October Counseling Newsletter 2019

West High School Counseling Department

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West High School Counselors

Back Row (L to R): Ms. Nordmeyer, Ms. Glynn, Ms. Anderle, Mr. Gussine

Front Row (L to R): Ms. Lehman, Ms. Coombs, Ms. Dyer, Ms. Chandler

Happy Fall from the Counseling Department! We hope that you and your student have settled in to the school routine and are off to a great start with the new school year.

We have been busy in the counseling office making sure students are set up for success this year. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.


In the news...

Congratulations to our 19 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists! We are proud of you and your accomplishments!

See news article HERE

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Applying to College

College application season is in full swing! Check HERE for a suggested senior checklist of steps to take in the college application process. We hope your senior had time to attend our Bootcamp in August, the 12th Grade Parent Night in September or one of the Senior Workshops being held in the counseling office in September & October.

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Applying to UW System Schools

Sign up for UW Journey text assistance and get help along the way with your college application process:

UW Journey guides potential students on their venture to college. The goal is to inform prospective students and their families of the tremendous opportunities that exist at our UW campuses. Prospects can find the UW campus that best fits their individual needs, navigate the application process, and explore options to pay for college. UW Journey enables users to view and compare all campuses’ offerings, including both academic and campus life characteristics, to create the most informed choice about which campus to attend. Finally, UW Journey guides prospects through the entire college process, showing the steps to take, and enabling further direction in the form of reminders, checklists, and calendar events.

Find out more information on the UW Journey assistance app HERE

Applying to Madison College

Students interested in applying to Madison College can apply now during MATC's rolling admission process. Some programs do fill up, so students are encouraged to apply early.

A Madison College admissions representative will be on site at West to help students with their Madison College application. Dates TBD soon!

Sending Your Transcript

Seniors are required to set up a Parchment account in order to request official West High School transcripts.

Students will have to send transcripts for initial application, a mid year report and a final report at the end of their senior year.

It is the student's responsiblity to send transcripts via Parchment. School Counselors do not send transcripts.

The direct link to West's Parchment page can be found HERE.

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

12th grade students and families are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as early as possible. The window opens October 1, 2019.

There are a number of local events happening in October and November to help students and their families complete the FAFSA application, please see below for more info:

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College Goal Wisconsin

College Goal Wisconsin is affiliated with a national event that provides free information and assistance to families who need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) the federally required form for students seeking financial aid, such as grants and loans. Completing the FAFSA is the first and most important step in qualifying for aid.

Participating students can even enter to win a $1,000 scholarship.

Get FREE assistance and get your FAFSA completed in one evening!

The following MMSD High Schools are offering College Goal WI events. West students & their families can attend any of these sessions.

All College Goal events start promptly at 6 p.m.:

Wednesday, Oct 2 @ La Follette High School

702 Pflaum Road

Wednesday, Oct 16 @ East High School

East High School 2222 E. Washington Avenue Enter off 4th Street, Door #2

Wednesday, Nov 6 @ Memorial High School

201 S. Gammon Road

Be sure to bring the following information/materials with you!

Scholarship & Financial Aid Information

MMSD's Scholarship Page

Looking for more scholarships? Be sure to check out MMSD's very own scholarship page which features a searchable comprehensive list of local and national scholarships!


If you’re looking for a college, you know by now that you can’t find out a college’s actual price until after you apply. But what’s the point of applying to a school if you don't know that you can afford it? TuitionFit makes solving that problem easy by letting students securely share the individual college offers they receive to create a single massive data set of actual prices. After anonymizing all the data so your personal identity is thoroughly protected, Tuitionfit shows you all the real prices that other colleges have offered students just like you.

Get Ready for TuitionFit 2.0!!!

Starting in October, you can see schools that fit your price range


So sign up now and be one of the first to finally be able to shop for college by price.

Join for Free & Find out more info HERE

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College Rep Visits @ West

Representatives from many different colleges and universities visit West frequently. This is a great way for students to visit with colleges in a small group setting to learn more about prospective schools they are interested in attending.

Students need to plan ahead and get a pass to attend a college rep visit from their teacher or counselor PRIOR to the session.


PSAT/NMSQT Registration Open through Oct 2nd

The PSAT test will take place at West High School on Saturday, October 19th.

The registration window closes at 3:45 pm on October 2nd. No late registrations accepted.

See more info about PSAT at West HERE.

Grade 11 FuturePaths Program for Students and Families

Monday, Oct. 14th, 6:30-8pm

Madison West High School Auditorium

The West High School Counseling Department will host the FuturePaths Program for 11th grade students and their families. Presenters will speak on a range of post-high school opportunities including:

  • UW-Madison
  • U of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • UW-System schools
  • private liberal arts colleges
  • art and design schools
  • IEP Goes to College
  • Apprenticeship Programs
  • Military Options

The program begins in the Auditorium at 6:30 pm with a presentation on financial aid followed by two 40-minute sessions that families will choose depending on their areas of interest. This is an important program for juniors and their families.

We hope you can join us!

National Honor Society (NHS)


Students interested in being considered for membership in the National Honor Society at West need the following:

  • earned a total of at least 60 service hours by the end of the first semester of their Junior year.

  • earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.50

  • demonstrated their character and leadership through a clean school record.

NOTE: All eligible Juniors will receive letters about NHS early in second semester.

Click HERE for more info and a link to the service form

Junior Conferences

Beginning in December, Juniors will be asked to make an appointment with their counselor for their Junior Conference. During this conference, your student's counselor will review the following items with your student:

  • Transcript/credit review
  • Course selection for senior year
  • Resume and/or activities log
  • Career interests
  • Post-high school plans

Students and parents will be emailed a conference summary and a timeline of steps to take in the post-secondary planning process.

More information on how to sign up for a Junior Conference will be emailed to students later this fall.



If you are a Sophomore, this is a great time to start earning some volunteer hours. Find something you enjoy. Perhaps it's an organization you feel passionate about, a future career interest area, a hobby or activity you enjoy and find out what options are available for volunteering.

Volunteer hours look great on a resume, applying for scholarships and eventually college applications.

Need a handy place to keep track of your volunteer hours? Make a copy of this form!


Freshman 101 Presentation

Counselors will be visiting 9th grade Biology classes on October 11th for an informational lesson on how to be successful in high school. Topics covered will include:

  • Transcript Information
  • Grade Point Average
  • How to get academic help
  • Study Skills Tips
  • The importance of class attendance
  • How summer school can help (Grade replacement and credit recovery)
  • Where and how to access their School Counselor


AP (Advanced Placement) Exam Changes

Important Timeline Updates for AP Exam Registration for the 19-20 School Year!

The College Board has moved the Advanced Placement exam registration period from the spring to the fall beginning this school year.

What do families need to know?

WHO: All MMSD students seeking to take spring AP Exams
WHEN: MMSD's registration dates are September 30 – October 18 for this spring's final exams.

COST: Exam fees have not changed and remain at $110/exam or $142 for Seminar, but please note a $40/exam deposit is due at this time. The balance will need to be paid between October 18 and February 28, 2020. Please note this earlier timeline.
WHY: Studies have shown students who commit earlier in the school year have a higher engagement and commitment, as well as an increase in scores of 3 or higher across multiple groups.
HOW: Specific registration information regarding MMSD's exam sign up, fee payment and AP updates can be found at mmsd.org/ap

Click on the attachement below for specific AP Exam registration instructions:

Work Permits

Are you a new hire and in need of a work permit? Read on to find out how and where to obtain your Work Permit:

During the school year, work permits may be obtained at the Visitors’ Window at the Ash Street entrance of West High School. Students must bring the 5 items listed below to the window before school. The work permit will be prepared and ready for pick-up by the end of the school day.

  1. Letter from the employer expressing intent to hire, on employer's regular letterhead, describing job title and duties and hours of work. This letter should include the name, address and phone # of the employer.
  2. Letter of permission from the minor's parent/guardian (parent’s signature on the employer letter is also okay).
  3. Proof of Age – driver’s license, DOT issued state ID card, birth certificate, baptismal certificate or passport.
  4. Social Security CARD.
  5. $10 cash (The employer must reimburse the $10.00 permit fee to the minor by no later than the date of the first paycheck).

Work Based Learning

Do you have a job? Interested in earning credit for the hours you work? Check out the Work Based Learning Site for more information.

Academic & Career Planning (ACP)

Students will be participating in Academic and Career Planning activities in each grade level throughout their four years at West.

To find out more about ACP @ West, click on the button below.

School Attendance

School attendance is important! Please be sure to contact your child's SLC office if they will be absent or complete the online form.

If students notice an attendance discrepancy, they can obtain an Attendance Update Request Form in their SLC office and have it signed by a teacher.

Click on the link below for SLC office contact information:



Good attendance contributes to students doing well in school and eventually in the workplace. By middle and high school, attendance is even more predictive of successful graduation. Each absence represents a preventable lost opportunity to learn in the classroom.

MMSD Attendance Website


Stay Connected This School Year!

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