• Counseling Department Newsletter
    November 2018

    General Notes and Information

    ParentEdge and Forefront Presentation – On November 14 th members of Mercer Island Youth and Family Services
    and the Forefront team will provide an overview of the signs and symptoms of adolescent suicide and depression.
    Parents will also learn about the tools available to help keep our students safe. The meeting will take place in the
    in the MIHS library at 7:00pm. For more information go to www.intheforefront.org .

    Counselor Series Evening Event #2 - Paying For College: The Financial Aid Process – Join us for a visit with
    Kimberley Shephard, the Seattle University Financial Aid Counselor and Outreach Coordinator, for an overview of
    the Financial Aid process. The event is Tuesday, November 20 from 6:30-7:30pm in the MIHS PAC and is for
    students of all grades and their parents/guardians. Topics covered will include: grants, scholarships, work study,
    loans, FAFSA, interpreting financial aid packages and college costs outside of tuition. We hope to see you there!
    Beyond High School Event at Bellevue College – Please join the Center for High School Programs Office on
    Saturday, November 17 at 9:00 am for the Running Start | College in the High School and Beyond Event. Students
    and parents will receive information about 4 year schools, programs, financial aid, etc. This is open to students of
    all grades and their families.

    Date : Saturday 11/17/2018
    Time: 9:00am - 1:00pm
    Location: Bellevue College
    Cafeteria Building C
    3000 Landerholm Circle SE
    Bellevue, WA 98007

    For more details and to register go to: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a094daaab2baa8-running5

    College Visits – College representatives generally visit MIHS during lunches and afterschool. They provide great
    opportunities for students of ANY grade level to connect with representatives from colleges/programs students
    have interest in or want to learn more about. The most up-to-date visit list is in Naviance under “What’s New”
    where students can register to indicate they will attend.

    PNACAC Spring National College Fairs – Did you miss the October College Fair? Do you want to have another
    opportunity to attend? PNACAC offers Spring College Fairs where students of any grade and their parents are able
    to connect with representatives from colleges and other programs from across the country and abroad at one
    central venue.

    Save the dates for these Spring College Fairs…

    ● Saturday, April 27 at Seattle University from 10:00am to 1:00pm
    ● Sunday, April 28 at the University of Portland (noon to 3:00pm)

    For information go to http://www.pnacac.org/college-fairs

    Mock SAT/ACT Practice Tests are offered at MIHS through the PTSA. For more information go to

    Language Proficiency – Students must complete at least two years of a World Language to meet graduation
    requirements. One way students can meet this requirement is by completing a proficiency exam where,
    depending on their results, students can earn up to 4 years of high school credit. To check to see if your student is
    a candidate, go to https://www.mercerislandschools.org/Domain/1954 . If you want to test in a language that is
    not offered in our district, students should see their counselor.

    Academic Tutoring – The updated academic tutoring schedule is posted on the MIHS website under the “Students”

    Pass/Fail Grade Forms – Per district policy, students may select up to one (1) course each semester as a Pass/Fail
    grade. By choosing this option, students who obtain the minimal passing grade percentage by the end of the
    semester will get a “P” grade along with the credit for the course. To request this, students must obtain a Pass/Fail
    Form from the Counseling Center, complete it and return it to the Counseling Center by November 29. Students
    should consult with a counselor when considering this as an option.

    Request for Off-Campus Course Credit - Students who plan to take courses for credit that are outside of Mercer
    Island School District must complete a Request for Off-Campus Course Credit Form to the registrar’s office AND
    check with the registrar to make sure the request has been approved BEFORE enrolling in any outside coursework.
    This approval must be on file in order to add credit from an outside institution to a student’s MIHS transcript.

    9th Grade

    Important academic timelines - The first quarter ended on November 2nd. The semester ends on January 25th.
    Semester grades will be the first grades to be entered on official high school transcripts for freshmen. For
    additional academic support, it is important for students to talk to their teachers directly. Also, MIHS offers free
    tutoring in multiple subjects: the schedule is posted on the MIHS website under the “Students” tab. See your
    counselor if you need additional resources, support or if you have questions.

    High School and Beyond Planning – During September classroom visits, Ms. Brown helped students update their
    Naviance accounts and complete their Learning Styles Inventory. In October, freshmen completed the Career
    Cluster Finder during the PSAT administration and added "clusters" to their Naviance "portfolios." Students who
    missed any of these steps or who need an account need to stop by the Counselor of the Day table during lunch or
    off period with their i-Pads where a counselor will provide assistance. In late November and early December, Ms.
    Brown will visit freshmen classes to show students how to begin a draft of a 4-year high school course plan as part
    of the required High School and Beyond plan. The course plan is changeable and will be updated from year to

    10 th Grade

    High School and Beyond Planning - If you have not already reviewed your student’s Career Interest Survey and
    Learning Style Inventories on Naviance, please ask your sophomore to show you this in his/her account. This can
    open up a conversation about the possibilities for your student’s post-secondary planning. Check your assigned
    tasks in Naviance to make sure you are up-to-date.

    11 th Grade

    PSAT online score reports will be available December 12th. When your scores are ready online, you'll get an email
    with instructions on creating your College Board account, going to the online score portal, and using your access
    code to view your score report.
    Junior Field Trip to the National College Fair - On November 2nd, the MIHS counselors and additional staff
    members took 272 juniors to the National College Fair in Seattle. PTSA sponsored our trip by providing our buses,
    substitutes for staff chaperones and 10 parent volunteer chaperones. A huge thanks to our MIHS community for
    making this happen! Preliminary survey results after the event indicate that almost 90% who attended found the
    event meaningful, while 91% said that they had spoken directly to representatives of four or more institutions.
    To view the details survey results go to:
    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/173_C7lAww-4LipIxuf1MvLSXmWHKZ-tJKoey8ax-RV4/edit#responses .
    This feedback is greatly helpful for our future planning.
    Juniors who attended the college fair field trip but who have not yet taken the survey can still do so by going to the
    link in Schoology . And juniors, make sure that you have saved at least one search in Naviance using the College

    12 th Grade

    Counselors available on Fridays – Counselors will be in the LPR on Fridays during lunches to assist seniors with
    their post-secondary planning. Bring your lunch, your i-Pad and your questions!

    College Application Submissions - A reminder that seniors, you are responsible for verifying that your application
    items for colleges/post-secondary have been submitted on time. Also, if you add a college to your list in Naviance
    after teacher(s)/counselor have submitted items for you, make sure to notify your counselor and teacher(s).
    Finally, make sure to thank those who have written letters on your behalf…a thank you note is a great professional
    and personal touch.

    Seniors in Running Start - Stay connected to events and happenings for Class of 2019 by checking the daily
    bulletin, Schoology and your district email regularly. This includes important information about the college
    application process and graduation.

    Save the Date

    Post Secondary Night - January 8th from 6:30-8:30pm starting in the MIHS PAC. The Counseling Department is
    bringing in a wide variety of representatives from post-secondary programs so that students of all grades and
    parents/guardians can get information directly from the experts in a workshop format. Confirmed representatives

    - 4-year public college
    -4-year private college
    -Art school
    -Colleges That Change Lives
    -Technical college
    -Community college (topics to include Running Start, 2- and 4-year degrees, transfer programs)
    -GAP Year
    -Armed Forces
    -College Admissions Testing (ACT + SAT)
    -and more!

    GAP Year Fair - February 13th at 6:00pm at Roosevelt HS in Seattle. Find out what gap years have to offer
    students at the annual GAP Year Fair.