Bob Gambarelli

Director of Student Services

JMHS Counseling &
Student Services

Gambarelli's Counseling Newsletter


Madison HS, Counseling Newsletter

Hi Parents! This is your February, 2016 monthly newsletter from the Counselors!

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society – things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. As a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have sometimes led him into deep trouble. However, we are confident that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out. Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.

Madison counselors are online!

Madison Counseling & Student Services has posted several tidbits on our Facebook page to help keep students and parents informed about upcoming events. There are also reminders and student services information.  Click on Facebook   to view our page (you don’t need to be a Facebook member to view our postings).  However, IF you are a member, please choose to “LIKE” us and “SHARE” this page.

The 2016-17 Madison course guide  is available for viewing on Madison's website  


Madison's Curriculum Night is finally happening!  It is Thursday, Feb. 4, beginning at 6:30 pm for rising 9th graders and 7:00 pm for current grades 9-11. This program will provide parents and students, current grades 8 - 11, an opportunity to learn about academic classes, elective classes, and course requirements that are available. Teachers and departments from Madison, as well as the FCPS Academies, will have displays and information available to provide you with an excellent opportunity to find out about the different curricular offerings and requirements and to ask questions about course sequence, course content, and activities.


AP CLASSES: During the Curriculum Night, there will be a special presentation (7:15-7:45 pm) for students who are considering enrolling in an AP class for the 2016-17 school year. Students and parents have had difficulty in the past understanding the rigorous nature of AP classes and the TIME required in these classes. Teachers will present the expectations and curriculum of the classes, so that students and parents can weigh the demands of the course against the rest of the student’s obligations, both academic and extracurricular. We expect those who sign up for AP/Honors classes to attempt them for the entire year. Therefore, we want you to choose these classes wisely.


COURSE SELECTION for next year begins soon. On Monday, Feb. 8, all students will view a presentation from the counselors which will give them information about their courses for next year. Please take time on that Monday night to discuss their choices with them, sign the form, and have them bring it back to school on Tuesday. During classes on Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 8 and 9), their teachers will be meeting with your student to give them a recommendation about which course and/or level of course is appropriate for them. Then, the counselors will be meeting with your student individually to discuss and “finalize” their courses for next year. But don’t worry. Even after the courses have been selected, there will still be some room to make course changes. 

The new individual advising dates are:

Rising 12th – Feb. 10-22
Rising 11th – Feb. 23 – Mar 3
Rising 10th – Mar 4-15

Please note: From Feb.10- Mar.15, the counselors will be working individually with your student throughout the entire school day. During this period, the counselors welcome phone calls/emails, but it will be very difficult to schedule
in- school appointments. 


AP Exams
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams will be administered from May 2 – 12.  All students currently enrolled in an AP course at Madison will have the accompanying AP exam automatically ordered at no charge. 
Any student NOT currently enrolled in an AP course but who wishes to take an AP exam should contact Tonya Lathom at or 703-319-2349 no later than March 10, 2016 for registration information.  Please note that a $100 fee will be charged.  Checks may be made payable to Madison High School.
The AP Exam Schedule can be found here

Science Fair Judges Needed!
The JMHS Science Fair takes place on Wednesday, February 10th, and the science department is in need of additional judges.  If you can spare a few hours (roughly from 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM; other arrangements are possible), we would love to have you.  We welcome logical people of all disciplines. Please contact Dick Gongaware @

S.A.T. registration: we recommend that our Juniors take the SAT test once during this school year. The test dates are March 5 (here at Madison), May and June (not at Madison). Students need to register online at the College Board - There is a wealth of academic and guidance related information on You can access through your student's blackboard account at Blackboard   


FCPS Academies- we invite you to explore the opportunities available at the six FCPS Academies.  For information about what an FCPS Academy is, please see FCPS Academy info.  For detailed information about each Academy, please see the individual Academy’s website or attend their open house (listed below).


A.P. Proctors needed- How would you like to help us proctor an A.P. exam this year? We are in need of parents who would like to volunteer a morning or afternoon in early May to help us administer an AP exam. No experience needed. The actual dates are May 4 to May 14. The A.M slots would be from 7:00-11:30 and the PM slots would be from 11:30am-4:00pm. Please contact Tonya Lathom at if you would like to help us.


Band Parents Event will be a "Wine Around" at Vienna Vintner (, located at 233 Maple Ave. East, Vienna. The week-long event kicks off Thursday, February 11 with a reception and wine tasting and light refreshments, from 7-9 pm.   Vienna Vintner will donate 20% of all sales for the next week (Feb. 11-19th) to the Band! 

For those whose students are going on the spring trip to Walt Disney World: the third and final payment is due this Thursday, Feb. 4th.  The balance (for most students, if they followed the schedule) is $280, paid via CHARMS or a check made payable to "JMHS."  Please deposit all checks in the lock box by Thursday, clearly labeled "spring trip."


Junior College Planning Presentation
Junior students, through their history class, recently met in the Career Center with a counselor and Mrs. Otto for a session about post-secondary planning.  As part of the Fairfax County Student Learning Plan, students updated their Resume and Game Plan as well as briefly reviewed Course Plan information.  Students also reviewed and discussed the Junior Packet that contains a variety of post-secondary planning information, especially highlighting the college admissions process.  Family Connection was used for college searching and students were given time to explore the college section in Family Connection.  The Junior Packet is available in the 11th Grade folder in the Document Library of Family Connection.


  Senior Class News

Senior dues are $135.00*.  Payment without penalty has been extended to February 12, 2016. Dues paid after this date will be charged a $15 late fee. Please make checks payable to JMHS Class of 2016 and make sure the student’s name and t-shirt size are written on the check. Please turn in checks to the Main Office or directly to Mrs. Godfrey in the SPED Office For more info: Senior Dues Flyer
* If you qualify for the FCPS Free or Reduced Lunch Program, please see your school counselor.
If you have questions, please contact the Senior Class Captains.
Kristen Haynor
Godfrey, Trish R.
Jaeckle, Carrie


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Clinics
Free FAFSA Clinics and College Access Fairfax Scholarships College Access Fairfax is committed to helping Fairfax County Public School students with the daunting and complex task of acquiring financial aid for post-secondary education.  College Access Fairfax offers FAFSA clinics and provides several scholarship opportunities.  Additional information is available online at College Access Fairfax.


Scholarship Information
Local Scholarship Opportunities will be sent out via email through Family Connection.  Recent local scholarship emails include:  NVADACA (Northern Virginia Athletic Directors and Coaches Association) and the W. Harold Ford Scholarship.  The FCPS scholarship database is available in Family Connection, which is accessible through your FCPS/24-7 Blackboard account and does list local/district scholarships.  The email address you have in your FCPS 24-7 Blackboard account is linked to Family Connection.  Students and parents who have a current email address in Blackboard will receive these email updates.  More financial aid resources are available online here


Gap Year Fair, February 3, 7:00pm at Marshall High School
The FCPS Gap Year Fair will be held on February 3 at 7:00pm at Marshall High School.  There will be a general presentation about taking a gap year followed by a fair in which students may talk with and gather information from a variety of individual organizations that offer gap year programs. 
It is recommended that students pre-register for the event by going to the website


Military Academy/ROTC Night February 23, 7:00pm at Madison High School
For students (along with their parents) interested in attending a U.S. Military Service Academy: Air Force, Military, Naval, Merchant Marine, Coast Guard or ROTC Program: Air Force, Army, Navy & Marine Corps, then you should attend the Academy/ROTC program on February 23 at 7:00pm at Madison High School. This is an annual event hosted by Madison, Oakton, Woodson, Fairfax and Marshall High Schools.  A representative from Congressman Connolly's Office will also speak about the nomination process for the Academies.

Articles of Interest:

Life Skills all students should have before leaving high school

Baring your soul in 500 words or less



Feb. 4- end of 2nd Qtr. (2 hour early release)
Feb. 5- Teacher workday- no students
Feb. 10- Science Fairfax County Public Schools
Feb. 19- International Night


Ms. Cynthia Coogan       A-CAR                        703-319-2325
Ms. Brandy Buckley       CAS-ES                      703-319-2327
Mr. Alex Gorman        ET-HEN                      703-319-2326
Ms. Sheri Masich         HEO-LAM                   703-319-2331
Ms. Tonya Lathom         LAN-MOO                   703-319-2349
Ms. Erin Kennedy    MOP-RIN                    703-319-2334
Ms. Ashley Anderson   RIO-SWA                    703-319-2330
Mr. Tim Buckley          SWB-Z                        703-319-2332

Stay warm!


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Bob Gambarelli
Director of Student Services