Counseling Office


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Photo: Three students at the graduation ceremony
The counseling services at Henry Sibley are designed to support students with applying academic achievement strategies, managing emotions and applying interpersonal skills, and planning for postsecondary options, whether that is through higher education opportunities, the military, or work force. We are your students' advocate and here to help transition into high school and prepare them for a successful life after high school. 


Summer in the Guidance Office
- As the school year begins, we check credits of all our
students to prepare for the year and ensure students are taking the correct classes. If your
student needs to make a change to their courses for the 2019-20 school year, please contact
your child’s school counselor as soon as possible. Sibley Start Up, when students will receive
their schedules, is on August 28th . We are also registering new students, and working closely
with seniors as they begin applying to college.

Student schedules for 2019-2020 - Bring your smartphone or other device to access your
child’s first semester schedule online, or pick up a paper copy, during Sibley Start Up Day.
Please review your child’s schedule with them to make sure they are scheduled for the courses
they need and that they have 7 class periods. Their schedule is based on the courses they
registered for in February. Information was gathered from students’ requests to determine
course offerings, the numbers of sections for each course, and teacher assignments. These
factors cannot be changed. Therefore, we may not be able to accommodate all requests for
course changes. All students identified alternative course selections on their registration form.
Students may have had one of those alternate choices scheduled for next year for one of the
following reasons: 1) they may have requested a course that had too few requests and could
not be offered or 2) during the scheduling process certain courses met at the same time,
causing a scheduling conflict so one course had to be replaced by an alternate. Schedule
changes will be made with the students’ counselor only if there is space available in the course
change requested and if it will work with the other classes already in the student’s schedule.

AP Exam - Students who plan to take the AP exam in May, must sign up and pay by October 4, 2019. There is no extensions on time. For further questions, please contact Beth Gjerde. 
elizabeth.gjerde@isd197.org or 651-403-7203

2019 PSAT October 16th - PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It provides sophomores and juniors with practice for the SAT. More importantly, this is the opportunity for juniors to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarship program. We encourage all 11th graders and those in the top 20% of the sophomore class to register.

Sibley will administer the test on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019. Students will be given
information about the time and room to report for testing when they register. There is a $16 fee.
Students need to register with the secretary in the Guidance Office. Registration opens on
September 4th, it's first come first served, and is open until all seats are filled. Fee waivers are
available for eligible students in 11th grade who meet USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines. If you
have questions, please talk with your counselor.

College Fair - At the Minneapolis Convention Center, Wednesday, October 2nd from 9am-noon and 5pm-8pm, and Thursday, October 3rd from 9am-noon. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) sponsors this event, attracting representatives from over 350 colleges and universities and nearly 25,000 students and parents. The National College Fair offers a variety of informative sessions and panels to help students and parents navigate the college search and financial aid process. More information can be found at www.nacacfairs.org/attend/national-college-fairs/minnesota-national-college-fair.

Students electing to go during the school day are excused on Wednesday, October 2nd, to go
with the counselors on district-provided buses. There will be a $5 fee. If students want to go
independently, they should attend on Wednesday evening. See the secretary in the Counseling
Office for a permission form and to pay the fee. The deadline for paperwork is Wednesday,
September 25th.

College Visits to Sibley - Admissions representatives from various colleges come to Sibley throughout the year to meet with interested students. Students can check the calendar outside of the Guidance Office, or log on to Naviance to see which colleges are visiting and sign up to meet with the college reps. This is a great opportunity to connect and learn. 

Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) Students - Students who have enrolled in PSEO classes at local colleges are reminded to schedule an appointment with their counselor to update their schedule at Henry Sibley. We will need a copy of their PSEO courses for second semester before the start of the school year. Whether the student is taking an online or campus class. It is the student's responsibility to make sure they are taking the necessary credits to graduate. Call 651-403-7208 if you would like to schedule an appointment with your child's counselor to verify their graduation requirements.

Financial Aid Changes - Students graduating in 2020 are able to file a 2020-2021 FAFSA-the Free Application for Federal Student Aid-as of October 1, 2019, rather than beginning of January 1, 2020. The earlier submission date is a permanent change that began in 2016, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year. This fall's FAFSA, submitted for students attending college in the 2019-2020 school year (including this year's graduating seniors), will use income and tax information from 2017.

Financial Aid Night - Parents and Seniors, take advantage of Financial Aid Night. This is a FREE opportunity to learn the process of filing your FAFSA from professionals. Bring any questions you may have! Join the Counselors at Sibley for this on October 10 at 6 p.m. Location is TBD.

Naviance's Family Connection - Students can use the comprehensive tools in Family Connection to plan for college and a career, and their school counselor can assist them along the way. Family Connection allows students to: get involved in the planning and advising process, research colleges and careers, create plans for the future, and prepare for the ACT and AP exams.

Family Connection also lets us share information with students about upcoming meetings and events, local scholarship opportunities, and resources for college and career information. Students can also use the site to communicate with their counselor. Students can log in to their account using their school email address and student ID number at http://connect.naviance.com/hsshs.

Facilitated Counseling Groups - As the school year progresses, we will begin our group counseling sessions. If you do not want your child to participate in group counseling, please reach out to your students' counselor.

If your child is no longer planning to attend Henry Sibley - If you have registered your child to attending Henry Sibley, but have since decided not to do so, please contact our Guidance Office at 651-403-7208 and let us know. Thanks!

 

Photo: Beth Gjerde

Beth Gjerde, Counselor 
651-403-7203
elizabeth.gjerde@isd197.org 

Assigned students: A - Da
Hours Available: 
7:30am - 2:40pm  
              

Leah Erchul

Leah Erchul, Counselor
651-403-7245

leah.erchul@isd197.org

Assigned students: H - Ma
Hours Available:
7:30am - 3:30pm

james winkoski

James Winkoski, Counselor 
651-403-7204
james.winkoski@isd197.org 

Assigned students: S - Z
Hours Available:
7:30am - 3:30pm

 

Photo: Kristen Faber

Kristen Faber, Secretary 
651-403-7208
kristen.faber@isd197.org

 

Jessica Grochowski

Jessica Grochowski, Counselor 
651-403-7181
jessica.grochowski@isd197.org

Assigned students: De - G
Hours Available:
9:30am - 3:30pm


 Margaret Nigro Margaret Citta, Counselor
651-403-7202
margaret.citta@isd197.org

Assigned students: Mc - R
Hours Available:
7:30am - 3:30pm


 

Wills 

Kathy Wills, Registrar 
651-403-7207
kathleen.wills@isd197.org