Hello High School, Goodbye Grade 8!
As students say goodbye to grade 8, and hello to high school, they really are on the path to a new trajectory. High school may be larger, course load may be bigger with new challenges, independence will be a factor – as independence will be an expectation. In addition, stepping into high school means that students are beginning their path to university.
Course work: Some course work has already been determined. Many students already registered before the end of the year. Course work was determined based on Grade 8 grades, post testing, and maybe some pre testing. It depends on the district, or what ever school the student attended.
Have some fun this summer. Don’t forget to read, though.
Here are some points students and parents should be aware of as they step into the high school halls:
Plan ahead to see what is ahead for your first year and beyond. Make a four year curriculum plan (you can do this with your parents and school counselor), knowing that this plan may change. It will give you a rough draft/plan of what is ahead and what credits are necessary and what you need for graduation. Remember, what credits are needed for your state may vary from credits needed for certain universities. While you have your eye on different curriculum paths, your path to learning may change based on future plans. Think flexibly.
- Grades are permanent on your record
- Take the most challenging courses within your ability
- Develop good study skills, good self-advocacy skills and check your grades consistently with both teachers and on the school’s portal
- Get to know your teachers
- When you start school, check in with the counseling office, see if you can meet your college counselor
- Since this is the first year in high school, get to know the extracurricular offers and see what piques your interest
- If you are interested in sports, know the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requirements
- For some grade 9 students, you still have options to look at various curriculum paths: International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Honors, etc.
- Think of summer, and what you wish to do over the summer: summer should be self fulfilling- you can go to camp, volunteer, work, etc.
- Keep track of your activities so you can recall everything you did this year, as it will be helpful for seeking a job and for your future college application
- Keep a journal, writing on a daily basis will assist you in becoming a confident writer, help you become a keen observer, and of course, organize your thoughts
- Continually reflect on your year – think of your highlights academically, socially, extra curricular – what went well, what would you change, set goals