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LSW Counseling Center

  • 2017-18 LSW Counselor Assignments & Responsibilities
    • A-C      Dr. Simpson-Kirkland *
    • D-HE    Mrs. Volker *
    • HF-L     Mr. Feeken *
    • M-N      Dr. Lehn *
    • O-SL     Mr. Peterson *
    • SM-Z   Mr. Ernst *
  • Counseling Center Personnel
    • Counseling Administrator | John Hastings
    • Counseling Secretary | Janene Way
    • Registrar | Christine Carman
    • Social Worker | Michael Barber
    • Family Services Therapist | Miranda Blackwell
    • EducationQuest College Planning & Financial Aid Specialist | R.J. Vega

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Google Classroom Info from the Counseling Center

Seniors 2018  * Enter code l9bz726 to Join

December Calendar

  • 12th * Hawk Food Mart * 2:15 – 3:00 PM
    • Contact Person: Dr. Simpson-Kirkland
  • 14th * LSW Holiday Boutique (Adopt-A-Hawk Fundraiser) * 4:00 – 8:00 PM
    • Contact Persons: Toni Heimes & Joyce Lehn

4-Year Course Planning Guide

In preparation to register in January for 2018-19 classes, beginning December 1st, sophomores and freshmen, along with their families, are requested to complete a 4-Year Course Planning Guide that is located in the Google Classrooms for each of the classes as shown below:

  • Class of 2020 (Current Sophomores)   * Classroom Code g5wh1n
  • Class of 2021 (Current Freshmen)        * Classroom Code cns9m7

In addition to the 4-Year Course Planning Guide, there is also a list of courses which meets Graduation Requirements located in each of the Google Classrooms.

Students will need  go to their assignments in Google Classroom to make a copy of the 4-Year Course Planning Guide to create an interactive document, which can be accessed by students and their counselors.

  • Students will have ownership of the 4-Year Course Planning Guide until they submit the completed assignment
  • When counselors review the 4-Year Course Planning Guide and return it to students, then it will be accessible by both students and counselors
  • Please click here to view Instructions for 4-Year Planning Guide
    • Students will need to use the Class Schedule and Course History sections in Synergy StudentVue to complete the 4-Year Course Planning Guide
    • Frequently Asked Questions & Answers include the following:
      • What if I have completed enough classes to meet a specific graduation requirement (i.e. Music to meet Fine Arts)?
        • Classes will then be considered electives.
      • What if I have completed a class such as Families & Crises during 10th grade in a different grade level than the one shown on 4-Year Course Planning Guide?
        • The class will be included in the grade level that the requirement is listed for such as Human Behavior in the 11th grade for Families & Crises.
      • What if I am doubling up in a subject area this year or next (i.e. Biology 1st & 2nd Term & Chemistry 3rd & 4th Terms)?
        • Use columns for two grade levels when four terms of the same subject area will be completed during one school year.
      • If  I am going to try to change something in my schedule for the upcoming terms (i.e. Terms 3 & 4), should I write what is currently on my schedule in Synergy or write what classes I want to take?
        • Unless there is an actual schedule change made, write down what is currently in your class schedule as there may not be openings in the classes you want to take.
      • What should I do if I want to take a class (i.e.English 11) that says enrollment is by recommendation only?
        • You will only list a class that is by recommendation if your counselor is notified that you are being recommended to take that class & makes that change for you to see in your StudentVue.
      • Is World Language required every year for graduation?
        • World Language is not needed for graduation but two years of the same world language is required to attend a 4-year college. If you complete four years of the same world language, many colleges will waive you from taking more world language classes at the college level unless you are going to major or minor in that language. It is always best to check with the colleges you are interested in attending.

LPS-Approved ACT Online Prep

Many high school students and families are thinking ahead to preparation for the ACT, the nation’s most popular college entrance exam. All LPS students take the ACT exam at no charge as a junior in high school as part of statewide testing. Students also can pay a fee (or see their high school counselor to apply for a fee waiver) to take the test additional times if they choose.

We would like to inform you about district-approved ACT preparation opportunities and college planning resources for students in Lincoln Public Schools:

LPS-approved ACT preparation opportunities and college planning resources:

In addition to the ACT-embedded curriculum your child receives within the high school courses, here are additional approved resources for ACT prep and college planning:

ACT Online Prep (AOP)

ACT Online Prep (AOP): This tool will be free to juniors until October 2018 (current seniors continue to have access as well for a few more months).

Student Access is obtained by:

Login to this website: Username: (LPS Email)

Password: lpsstudent (all lowercase)

Other students who want this extra practice can sign up for a personal account through ACT for a fee.

ACT Practice Tests

ACT Practice tests are located at Click on this link (scroll to the bottom of this webpage for free resources)

LPS-sponsored ACT-SAT-PSAT workshop

LPS-sponsored ACT-SAT-PSAT workshop is available for a fee of $125 (fee adjusted for those who qualify for free or reduced-price meals). More information is available at or by contacting Michelle Fonck at


EducationQuest – – Free college planning resources, including scholarship searches, college profiles, and assistance with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Headquarters in Lincoln at 1300 O Street – phone: 402-475-5222.

Hawk Food Mart

The LSW Counseling Center will host the Hawk Food Mart on Tuesday, December 12th in the A118 Forum from 2:15-3:00 PM. The Food Bank of Lincoln provides items such as  pasta, canned meat, bread, pastries, and other staples at no charge to LSW students and staff. This is a great opportunity to pick up items for holiday meals. There are no income restrictions.

Gently used clothing will also be available for students and their families. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Simpson-Kirkland.

 LSW Holiday Boutique

On Thursday, December 14th, the Southwest High School Boosters will be sponsoring the LSW Holiday Boutique from 4 to 8 pm. To view items on the Facebook Event Page that will be available for sale, please click here. This event is a fundraiser for the school’s Adopt-A-Hawk Program. A portion of all sales from this event is contributed to this program, which provides gift cards during the holidays to students and their families who will benefit from extra assistance. Over $4,600 was contributed through sales and donations to last year’s Adopt-A-Hawk Program. Funds from the Adopt-A-Hawk Program are also used throughout the year to assist students and their families who may need additional assistance with groceries, fuel for vehicles, etc. T

Holidays 2017: A Season of Joys and Challenges

The holiday season and the end of 2017 are quickly approaching. This year has been filled with joys and challenges for our community.  While the media portrays the holidays as times of celebration and merriment, many families will be struggling to provide food, clothing and shelter.  Some will spend beyond their means and will try to make others happy by buying them things that they cannot afford. Others will be unable to meet the expectations that have been placed on them or they have placed on themselves. Personal or family illnesses and the loss of loved ones have taken place during this year. This is also a season to think about and remember loved ones that have died in previous years.

Anger, disappointment and sadness can easily creep into holiday celebrations, creating stress and strained relationships.  It is important to focus on what is meaningful in life – relationships with family and friends.

  • Consider these thoughts and suggestions:
  • Count your blessings. Even in difficult times, we have much to be thankful for.
  • Continue observing family traditions and create new family memories.
  • Take care of yourself. Set aside time to have some fun and to rest and relax.
  • Try to not isolate yourself from others.
  • Help someone that may be in need.
  • Talk with someone if you are not feeling well – A variety of school and community resources are available to help and support you.
~ Dr. Dolores Simpson-Kirkland

Community Resources

The holiday season is often a time when students and families can benefit from community resources available in Lincoln. To review the list of available community resources in Lincoln, please click here to view contact information for assistance with the following items:

  • Clothing
  • Community Agencies
  • Food
  • Legal Services
  • Shelter
  • Transportation

Additional resources are also available on the LSW Counseling Center’s website.

EducationQuest’s College Planning Bulletin

  •  New College Timeline will keep you on track to college

EducationQuest has launched a new College Timeline for students in grades 9-12, which provides steps to take during the fall, winter, spring, and summer to plan for college. The Timeline also allows students to add their own tasks, get reminders when it’s time to complete tasks, and check off tasks when they’re complete. This feature is available at MyEducationQuest account at

  • What to expect after submitting the FAFSA

        ~ If you have already completed the FAFSA, which opened October, the next steps include the following:Expect a Student Aid Report (SAR)

~ Make sure you applied for admission to colleges you listed on your FAFSA

~ Watch for verification requests

~ Watch for financial aid award notifications

For more details, please click here. More details are available in an EducationQuest Blog article that may be accessed by clicking here.

  • Haven’t completed your FAFSA yet?

There is still time to complete the FAFSA at Before starting the FAFSA, create an FSA ID for the student and one for a parent at They will be needed to access and sign the FAFSA.

For free help with the FAFSA, watch this FAFSA Demo, use our free FAFSA Tools, schedule an appointment with Mrs. Way in the Center to meet with R. J. Vega, (EducationQuest Specialist at LSW on Wednesdays), or call EducationQuest at 800-303-3745 to make an appointment at their office on 13th and O Streets.

  • Winning the scholarship game

   Follow these tips to increase your chances of earning scholarships:

   ~ Don’t ever pay for scholarship searches! Use free resources such as ScholarshipQuest at with over 2,000 Nebraska-

      based scholarships. Free national sites include Peterson’s, FindTuition, Cappex, and Chegg.

~ Visit your school counselor often for information about local scholarships.

~ Focus on local and college-specific scholarships because you’re more likely to earn them.

~ Update your activities, honors, community service or paid jobs using the Activities Resume at

~ Earn the best possible ACT/SAT scores by taking the exam in the spring of your junior year and again in the fall of your senior year.

~ Use quality references such as a teacher, coach or counselor. Encourage them to write specific examples of your leadership skills. Give

   them advance notice and a specific deadline.

~ Tailor your essay to the scholarship.  Ask an English teacher to read your essay and offer advice on making a big impact.  Your essay will need to stand out from other applications.

To learn more, please click hereWant some inspiration? Read how one Nebraska student earned over $65,000 in scholarships!

  •  December “To Do” List

Complete these tasks during December to stay on the right college planning track.


__ If you haven’t already, submit college applications and the FAFSA.

__ Continue to apply for scholarships.

__ Use the College Timeline to stay on track to college.


__ Use the College Timeline to stay on track to college.

__ Take an ACT prep course.

__ Set up a ScholarshipQuest profile and start searching for Nebraska-based scholarships.

__ Register by January 12 for the February 10 ACT.

__ Register by February 9 for the March 10 SAT.