone Line for Internet Service Assistance

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) launched a

customer service phone line for people who need help locating phone or internet service during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Callers can speak with a PSC

Consumer Affairs staff person who will walk through internet and phone service options available in their area and discuss eligibility for discounts on critical communications services.

"The helpline will serve as a one-stop shop for Wisconsin residents. Now more than

ever we need to equip our consumers with the information and resources they need in

order to access essential services." said Rebecca Cameron Valcq, Chairperson of the


The Internet and Phone Helpline number is (608) 267-3595.

Callers can get help:

· Finding internet service and discounts

· Determining eligibility for a discount on voice or bundled voice and data

service through the Lifeline program

· Finding locations where emergency Wi-Fi has been made available during

the outbreak if no other options are available at home

Additionally, the PSC has compiled a listing of emergency internet resources being

offered by internet service providers. That information can be found on the PSC's

website at

Madison Public Library: Virtual Library Cards

While many patrons are practicing social-distancing by remaining at home and avoiding crowds, the Madison Public Library has announced a virtual library card to meet the needs of our community during these challenging times. If you don't already have a library card, you can apply for a virtual library card by filling out the form below.

Once the form is submitted, a new library card number will be emailed to you. Your virtual library card provides access to Wisconsin's Digital Library (which is home to more than 71,000 digital books, audiobooks, videos and more) through June 30, 2020, as well as many other online resources, including more ebooks and online magazines.

Free Breakfast & Lunch Still Available

Free, nutritious meals continue to be available - children do not need to be present
Remember that free, nutritious meals continue to be available at sites throughout the city. Your children do not need to be present for you to pick up meals for them. Simply let the food service staff know how many lunches and breakfasts you need for the children you will be giving meals to. You will not be asked for any form of identification. We’ve also started handing out meals for two days at a time to reduce the number of times you need to be present. You can pick up meals by car or on foot – whatever is safest for you and your family.

Food Resources in the Madison Area

Click on the document below, list is current as of 3/31/20

Goodman Center Food Operations

Nourishing Our Neighbors

Goodman is offering families two ways to get food during this uncertain time.


Drive-Thru Food Pantry

All are welcome – no need to call ahead. Food is distributed in the Ironworks building parking lot, 149 Waubesa Street, Madison.

Tuesday 9:30 a.m. – noon

Wednesday 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Thursday 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Neighborhood Dinners

The Center is managing a neighborhood meal distribution three days a week.

Wednesday & Thursday individual dinners

Friday2 family-style meals + a pantry bag of groceries

For delivery in Darbo/Worthington and Brentwood neighborhoods:

Contact Sara at 608-807-4984 or email and tell her:

1. Your address. 2. How many meals you’d like

We’ll knock or ring your doorbell between 3:30-4:30 p.m. as we leave the meal on your doorstep.

For delivery to Carbon & Generations @ Union Corners:

Contact Fran Augustine at 608-242-4400 or email and tell her how many meals you’d like. Meals will be delivered between 3:30-4:30 p.m. to the community room, labeled for you.

Sign up once, then you’ll continue receiving meals weekly. Contact Sara or Fran to cancel. More information, including the dinner menu here (scroll to bottom of the page).

URBAN LEAGUE OF GREATER MADISON COVID-19 Workforce Relief & Recovery Initiative


Urban League CAN HELP!

Madison Area Employers Are Hiring!

Click on the flyer below for details.

Contact the Urban League for additional support: (608) 347-4623

Urban League Employment Services

The Urban League has a long history of helping job seekers meet their employment goals through our vast network of partnerships with employers across many industries and job types. During this unprecedented crisis we remain ready to help!

Free Laundry Services

Click on the document below to find out about free laundry services in the Madison area.

School Specific Counseling Information

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