• December 2019 Counseling Department Newsletter 

    Important Dates 

    December 10 - PSAT score reports (juniors) post online. See details below. 

    December 20 – Last day to drop a course with a “W” withdrawal grade (no drops allowed after that date) 

    January 24 - End of the First Semester 

    January 28 - Start of the Second Semester 

    Upcoming Events and Announcements 

    Gap Year Fair in Seattle – What is a “gap year?” Is it something I should consider? What are my options for gap year programs? Find out at the annual Gap Year Fair at Roosevelt High School in Seattle on Thursday, February 13 th. The evening will begin with an opening presentation at 6:00pm followed by a gap year fair from 6:45 to 8:30pm. For more information and to register go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/usa-gap-year-fair-2020-seattle-wa-registration-79791676051?aff=GOwe bSeattle or search “USA Gap Year Fairs.” 

    PNACAC Spring National College Fairs – Did you miss the October College Fair? Do you want to have another opportunity to attend? Or go to a college fair for the first time? 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 25 at Seattle University 
    • Sunday, April 26 at the University of Portland 

    Times and registration information will post in January. For information go to http://www.pnacac.org/college-fairs 

    Juniors and PSAT Scores - PSAT scores are expected to be accessible beginning on December 10th . When PSAT scores are ready, you will get an email from College Board with instructions on how to create an account. From your account, you can also print your online score report by clicking the Download Your Score Report tab. The PSAT score report is MUCH more than a set of numbers! Since the material is closely aligned with the SAT students are encouraged to look deeper at the score report including the original questions, questions completed correctly/incorrectly and the suggestions listed. For more about how to use your score report check out the short video on the Counseling Center website under “Testing Information” or at https://youtu.be/ie6WBDzjtGA. 

    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/

    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

    Testing Accommodations - If you are a JUNIOR with an IEP or 504 that provides testing accommodations, you plan to take an SAT/ACT and/or AP exam this year and you have not done so yet, e-mail Mike Neff, School Psychologist ( mike.neff@mercerislandschools.org ) to initiate the process of submitting a request for accommodations. Please let Mr. Neff know which test(s) you plan to take along with the test date(s). If you are a SOPHOMORE with an IEP or 504 that provides testing accommodations, contact Mr. Neff by the end of the school year so that accommodations will be in place for the PSAT in Fall and any future SAT and/or AP exams to be taken. 

    Accommodations for AP exams - Students who are seeking accommodations for AP exams in May who have not been approved previously by the College Board should contact: Mr. Mike Neff, School Psychologist,at mike.neff@mercerislandschools.org by January 10th, 2020. 

    Students who have already been approved by the College Board for accommodations for PSAT or SAT exams will automatically receive accommodations: in this case no additional action is needed. 

    • Note: ACT accommodations do NOT apply to AP/SAT/PSAT testing, so students with approved ACT accommodations only will still need to contact Mike Neff by January 10th. 

    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 find out if your student is a candidate, go to https://www.mercerislandschools.org/Domain/1954 . NEW As of this year, the district now offers the test for proficiency in Korean. If you want to test in a language that is not offered in our district, students should see their counselor. 

    Second Semester Schedules – Students: take a moment to check your second semester schedules in Skyward. If there are errors, you don’t have 6 classes or you are missing a graduation requirement, stop by the Counselor of the Day table at lunch or during your off period to get help with this. 

    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 Ariel Schacter or Chris Harnish. Parents also can inquire about services and resources at 206.236.3290 (Ariel) or 206.236.3363 (Chris). 

    Clubs at MIHS – Get involved! Find a club and get to know others who have similar interests as you. The active list of clubs can be found at: https://www.mercerislandschools.org/cms/lib/WA01001855/Centricity/Domain/111/ASB%20Clubs.pdf 

    Academic Tutoring – Need help in one or more of your school subjects? Need somewhere to study and get some school work done? Check out the Academic Tutoring list for the subjects/dates/times that help is offered: https://www.mercerislandschools.org/cms/lib/WA01001855/Centricity/Domain/1790/Tutoring%20Sche dule%202018-2019.pdf 

    All Running Start Students – Winter Quarter at Bellevue College begins on January 2 nd while MIHS classes begin on January 6 th following our Winter Break. If you will be missing any of your BC classes it is up to you to contact your professor(s) in advance. It is also up to you to understand the attendance policies at the community college. Contact the Running Start office at 425-564-2026 if you have any questions. Seniors in Running Start - Stay connected to events and happenings for Class of 2020 by regularly checking the daily bulletin, your MISD email, Schoology and MIHS website. This includes important information about the college application process and graduation. 

    Seniors and Mid-Year Reports for Colleges – Senior transcripts, which include first semester grades, will be submitted to colleges that seniors have already paid the $5 transcript fee for in the Fall. Counselors will send these the week of February 3rd after semester grades are processed and posted. 

    Freshmen High School Beyond Plans in Naviance: Ms. Brown, counselor, has been visiting 9th grade English classes to help students complete an initial 4-year plan as part of the state’s High School and Beyond Plan graduation requirement. Freshmen have been creating a “template” plan learning how requirements can be spread out over the four years of high school. Each year as students make different decisions about courses, interests and post-high school plans, they will be expected to edit the 4-year plan to better reflect their personal goals and actual courses completed in their prior years. Students who were absent or were unable to complete the plan during class are encouraged to stop by the Counselor of the Day table to get help completing and submitting their plans.