JMHS Counseling &
Gambarelli's Counseling Newsletter
December 1, 2013
As we round the bend of the school year, please take a minute to think about your student’s progress in their classes. The next stretch of school after winter break is a very comprehensive one, so spend some time during the break discussing academic or organizational issues with your student.
The counseling and clinical staff will be screening 10th graders for depression on Jan.9. More complete info will follow in a separate email.
PSAT results will be given out to students in mid-December. Please remember these are PRACTICE tests and the colleges do not see them. Also, the grades a student makes, as well as the strength of their curriculum, are far more important to the colleges than test scores. Colleges accept students with a very wide range of test scores and focus much more on a student’s GPA.
Curriculum Night –February 6- at Madison, from 7 - 9 p.m. Please come and explore the classes available to your student. This night will give you a chance to become exposed to all of the academic and elective offerings that Madison will offer next year. Even though the actual course registration for your students doesn’t begin until February, it's not too early to be thinking about and discussing possible options for next year's classes.
Senior Class News
APP LAB- Every Thursday from 2:15-3:00 pm 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/College Application Deadlines-
The last date to request transcripts for January deadlines is quickly approaching! Please note the following dates:
For January 1st college deadlines, the transcript request deadline was Nov. 27.
For January 15th college deadlines, transcripts must be requested by Dec. 10.
As a reminder, neither the counselors nor our transcript assistant will be in the office from December 23 through January 3. Therefore, please remember to adhere to the above deadlines to ensure that your transcripts are sent on time.
Once you have submitted your applications, you may continue to receive emails stating that your file is NOT COMPLETE. This will happen until they have not only received the transcript packet and counselor/ teacher recommendations, but have processed them in their office and placed them into your file, at which time they will change your status. Just because you get an email saying that your
transcript is not there, does not mean that it is not there. It is an automated system, so please DO NOT PANIC.
“Common Application”: FCPS counselors do not use online recommendations or any other forms online. When you complete the Common Application, it will tell you to print forms to bring to your counselors. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PRINT THESE FORMS! We have our own forms that are known and acceptable to colleges.
Transcripts mailed? At any time, you may check to see if a transcript has been mailed by checking Family Connection, in the Colleges tab and then click on Colleges I’m Applying To. If you are still unsure if your transcript has been mailed, please contact your counselor. Remember, there is always some processing lag time, so don't assume your transcript has been lost if the college says they don't have it.
1st Quarter grades to colleges: If a college or university requests first quarter grades, students may obtain a copy of their grades from the counselor to mail directly to the college.
Let the College Acceptances Begin! Students are beginning to hear from colleges and universities. Be sure to share this information with your counselor and Mrs. Geary in the Counseling Office when you hear the good news.
Graduation, which seems like it is right around the corner, will be held on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 4:30 p.m. at the Robinson High School Field House. You will receive detailed graduation information in the spring.
ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery)
The ASVAB will be given at Madison on Wednesday, December 10, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. There are two purposes for the ASVAB test. 1) The ASVAB assesses a student’s ability to learn new skills and is a predictor of success in training and education programs. It includes an interest inventory and other activities and resources designed to help students explore the world or work and gain confidence in making career decisions. 2) This test is a requirement for military enlistment. For details visit www.asvabprogram.com
Students need to sign-up for this test in the Career Center or send Lynn Otto an email at email@example.com by December 4, 2013.
Financial Aid Program
Wednesday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Oakton High School in the Cafeteria.
Presentation will include information about financial aid, FAFSA and understanding your award package.
FAFSA www.fafsa.ed.gov is the website for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Senior Dues need to be in by Friday, December 20, 2013. The $135 fee provides for the graduation ceremony, programs for convocation and graduation, cap and gown, diploma cover, one senior field trip, an end-of-year senior picnic, senior breakfast, senior class tee shirt and additional expenses associated with the senior year. Please make your check payable to JMHS Class of 2014 and turn it into Krissy Ronan in the library or Dawn Dickerson. If you are on free or reduced lunch, you need to provide your FCPS letter of award to receive a reduced fee, see your School Counselor.
Junior Class News
College Planning for Juniors- From January 7th - 17th, all of the juniors will be going into the College Career Center for an introductory session on college planning. This is traditionally when our students start researching colleges in earnest. Later in the winter, you and your student will be invited by your student’s counselor for an individual meeting concerning their college search.
Junior College Planning Night- Wednesday, January 15, 7:00 p.m. in the Madison High School Auditorium. College Admission Representatives will present on a variety of topics and answer questions you may have in regards to the college process.
S.A.T. registration- we recommend that our Juniors take the SAT test once during this school year. The test dates are March 8 (here at Madison), as well as May and June (not at Madison). Students need to register online at www.collegeboard.org
Freshman Class News
Freshman Strengths and Goals Lesson- We just finished an exciting unit with your 9th graders. Through PE 10 class, with the assistance of the counselors and College Career Specialist, Lynn Otto, your students took the StrengthsQuest inventory which identified their top 5 personal strengths. If you did not see a copy of these results come home, you may access this information in Family Connection, which is accessible through FCPS 24-7/Blackboard. Once in Family Connection, click on the About Me tab and then click on Survey History and then click the 9th Grade Post S.M.A.R.T. Additional information about the strengths is available in the Document Library which is located on the right side of the home page once you are in Family Connection.
Students also created two S.M.A.R.T goals: Academic and Responsibility to the Community. This information is available in the My Planner tab of Family Connection.
If your student did not complete the StrengthsQuest inventory, they should see Mrs. Otto in the College Career Center for how to take this inventory.
Here are some important dates for your calendar:
December 20 - January 5- Winter break
January 20 - Holiday for Martin Luther King Day
January 29 - Second quarter ends
January 30-31 teacher workdays, no school for students
Feb. 6- Curriculum Night- 7:00 pm
Several Articles of Interest:
6 reasons to take high school seriously is an excellent article about important “soft skills” that all high school students should have.
Lastly, as the holiday season approaches, take some time out to have fun with your family! Happy Holidays!
Director of Student Services