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:
Check Back for Updates...this section is being continually updated!
(including information on MMSD summer school,
pre-college & enrichement programs)
for Juniors & Seniors
Mental Health Resources
Community Resources/Recursos comunitarios para familias
School Counselor Contact Information
MMSD is continually monitoring the status of the Covid-19 outbreak and posting new information as it becomes available.
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
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.
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:
- A 2-week after school training that covers pre-employment and financial literacy topics (online learning format this semester, dates and times TBD)
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com
Deadline for applications is Friday, May 8th at 5:00pm!
Post-Secondary Resources for Seniors
We Want to Celebrate Our Seniors!
Sending End of Year Transcripts
Find more information about requesting transcripts HERE
Summer Melt Texting Program
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.
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.
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.
This document lists colleges that have extended their deposit deadlines to or past June 1, 2020. These lists are updated daily.
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
- 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
Keep your goals within reach and stay connected to your dreams
Reading An Award Letter
Compare Actual College Prices from Real Financial Aid Offers & Take Control of Your College Search
These checklists and resources will help you ensure you are well on your way to pursuing your college goals.MMSD Choosing your College Checklist
MMSD Paying for College Checklist
MMSD College Enrollment Resources
MMSD College Enrollment Checklist
MMSD Choosing Your College Resources
MMSD College Going 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
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!
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:
Wisconsin’s Private Colleges Webinar Thursday, May 28 3:00-4:30pm
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
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
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.
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.
The only College review website with Campus & Dorm video reviews and video walkthroughs from real students
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.
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.
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):
- Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Program
- Architecture & Construction Program
- Arts, A/V Technology & Communications program
- Finance Program
- Health Science Program
- Hospitality, Lodging & Tourism Program
- Information Technology Program
- Manufacturing Program
- Marketing Program
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Program
- Transportation, Distribution & Logistics Program
CLICK HERE to see information about various programs and how to apply for next year.
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.
University of WI System Schools, WI Private Colleges & Universities, WI Technical Schools, Scholarship/Financial Aid Search Engines
This list is continually updated as we learn of new scholarships in the counseling office.
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.
Exams will be given from May 11–22.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Future SAT Administrations, Including September
If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, we’ll provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5.
Students can register for these administrations starting in May. SAT will contact students directly when we have the exact date. Eligible students can register with a fee waiver.
For each administration, we’re preparing to significantly expand our capacity for students to take the SAT once schools reopen. We’re calling on our member schools and colleges, as well as local communities, to provide additional test center capacity so every student who wants to take the SAT can do so.
Students can get early access to register for August, September, and October if they’re:
- Already registered for June
- In the high school class of 2021 and don’t have SAT scores
March and May SAT Administrations
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, College Board canceled the May 2, 2020, SAT and SAT Subject Test administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled for March 28) were also canceled.
For Juniors who took the March ACT that was administered at school
Free ACT/SAT Prep for MMSD students
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
This toolkit has a list of resources to support well-being during this trying time.
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.
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
Daily Agenda Template
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 mmsd.org/homesupport, 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
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
If families are interested in hosting, they should connect with Parthy:
Parthy Schachter, Community Representative
Informacion para familias sobre recursos incluyendo: Despensas de Comida Gratis, Trabajadores Sociales por Vecindarios, Salud Mental y mas
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 https://psc.wi.gov/.
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
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
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.
The Center is managing a neighborhood meal distribution three days a week.
Wednesday & Thursday – individual dinners
Friday – 2 family-style meals + a pantry bag of groceries
For delivery in Darbo/Worthington and Brentwood neighborhoods:
Contact Sara at 608-807-4984 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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).
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!