• April 2019 Counseling Department Newsletter

    Upcoming Academic Dates

    April 5 – 3rd Quarter Ends.

    April 15-26 - Students may request one course at Pass/Fail. Consult with the Counselor of the Day if you are interested. Forms available in the Counseling Center.

    May 21 (grade 12), June 3 (grades 9-11) – Last day to DROP a course.

     Youth in High Achieving Schools: Findings on MIHS Students – Tuesday, April 16 6:00pm at the MIHS PAC. Dr. Suniya Luthar, an expert on studying children growing up in affluent communities, returns to Mercer Island to report on the results of a 2019 survey of MIHS students. The presentation will focus on how salient aspects of school climate and parent-child relationships can best be modified to maximize the well-being of youth and the adults who care for them. Flyer attached.

    Student Wellness Resources – The Resource and Referral Place (R&R) at MIHS provides convenient student access to mental health professionals. Help is available for all types of issues including stress, relationships, depression, eating issues, alcohol and drug issues, anger and legal difficulties. Students can stop by the R&R offices opposite the Attendance Office to make an appointment with either Cathy Gentino or Chris Harnish. Parents also can inquire about services and resources at 206.236.3290 (Cathy) or 206.236.3363 (Chris).

    Autism and STEM: Fostering Balanced and Inclusive Communities at School and at Work - For autistic high school and college students, and those who support them. This conference will explore the skills and resources needed for collegiate and workplace success, including considerations such as self-advocacy, internal motivation, and organizational and executive functioning abilities. Environmental resources for educational and workplace professionals will also be explored, including understanding autistic culture and communication, and the value of a neurodiverse workplace. Bellevue College STEM faculty will share best practices and Bellevue College STEM students will discuss the college experience. A professional panel from Microsoft’s Autism community will talk about career experiences. Hosted by Stairway to STEM (STS) in collaboration with Bellevue College’s RISE Learning Institute and Autism Spectrum Navigators Program. The conference is at Bellevue College on Saturday, May 11 from 10:00am- 4:00pm. See attached flyer for registration information.

    Summer School Update – Mercer Island School District will be offering summer school this year for credit recovery and other courses. Preliminary information is posted at https://www.mercerislandschools.org/Page/13809 with updated information to post soon. Online registration scheduled to open April 17.

    Upcoming Post-Secondary Visits in April – Some of the colleges and other post-secondary programs that will be visiting MIHS this month include: Washington State University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Bates College, Emory University, Boston University, Gonzaga University and others. To view the dates/times/locations, to register, and to view the most updated list of visits, students are to go to “What’s New” in their Naviance Accounts. These are great opportunities to connect with representatives from various programs, to ask questions and to demonstrate interest in their respective programs.

    PNACAC Spring National College Fairs – 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.

    The Spring College Fairs are:

    • Saturday, April 27 at Seattle University, 10:00am-1:00pm
    • Sunday, April 28 at the University of Portland in Oregon, noon - 3:00pm

    Selective College Admission Process and Campus Overview – Sophomores, juniors and their parents/guardians are invited to attend a college-knowledge session hosted by Lafayette College. An overview of the application process for highly selective colleges including supplemental essays, the decision process and finding your fit based on your college goals will be presented. After this general presentation, you will learn more about how this relates specifically to Lafayette. The event will be held Sunday, April 28 from 12:45-2:00pm at the Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown/Lake Union. See details and registration info on the attached flyer.

    Colleges That Change Lives – CTCL is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of a student- centered college search. Its program is designed to offer students and parents a new perspective on college admission, to address some of the misconceptions about college admission, and to help students connect with representatives from CTCL-member colleges. This free program will be on Thursday, August 1 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel at 7:00pm. The program consists of a 30-minute information session followed by a 1.5 hour college fair. For a list of member colleges and to register go to https://ctcl.org/seattle-wa-august-1-2019/.

    Test Optional Colleges – Did you know that there are currently over 1,000 Bachelor’s Degree-granting colleges and universities that do not require applicants to submit an ACT or SAT? The University of San Francisco will be test optional starting with applicants for Fall of 2020, joining the ranks of institutions such as the University of Chicago, Brandeis, Wake Forest, and George Washington to name a few. For a complete, up-to-date listing of test optional colleges go to https://www.fairtest.org/university/optional.

    Mock SAT/ACT Practice Tests are offered at MIHS through the PTSA. For more information go to https://mihsptsa.org/college-prep/sat-act-prep/.

    Sophomores and Fall PSAT - If you have an IEP or 504 that provides testing accommodations and you have not done so yet, e-mail Mike Neff, School Psychologist (mike.neff@mercerislandschools.org) to initiate the process. Once approved by the CollegeBoard, accommodations will be in place for the PSAT in Fall and any future SAT and/or AP exams to be taken.

    Class of 2019 Graduation Information – Graduation information is now posted on the Counseling Department website at https://www.mercerislandschools.org/Page/15456.

    Scholarships – Spring is when scholarship opportunities start to heat up! An updated list of local scholarships is maintained on the Counseling website under the “Seniors” tab.

    May/June State Assessments- State assessments are upcoming in May and June. We ask that parents especially make efforts to avoid pre-planned absences and appointments during the following dates/times:

    • SBAC All 10th graders and 11th and 12th graders who have not yet passed the both portions of the SBAC will be taking the state required SBAC for English/Language Arts and Math within the May 20-23 time window. Scheduling details will be posted at a later time.
    • WCAS 11th graders will take the state science assessment on June 3. Scheduling details will be posted at a later time.

    Running Start Fall 2019 Registration Information- Current sophomores and juniors who are planning to enroll for courses for the first time at the community college in Fall need to take the following steps in this order:

    1.View the Running Start Presentation on the MIHS Counseling website

    2. Complete the online registration to the community college (via community college website).

    3. Following step 2, you will receive a verification e-mail from the community college outlining next steps.

    4. Request an appointment with your MIHS counselor in the counseling office, indicating you are new to Running Start.

    Bring your Enrollment Verification Form (found on the college’s Running Start website) with completed student/parent sections to your appointment.

    Registration for new Running Start students at Bellevue College closes on May 10 at 5:00pm. For more information go to https://www.bellevuecollege.edu/runningstart/. Deadlines for other community colleges vary.

    Late Registration for AP Exams closes soon! If any student is interested in taking an AP Exam for which they have not already registered or paid, forms with attached receipts must be turned in to the Counseling Office no later that 1:00 PM on Friday, April 5. We will be unable to order exams after that date.

    For any students planning to take an AP exam, please remember to bring with you your Student ID or Driver's License, a warm layer (the gyms can get cold), wooden #2 pencils (not mechanical pencils), pens with blue or black ink, and an appropriate calculator (if applicable). Do not wear any clothing with subject-related material on it. Make sure you pack a hearty lunch on the day of the exam, as you may not have time to order food before or after the test. Lists of where you will be testing will be posted in the main hallway of MIHS the week before the exam. Make sure you know where you need to go. Morning exams begin at 7:30 AM, and afternoon exams begin at 12:00 PM. See the next pages for the AP exam schedule. Study hard in the coming weeks and get enough sleep the night before! Each exam runs approximately 4 hours, so plan transportation and work schedules for afternoon exams accordingly. Good luck, everyone!


    Go Islanders!!!

    Mercer Island High School Counseling Team