September Counseling Newsletter

West High School Counseling Department 2019

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Welcome To The 2019-20 School Year

The Counseling Department welcomes all new and returning students and families to West High School for the 2019-2020 school year. We take pride in working with you and look forward to a positive and productive year. Trust that we will do all we can to ensure that your experience at West is one that you will cherish and reflect on positively for the rest of your life. A special welcome to freshmen coming from middle school! We look forward to meeting you and helping you make a successful transition to West.

We feel that in a large metropolitan high school, it is important to communicate information in a timely and effective manner. This newsletter is intended to give you a summary of important grade level counseling information which should be useful in making plans and navigating high school and life after graduation. This newsletter is published monthly and is shared out in the Regent Reporter and can also be found on our counseling website (previous editions are archived).

We encourage you to stay informed by signing up for text reminders from the Counseling Department (sign up instructions can be found below), as well as following the West HS Counseling Facebook page.

Stay Connected This School Year

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**Please note: Due to changes with Remind Text accounts that occured over the summer, previous Remind classes are now disabled. You must sign up again for the correct class & alpha last name group in order to continue to recieve Remind text messages from the Counseling Department.**

Class Schedule Change Reminders

  • Students wanting to change a course that they have selected must fill out an Appeal Form by 4 pm on Friday of the first week of the semester (Friday, September 6, 2019). (These forms are reviewed and decided by the Assistant Principal.) Completed Appeal Forms should be turned into the Highland Office (Rm. 2011

  • No student may start a new course after Friday of the first week of each semester. (Friday, September 6, 2019 for 1st semester)

  • Students can drop a class for a study hall without penalty up until the end of the 7th week of the semester. (Friday, October 18, 2019)
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9th Grade Parent/Student Meeting

Wednesday, September 11th at 6:30pm

Administrative Expectations and Overview of Grade 9

Introduction of Support Services

Counseling supports for 9th grade students

9th grade students and guardians are invited to attend.

10th Grade Parent/Student Meeting

Monday, October 7th at 6:30pm

*Location TBD

11th Grade Parent/Student Meeting - Futurepaths Presentations

Monday, October 14th at 6:30pm

Location: the evening will begin in the West High School Auditorium, then move into various locations in the school based on individual choice of break-out sessions

West High will host the FuturePaths Program for 11th grade students and their families. Presenters will speak on a range of post-secondary opportunities including Madison College (MATC), Apprenticeships, the UW System schools, UW-Madison, private colleges, an art and design school, “IEP Goes to College”, and military choices. This is a great time for you and your student to begin exploring post high school options and start discussions about their interests, feelings and emerging goals. Seniors and their parents who are interested in attending the presentations to obtain more information on post high school options are also welcome to attend.

12th Grade Parent Night - College, Trades & Financial Aid

Monday, September 16th at 6:30pm

Important information about college, trades, and financial aid. Students also welcome.

A portion of the evening includes a financial aid presentation from Director of Financial Aid at Edgewood College.

Go To School Night (All Grades)

Monday, September 23rd at 7:00pm

19-20 Bell Schedule

Please note the changes for the new school year!

Graduation Requirements

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*In addition to earning the specific credits identified, all graduating students must also complete a state-administered civics examination. Students who do not receive special education services must achieve a proficiency of 60% or higher to fulfill the requirement. Students who receive special education services must participate in, and complete, the examination to fulfill the requirement.

Get Involved At West!


West High School offers many Club options ranging from Animation Production Club to Taiko Drumming.

Joining and participating in a club is one of the best ways to connect with like-minded individuals and feel a part of the West community. It is also a great thing to list on your resume!

Be sure to check out the comprehensive table of clubs offered at West HERE. This list includes club advisors/contact info, meeting times, locations and club descriptions.

Don't see a club that matches with your interests? Additional clubs are often formed by interested groups of students, so start one today!

West Athletics

Check out all the sports offered at West and find out important athletic info HERE and visit the West Athletics Website for more information!

Juniors & Seniors can apply for PERC

Students can get Physical Education credit for participation in a high school sport. If students participate in an MMSD board approved sport, students have the opportunity to apply for Physical Education Replacement Credit (PERC) in their junior or senior year.

See more info HERE

Early College Credit Options

Start College Now (SCN) allows high school students the opportunity to take college courses at Wisconsin Technical Colleges. The process is very similar to Youth Options. Statute 38. 12 (14) outlines the aspects of the program. For spring semester courses, the deadline for submission to their high school counselor is October 1st. Counselors will forward directly to the district representative on behalf of the student and family.

Link to Application / Madison College SCN Website

Program Specifics:

  • Courses requested CANNOT be similar or equivalent to courses offered by the district
  • Student may take up to 18 credits; no more than 2 courses at a time
  • Grades 11 & 12 only
  • Fall & spring semesters only; no Summer option
  • Student MUST meet pre-requisites outlined for each course
  • Processed within MMSD by the Office of Personalized Pathways
  • Questions? Contact Jen Wegner, 663-5229

The Early College Credit Program (ECCP) allows high school students the opportunity to take college courses at Wisconsin public (University of Wisconsin) and private universities. The process is very similar to Youth Options. Statute 118.55 outlines the aspects of the program. Students looking to take coursework over the summer term need to submit their application to their high school counselor prior to February 1 each year. Students looking to take courses in the fall semester must turn in the application to their high school counselor by March 1 of each year. For spring semester courses, the deadline for submission to their high school counselor is October 1 of each year. Counselors will forward directly to the district representative on behalf of the student and family.

Link to UW Application / UW Website

Link to Private College Application / Website (not yet available)

Program Specifics:

  • Courses requested CANNOT be similar or equivalent to courses offered by the district
  • Student may take up to 18 credits; no limits number of courses at a given time; however, UW will limit to 1 course at a time in most cases, 2 in rare cases with previous successful completion
  • Grades 9-12; however, most universities will have restrictions for Grade 10 or lower (unless there are extenuating circumstances)
  • Fall, spring, and summer courses are available under the program
  • Student MUST meet pre-requisites outlined for each course
  • Processed within MMSD by the Office of Personalized Pathways
  • Questions? Contact Jen Wegner, 663-5229

College Entrance Exams

Colleges typically will require the ACT or the SAT as one basis for admission. The specific college website is a good guide for admissions requirements, as is MMSD's web based education and career planning program, Xello.

Traditionally, the ideal time for college bound students to take the SAT or ACT tests is in the spring of their junior year. Registration information for both the ACT and SAT can be found by clicking on the buttons below.

Mark Your Calendars!

**West Juniors will take the ACT on Wed, March 3rd, 2020**

Stay tuned for more information.

FREE ACT Test preparation through Method Test Preparation in Xello.

Taking the Test

Students should read the information given to them when they register for the test, especially regarding their ID and the prohibited use of electronic devices. Photo ID is required to enter a test room, so remember to bring your school ID or driver’s license with you on test day. Also, the use of cell phones on test days is not allowed. Many students are dismissed and their tests voided each year because their cell phone rings or they use their phone before testing is completed. We urge students to leave their cell phones at home on test days.

Sending Test Scores

ACT & SAT Test Scores

It is the student's responsibility to have the appropriate test scores (i.e., ACT or SAT ) sent directly from the testing service to colleges. West High will not send test scores. Most colleges (including UW System Schools) require that your score be sent to the admissions office directly from the ACT or SAT testing company. You can request that your scores be sent when you register for an ACT or SAT by filling in the appropriate college codes. If you took the ACT or SAT as a junior but did not send your scores to colleges at that time, you now need to go online or call the testing company to have your scores sent for an additional fee. (ACT – 319-337-1270; SAT 866-756-7346). Scores are usually available 4-6 weeks after the test date, and are automatically emailed to you and sent to the Counseling Office.


WEST High School Transcripts are ordered and delivered electronically (on-line) at

Students applying to colleges are required to order their transcripts via, which provides a quick, confidential, and paperless way to send your transcripts directly to colleges, the NCAA, the Common Application and other destinations of your choice.

Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Opens October 1st!

Seniors applying to post-secondary institutions, together with their families, can begin completing the FAFSA on October 1, 2019. It is recommended that all students complete the FAFSA and to do so sooner rather than later. For more information on how completing the FAFSA can help with college finances, check HERE.
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Get FREE Assistance completing the 2019 FAFSA!

College Goal Wisconsin provides families the opportunity to get free assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). West students are welcome to attend ANY of these locations:

Madison Area College Goal Sites

(all events begin at 6 pm)

October 2nd:

LaFollette High School 702 Pflaum Road

October 16th:

Madison East High School 2222 East Washington Avenue Use Door 4

November 6th:

James Madison Memorial High School 201 South Gammon Road

For more information, including what to bring click HERE

PSAT/NMSQT Information

What is the PSAT/NMSQT?

This is a practice test for the SAT which measures reading, math, and writing/language skills. It is also a qualifying test for National Merit scholarships. More information here from the College Board PSAT Website.

When should you take it?

Test Date: Saturday, October 19, 2019 (8:00 a.m.) at West High School

The PSAT/NMSQT is only offered in October each year. The PSAT is normally taken in 11th grade and is a qualifying test for the National Merit scholarships for juniors. Occasionally, sophomores elect to take this if they wish to practice for the PSAT/NMSQT, which they would then take again as a junior.

How long is the test?

2 hours and 45 minutes of testing, plus instruction time (8:00 – 12:00). Students are encouraged to arrive at West High School by 7:45 a.m. with photo ID.

Who should you see if you have questions?

Ms. Nordmeyer or Ms. Dyer in the Counseling Office

What if I cannot test on this date?

Alternate testing dates/locations to be announced soon.
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College Rep Visits @ West

Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to meet with ADMISSIONS COUNSELORS representing colleges and universities from around the country.

The schedule of college visits is posted outside the Counseling Office, listed on the counseling website, and announced in the Daily Bulletin announcements sent to student email accounts. We encourage students to attend these sessions, which are held in the Counseling Office. Students who have a class during the visitation time can obtain a pass from the teacher of the class that will be missed.

College Fairs

Wisconsin Education Fair

Thursday, September 19th from 9-11 a.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Sun Prairie High School.

888 Grove St, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Students: Find out to to best prepare for and get the most out of your WEF experience HERE

Milwaukee National College Fair

Sunday, September 30th from 3:00-6:00 p.m.

Wisconsin Center

400 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53203
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Make it a great school year!