Counseling Department Newsletter
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
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.
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:
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
-Colleges That Change Lives
-Community college (topics to include Running Start, 2- and 4-year degrees, transfer programs)
-College Admissions Testing (ACT + SAT)
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.