Bob Gambarelli

Director of Student Services

JMHS Counseling &
Student Services

Gambarelli's Counseling Newsletter


Madison HS, January 2015 Counseling Newsletter

Hi, Madison Parents! Anybody out there shivering?

Great news – Madison was just rated by U.S. News and World Report as the  #1 traditional high school in Fairfax County, the #3 high school in Virginia,  and #93 in the U.S. (out of approximately 13,000 high schools). Read the entire report here .

FACEBOOK: Madison Counseling & Student Services has posted several tidbits on our Facebook page to help keep students and parents informed about upcoming events, reminders and student services information.  Click here 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.

VISIT our Counseling & Student Services website, LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter!
  JMHS Counseling & Student Services
 Madison Counseling on Facebook
MadCounselors on Twitter


GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS for Fairfax County public schools are available here for viewing

CURRICULUM NIGHTwill be held on February 5. It will begin at 6:30 P.M. (for rising 9th graders) and 7:00 pm (for rising 10-12th grades). It will end at approximately 9:00 P.M (Snow date February 12). 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 special presentations for students who are considering enrolling in an AP class for the 2015-16 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.

An ELECTIVE FAIR will be held for all students on Feb.6 during the school day. Students will have an opportunity to visit three elective presentations to help them with their choices. This opportunity does not substitute for the information provided at the evening curriculum program, but it will supplement it. The fair gives students a chance to explore the entire range of elective courses that will be offered at Madison next year.

This course is REQUIRED for graduation and may be taken in grades 9-12. It can be taken one of three ways during the school year: in a regular classroom setting, online, or through AP Economics, which may substitute for Econ/Personal Finance. It can also be taken ONLINE during the summer ($750 cost) or as a self-paced online course for $150 (pass-fail only, no teacher)

ACADEMIC ADVISING/ COURSE SELECTION for next year will begin on Monday, Feb. 9 during the school day, with a preview of all available courses. During the week of Feb. 9-13, students will meet with their teachers to get recommendations for next year’s classes. Students will then bring home the course selection sheet for you to review. Students should then return their completed, signed yellow course selection sheet to their Warhawk Time teacher on Friday, Feb. 13. Counselors will then individually meet with your student to finalize their courses and plan for next year according to the following schedule:

Rising 12th grade- Feb.16-Feb.27
Rising 11th grade- Mar. 2-Mar. 13
Rising 10th grade- Mar. 17-Mar.27

S.A.T. REGISTRATION- we recommend that our Juniors take the SAT test once during this school year. The test dates are March 14 (here at Madison), as well as May and June (not at Madison). Students need to register online .

SAT/ACT preparation
SAT & ACT Mock Tests
Saturday, February 28
9:00 am – 1:30 pm
James Madison High School
Score Back Session on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 pm
Register at:
In the Event Code Box, enter:
M137670 for the SAT test
M137672 for the ACT test
Cost:  $20.  All proceeds benefit the JMHS PTSA Academic Boosters
JMHS PTSA Academic Boosters is partnering with Applerouth Tutoring to offer an SAT and ACT Mock Test event. 

As an outgrowth of our Wellness Week and various wellness related programs, we are partnering with our PTSA to present Mindfulness Skills training to our interested faculty and students. This voluntary program, which is not during instructional time, teaches daily practices that help build one’s awareness and concentration, reduce stress, and help us achieve greater clarity, direction, and balance in all aspects of our lives.

Academy Open Houses
Please visit the following high schools to learn about their varied and exciting academy programs:
Chantilly- Feb. 18; 6:00 (free spaghetti dinner) -7:30 pm
Fairfax- Feb. 11; 6:00-8:30 pm
Falls Church- Jan. 18- 6:30-8:30 pm




This annual, well-attended event will be held on Tuesday, January 15 at 7:00pm in the JMHS Auditorium.  Admissions representatives from the University of Virginia, the University of Mary Washington, Purdue University and Northern Virginia Community College will serve on a panel to discuss a variety of college related topics and the college admissions process in general.

During the month of January, the Junior Class will have the opportunity get a counselor’s overview about the college process, become familiar with the resources that are available in the College/Career Center, and begin to research colleges and careers.  To help you assist your students in the post-secondary planning process, there is a Junior/Senior Packet that is available in the Document Library of Family Connection, accessible via FCPS 24-7/Blackboard.  Also, please check the College Planning section on the JMHS website.

Financial Aid Presentation: “Secrets of Paying for College” presentation will be held on Jan. 22 from 7:00-9:00 pm in the JMHS Auditorium. This program, presented by Brock Jolly and Wendy Raynor, will give you strategies to attend private universities for the same out of pocket cost as in-state schools, an overview of financial aid and how to qualify for the maximum package, unique strategies to pay for multiple children attending college simultaneously, an insider’s view of the college admissions process, how to recapture out of pocket college costs, and avoid jeopardizing your retirement nest egg. The will also speak to the grades and test scores necessary to earn grant money.

FAFSA – please go to the FAFSA site for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

FREE FAFSA COMPLETION WORKSHOPS All workshops are free and open to students and families from any high school who would like assistance in completing the FAFSA online.  For more information and to register, please visit College Access Fairfax and click on "Workshops" in the menu bar.  Also online is the information you need to bring with you to the workshop in order to complete the FAFSA.




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

GRADUATION, which is almost around the corner (time flies when you’re having fun!), will be held on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. in the Robinson High School Field House.  You will receive detailed graduation information in the spring.

ARTICLE: Beyond the traditional college search factors is an interesting article about college selection available under “Articles/Books”.


Jan. 15- Junior Parent- Student College Night
Jan.22-27-Midterm exams
Jan. 29- end of 2nd Qtr.
Jan. 29-Feb. 2- Teacher workdays- no students
Feb. 5- Curriculum Night
Feb. 6 Elective Fair



Cynthia Coogan

A-Car 9th – 11th

A-Cham 12th


Samantha Morick

Cas-Es 9th-11th

Chan-Fr 12th


Alex Gorman

Et-Hen 9th-11th

Fs-Ji 12th


Nada Madrid

Heo-Lam 9th-11th

Jk-May 12th


Tonya Lathom

Lan-Moo 9th-11th



Erin Kennedy

Mop-Rin 9th-11th

Maz-Pri 12th


Matt Murray

Rio-Swa 9th-11th

Prj-Sto 12th


Tim Buckley

Swb-Z 9th-11th

Stp-Z 12th






Stay well!






Gambo signature





Bob Gambarelli
Director of Student Services