Hawktalk Express

Madison Counseling Department


Welcome everyone to the 2021-2022 school year! The Hawktalk express is a newsletter from your Madison counselors emailed home during the following months: September, January, March, and May. Grade specific information along with important dates, events, and resources are included in every hawktalk express.

Madison Counselors

Angie Colón, Head Counselor (H-N), acolon@sandi.net

Elizabeth Guerra, Counselor (A-G), eguerra@sandi.net

Michelle Sphonix-Rust, Counselor (O-Z), mfrancescotti@sandi.net



We request your strongest cooperation in making sure your student attends school every day and that any absences for illness are reported to the Attendance Office at (858) 536-0336 ext: 3020 the same day. “Blue slips,” which are required for students to be excused from school for medical appointments, can be obtained from the attendance clerk with advance planning and a personal phone call. Students who report to school at 9:00 am must report to the Attendance Office window to receive a tardy slip. Multiple tardies and unexcused absences result in being placed on the Loss of Privileges (LOP) list assigned at the end of each grading period. Students can remove tardies and unexcused absences by attending Core Academy (formerly known as Saturday School) where they recover school attendance, or by attending 30 minutes of tutoring. Click here to register! Eligibility for school activities, sports and dances greatly depends on a student’s positive attendance. Parents should be advised that students are not allowed to participate in these extracurricular activities if they are on the LOP list.


The new semester began on Monday, January 24th, with schedule distribution in period one. It is very important that your student continues to focus on grades, particularly in the core subjects. Sometimes students can get overwhelmed with difficult AP classes, college classes, projects, clubs, athletics, and social activities. It is critical that the adults in their world set limits, remain aware of signs of fatigue and stress, and continue to be good listeners. It is also important not to leave this monitoring completely up to your child, because missed deadlines or opportunities may not always be recovered. We want our students to learn “life lessons,” but we do not want them to lose the possibility of attending a four-year college or receiving financial aid, due to neglect, confusion, or procrastination.


Click here to view Cal-SOAP’s February Newsletter

Comienza con un Sueño (It Begins with a Dream), March 5, 2022.

This is a FREE virtual event for students and/or parents interested in a four-year university. There will be panels in English and Spanish on a variety of post-secondary education topics.

Please see the link for more information: Comienza 2022



Class of 2022! On Friday March 4th, Madison Counselors will be bringing over 12th grade students who plan to enroll in Mesa College! The day will consist of presentations from organizations, financial aid, as well as an opportunity to complete registration. Those who attend will get credit for orientation as part of their enrollment steps. We can only bring 90 students. Sign up now to reserve your spot!


Students will begin receiving all of their 4-year college admissions information in the next few weeks. All decisions are usually received no later than April 15. Students will be informed about their college admission decisions through each college’s admissions portal. Seniors should have created a student account for each college to which they applied and check their student portal regularly for updates. Most of the CSU and UC campuses will inform from March 1-30, and financial aid offers will be posted on the student’s college portal soon after the admission decision arrives.


The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) opened on Oct. 1st for the 2022-2023 school year. Filing the FAFSA is the only way for students to receive federal aid for college. So many families struggle with the application or let misunderstandings prevent them from applying. Families that gather all the documents they need before filling out the FAFSA experience a much smoother process. On average, the FAFSA takes about 30 minutes to fill out if you have all the information gathered.

Parents use their already completed 2020 tax documents to complete the form by the March 2, 2020 deadline for college admission for fall 2022. Whether or not you feel your family will qualify for financial aid, the FAFSA is the basic document used by all universities to determine eligibility for financial aid, including merit-based scholarships. There are additional opportunities for individual help at “Cash for College” virtual events to help families through their specific situations hosted by Cal-SOAP, a local non-profit organization. Click here for times and registration information.


Any and all scholarship opportunities that come across our counselor’s desks are shared with Seniors via their Class of 2022 google classroom page. Applying for scholarships can make a huge difference in a family’s ability to afford a specific college or program. Here are some of our favorite websites to get your started on your search:

  • Fastweb (Scholarship search engine)

  • Unigo

  • College Board

  • Scholly


The virtual AICCU Campus Weeks is an additional option for students to learn about the private, nonprofit colleges and universities located throughout California. The weeks will be March 7-24, one week for each of the following groups: first-time freshmen, California Community College transfer students, and Associate Degree for Transfer students. It is designed to be a forum in which colleges and universities share information and guide students to resources. Each campus will present a short live session to allow students to learn more about the college or university. Each college and university has also created a registration link, that is included in the full schedule of events at aiccu.edu/aiccucampusweeks



The 2022 College Prep Scholars Program application is now open! The deadline is Thursday, March 24. Start your application today >>Applying to college can seem daunting, and the prospect of paying for it can seem even more overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. The College Prep Scholars Program equips high-achieving high school juniors from low-income backgrounds with the knowledge, confidence, and resources to apply to top colleges.

Why apply as a junior? Being a College Prep Scholar is a notable distinction that shows our college partners that you are a competitive candidate for admission. In addition, your application will automatically carry over for the National College Match when you’re a senior, giving you a head start on applying for a full four-year scholarship to our college partners.

College Prep Scholars are nearly five times more likely than other applicants to receive full four-year scholarships through the National College Match.



Are you a student within the age of 16-24 looking for a paid, short term work experience? Apply for the Spring Break Externship today at www.workforce.org/externship. Selected participants will receive work readiness training to prepare to work in a professional setting. Then, they’ll be partnered with top employers in San Diego during spring break (March 28th-April 1st).


Seniors, want to become teachers or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals? The San Diego Education Fund is providing scholarships and mentoring. Includes stipends every semester, a mentorship, access to an emergency fund, networking opportunities and assistance with employment at district once obtained a teaching credential. Deadline to apply is February 26th. Email Ms. Middlebrooks to apply (vmiddlebrooks@sandi.net)

Warhawk College and Career Center: February Workshops Sign-up HERE to attend

  • 2/16/22 - Networking in the Digital World: How to go from mindless scrolling to mindful intentional connections (open to all students)

  • 2/23/22 - Corrective Exercises (Juniors & Seniors)

Thank you!

If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the topics above, please do not hesitate to reach out to your students' counselor.

Angie Colón, Head Counselor (H-N), acolon@sandi.net

Elizabeth Guerra, Counselor (A-G), eguerra@sandi.net

Michelle Sphonix-Rust, Counselor (O-Z), mfrancescotti@sandi.net