Bob Gambarelli

Director of Student Services

JMHS Counseling &
Student Services

Gambarelli's Counseling Newsletter

Hi Parents!

The school year is in full swing, and we want to communicate to you the exciting things that are going on here at Madison


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Warhawk Time”, an academic assistance period, takes place each day from 8:59-9:29 am. The purpose of this is to give the students’ time and support if they need extra help, do research, make up tests, work, etc. Although it is not required for the students to be with their teachers unless they are failing, teachers (and parents) can require the students to attend at any time. Teachers are also available every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school for extra help. All students are encouraged to stay after school with their teachers if they need additional help with academics. In addition, tutoring is available through various honor societies (this is usually arranged through the subject teacher).


Interims will be mailed home on October 7. Be sure to ask your student to see them.  To contact a teacher with a question or concern, please click here.


Oct. 15 is a half day for all students. Readistep, a diagnostic test, will be offered to all of our 9th graders free of charge. PSAT’s will be offered to our 10 and 11th graders.  This is a “practice” test that will help get them ready for the SAT. 11th graders are charged $17 for the test. Fairfax County Public Schools pays for all 10th graders. Please make sure that you have paid for this test. Please keep in mind that if you don’t pay for the test, it will not be scored. Please turn the money in to the Counseling office, your student’s Warhawk Time teacher, or Tracy Marquina in the counseling office.

Seniors are expected to meet in the cafeteria (enter through door 3) on Wednesday, 10/15 at 8:30 am.  Seniors must report to turn in their cap and gown measurements.  We will provide breakfast and take a group class photo.  All students who are present and have paid their dues prior to 10/15 will be entered into a drawing for a free yearbook!


Thomas Jefferson HS applicants- for those 9th graders who are interested in applying to TJ for 10th grade, please see your counselor immediately in order to make alternate testing arrangements for the Readistep.


       Columbus Day – Monday, October 13, there will be no school.  This would be a great weekend to visit some colleges.


October 31 is the end of the first quarter. Report cards will be mailed home on approximately Nov.10. there is a variety of college, career and related information in within the Department of Student Services section and Family Connection. You can access Blackboard and Family Connection at here.


S.A.T.:  Madison is offering it on Oct. 11 and Nov.8. For more information and to sign up, visit . Juniors will take their first SAT in the spring, March 14 (offered at Madison) or May 2 and June 6 (not at Madison). There will be no day of test standbys, date changes, test changes, or center changes.


SAT and ACT Group Classes.   The JMHS PTSA and Applerouth Tutoring are partnering to offer small group classes at Madison. The cost is $599 for 20 classroom hours plus three mock tests – a $100 savings. 

         Classes run on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm at JMHS
         SAT classes start Saturday, October 4, 2014
         ACT classes start Saturday, November 1, 2015

To register: and enter event code SAT1560 or ACT1559

This is offered as a convenience to students, and since we are using our classrooms the PTSA has been able to negotiate a price reduction for Madison families.  We do need a minimum of 7 students to run the classes. 

ACT or SAT?  Which is the best test for you?  All colleges accept the ACT and SAT on an equal basis, but studies indicate that some students perform better on one or the other.  The JMHS PTSA-Academic Boosters and Princeton Review are partnering to offer assessments to determine which test you’d score higher on. 

         Saturday, November 22 at Madison
         PRA (recommended for juniors): 8:30 am -12:30 pm
         Start Up (recommended for sophomores):  8:30-10:30 am
         $15.00 Registration Fee
         Results Review on Wednesday, December 10, 7:00-8:00 pm
To register, please mail student information (name, grade, parent email, parent phone number) with $15.00 check payable to JMHS PTSA to:

James Madison HS PTSA
Attn:  Academic Boosters
2500 James Madison Drive
Vienna, VA  22181

This is a great service for families, and a fundraiser for Academic Boosters. 
Questions?  Contact Nancy Socher at


Fairfax County Youth Leadership Program
The application process has begun for the Fairfax County Youth Leadership Program. The YLP is a highly selective program open to high school juniors. One, and sometimes two, high school juniors are selected from each high school in Fairfax County.  The program’s goal is to engage younger citizens in the workings of local government. Selected students meet once a month at one of the county facilities to learn more about how county government works. During the summer, students are placed in one of the country agencies for a three-week paid internship. The YLP begins in the later part of the student’s junior year and ends after the first semester of the student’s senior year.

Over the years, the YLP students from Madison High School have enjoyed their experiences in the Youth Leadership Program. During their monthly meetings, students get to network and make friends with YLP students from other schools. During the summer, the YLP students have had great experiences working for various local government agencies and offices, doing real work, not just making copies. One year, our YLP student, Alex Lejeune, was asked during his summer internship to come up with a specific plan to save the county money. Not only was the plan well received, but it was adopted county-wide!

For more details, click here

More information about the program can be found here

The application can be found here

Applications are due by November 5, 2014.

Feel free to contact Frank Franz if you have any questions.


For our Seniors

Senior College Planning Night was held on September 18. Thank you for attending!  If you were unable to attend or would like to review the 2014-15 presentation(s) they are now posted here

Need a Counselor Recommendation? Seniors need to complete the Self-Evaluation Form for their counselor, which can be found in Family Connection, under the “About Me” tab.

Parents are asked to fill out the Parent Information Form, which is available on the JMHS website at
We ask that these forms be filled out and returned via email no later than October 4th.


On-Site Admissions:  Longwood and Radford Universities:  Seniors will have the opportunity to get their admission decision in November for Longwood and December for Radford.  Details and deadlines are available in the Document Library of Family Connection in the “On-Site Admissions” folder.  There are specific procedures/deadlines for each university.


College Visits to JMHS  
JMHS has approximately 100 college representatives who schedule visits to meet with interested students.  Juniors and Seniors are encouraged to attend.  Students should sign up on Family Connection and print out the confirmation page to use as their pass.  Then get permission and signature from their teacher at least 24 hours in advance of the visit for the class they will miss.  Students are responsible for missed assignments.  Finally, bring the signed pass with you to the presentation.
Students are welcome to use the computers in the Career Center to sign up and print out their pass.
The list of college visits is available in Family Connection, accessible through Blackboard.  


Financial Aid Information: 
Financial Aid Night:  December 2, 7:00pm in the JMHS Auditorium

APP LAB- Every Thursday from 2:15-3:00 in the College Career Center, one or more of Madison’s counselors will be available to help seniors with any part of their college applications, from help writing their essays to filling out the common application, etc. Outside of the school day, this is a good place to get individualized help with college applications!

Transcript Requests: Madison’s transcript assistant is available to accept transcripts every day from 8:45am-12:45pm. The first 3 transcripts for each student are free and each transcript after that is $5 each. Transcript request forms can be found here
Transcript requests are required to be turned in 15 school days before the application deadline. An additional $5 late fee per transcript will be charged for all transcript requests received less than 15 days from the deadline. Additionally, any transcript requests received less than 48 hours from the college’s deadline will not be guaranteed to be sent out by us by the deadline.  For transcripts with a due date of 11-1-14 the last day to turn them in without a late fee will be 10-9-14.

Other college transcript deadlines:
11-15-14 college deadline – last day is 10-24-14
12-1-14 college deadline – last day is 11-5-14
12-15-14 college deadline – last day is 11-19-14
1-1-15 college deadline – last day is 11-26-14
1-15-15 college deadline – last day is 12-10-14

College Fair
Sunday, October 19, 2014, Fair Oaks Mall, 7:30-9:30 pm
The FCPS College Fair offers a venue for high school students and parents to meet with colleges and universities to share information and answer questions about their institutions.  Approximately 400 colleges annually attend this event. 


Senior dues are $135.00*.  Payment must be made by Wednesday, January 28, 2015. Dues paid after this date will be charged a $15 late fee. Please make checks payable to JMHS Class of 2015 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 Miss Ronan in the library. 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.
Dawn Dickerson at or 703-319-2560
Krissy Ronan at or 703-319-2353

Anne Lee intern
As a former Madison Warhawk (’06), I am returning to Madison High School as a school counseling intern for the academic year of 2014-2015.  I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland- College Park and I am currently pursuing my masters degree at Marymount University in Arlington.  I grew up right here in the Vienna community, but have spent several years, post high school, in the state of Maryland

Articles of interest:

How to use your school counselor

Redefining Success and Celebrating the Ordinary- NY Times

Six non college reasons not to blow off high school



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Stay well!










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Bob Gambarelli
Director of Student Services