Section 5: Counseling and Other Resources

Counseling Center

The counseling center is staffed by faculty who care about students' needs and who assist with educational planning: home, school and/or social concerns; career information; administration and interpretation of tests scores; college admission and financial aid advisement; or other issues students would like to discuss with a counselor. Referrals to an outside resource are also available. Each student is assigned to a counselor. 

The counseling center has extensive information on colleges, careers and testing schedules/applications (including SAT, ACT and PSAT). Counselors offer special assemblies and parent programs such as Spring Into College (9-11 grades), Senior College Bound Symposium and Financial Aid Night. Students are recognized for academic honors at Principal's Honor Roll assemblies and other special events reflecting outstanding student achievement.

Madison students are college and career ready. All Madison students are offered an academic program that meets and exceeds the UC/CSU a-g requirements. With the competitive status of college admissions, students should plan to meet the "recommended" courses in addition to the basic admission requirements. Admission is based upon an eligibility index that includes weighted grades in a-g courses, SAT scores, as well as, a section to respond to questions and elaborate on extracurricular experiences and awards/honors (for UC section). See Madison High School's Course Description and Educational Planning Guide  for more information.

Course Selection

Course selection is an extremely important decision on the part of  each student, the school, and the parents or guardians. Considerable time is spent in developing a school schedule that meets the needs of  students, conforms to the guidelines of the district and teacher  contracts, and provides a strong educational program to all students  in the school. Students and parents select classes for students in the winter after hearing a classroom presentation by a member of the  counseling staff. Parent approval is encouraged on the programming card and each student benefits from an individual conference with  his/her counselor. 

Our program is designed and staffed according to student selections  and therefore, changes may not be possible until after the school  year has begun in the fall.  

Course Syllabus

Each teacher at MHS publishes a course syllabus, which is distributed to  students for parent signature, during the first week of school. The syllabus explains the scope of a course, class organization, and requirements for learning the course content. In many classes, teachers will ask to have parents sign that they have read the document. The course syllabus provides a guide for meeting the requirements of each class.

Grade Questions, Challenges and Changes

Occasionally a concern arises about the grade that a student has  been issued by a teacher for work completed in the course. We  encourage students and parents to contact the teacher as soon as  possible whenever any concerns arise over grades. Issues that are  dealt with in a timely manner can often be resolved with the teacher.  Simply asking a teacher how a student can improve his or her  performance in class will clarify the expectations the teacher has of  the student. A meeting with a counselor would be the next step in  trying to improve student grades and student performance in school.  In some cases, a vice principal may intervene to help resolve any  concerns surrounding student grades. Once semester grades are  issued, parents may appeal a grade (SDUS AP 4705). 

Library/Media Center Information

The library/media center is open before school, during lunch and after  school until 4:20 p.m. There are computers located in the library.

Textbooks: Textbooks are issued through the library directly to students, and  students are responsible for the specific bar code numbers issued to them.

Refunds: In order to be issued replacement books, students may need  to pay for the missing books. If the missing books are later found or  turned in within one year, the student will receive a full refund.  

 Textbook Return: Any person who willfully retains any print or non-print  library material, or other property belonging to the district, for thirty days  after written notice is given upon expiration of the normal loan period, is  guilty of a misdemeanor (Ed Code Section 19911). Students MUST  RETURN the specific books to the library that were issued to them on or  before the last day of school. Students with a debt to the school will be  placed on the indebtedness list and may not be allowed to participate in  extracurricular activities. (Administrative Procedure 2170 and Ed code  19911). Students are responsible for their textbooks.


Lost Book .......................... Book Cost  

Both Bar Codes off Book.... Book Cost

Link to Library Webpage HERE

Student Transfer Policy (Schedule Changes)

Student initiated class changes are minimal and are seldom made  after the second week of the semester. Students initiate a change by  seeing their counselor before or after school. The change is not  complete until the counselor has met with the student, and if  necessary, the parent and the teacher. Therefore, students should  select their classes thoughtfully and with parent approval. 

During registration and the first week of school schedule changes are  made for errors in scheduling and inappropriate level placement only.  No requests for change of instructor will be considered.

Students and parents select classes in the spring, during articulation,  with the clear expectation and understanding that the schedule  created is final. Changes will be made if there is either 1) an error in  scheduling or 2) an inappropriate level placement. Changing one's  mind about preferred classes does not constitute a scheduling error.

Errors in Scheduling 

Examples of errors in scheduling: 

The student is placed in Integrated Math II but the student  earned a D/F in Integrated Math I and therefore must repeat  the Integrated Math I class. 

The student is not placed in a Period 3 class, therefore the  student has an open period.

Student-initiated Changes: Completed with the student's counselor  during registration (given priority) or the first week of the semester IF  there is a scheduling error that was not corrected earlier. Students  should go to the counseling office during the period that contains the  error or if he/she is not on the roster, with a pass from their teacher.  

Teacher-Initiated Changes: Class changes due to inappropriate  level placement, based on the teacher's or counselor's professional  determination that the student is inappropriately placed. Teacher initiated changes do not come from a student or parent request.  

Inappropriate Level Placement  

Examples of inappropriate level placement:  

  • The student is placed in Advanced Biology but did not meet  the prerequisites.  

  • The student is placed in higher-level Spanish without sufficient  background in the Spanish language to succeed in the class,  as determined by the teacher.  

Madison High School's policy` concerning the changing of classes  (due to inappropriate placement) requires consideration from all the stakeholders in the school community. Beginning the first week of  school until the end of the first grading period week (six weeks),  teacher-initiated changes may occur, as long as specific guidelines have been met. The change must be in the best interest of the  student, taking into account that the leaving and receiving teachers  agree to the change, and the size of both classes doesn't violate labor  agreements or district policy.  

The sequential procedure to facilitate an inappropriate level  schedule change is that:  

  1. The current teacher consults with the student's counselor and  parent(s) about the student's placement.  

  2. Teacher or Parent or Student turns in a Schedule Change  Form with all stakeholders' signatures.  

  3. If space is available in the receiving teacher's class, the  change is made by the counselor.

  4. If no agreement is reached, then a request is made for a Vice  Principal to mediate. 

After the second week of school has started, the following steps must  be followed before a parent or student requested schedule change is considered:  

Step 1: Student requests and completes a conference with teacher to discuss concerns.  

Step 2: If step I does not resolve issue; parent requests conference  with teacher and creates a plan of action. 

Step 3: Teacher, parent, and student agree that plan of action has  been implemented and student has made every effort to  succeed in class AND should still be considered for a class  change. 

  • If no agreement is reached, then a request is made for  a Vice Principal to mediate. 

Step 4: Student obtains course request change form from counselor  and obtains signatures/approval of all affected teachers.  

Step 5: Counselor may change student's schedule as long as  receiving teacher has seats available at time of the reception of the  change form. Administrative approval may also be necessary in  some cases.  

No changes may be made after the first progress report (six weeks)  without approval from administration and only to meet graduation  requirements for seniors.

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