Begin to Plan for Academic Success

I am a high school counselor. I am also a parent. This post is for you fellow parents who have children entering high school soon.

And as I sit watching our Open House to potential 9th graders, all I can think is that these students seem so small for high school, especially after dealing with seniors! This time of transition can be scary and daunting, for many reasons. Two of the most common are:

  1. Our child just seems so small and not mature enough to be walking the same hallways with these young men, who can grow beards and drive fast cars!

  2. We don’t feel ready since there's no manual for what comes next.*

* until this website!

At the same time, thinking about the future and how these kids, that you have raised, are entering the next phase of their lives can be exciting. We pray that they have all the skills they need to conquer this next stage.

Begin Planning Early!

In our school district, which is an entire county, we have a lot of options of school types. There is a different school out there for everyone with many different academic and extra-curricular activities. Even in small schools with little choice, there are many things that parents are just not aware of so they don’t ask the right questions.

One tip on this process: if you do have choices in your schools (which most people do, it just takes a bit of work to find out what they are), do your research and compare what opportunities are available to your child. If your child is passionate about animals, a school with a vet tech program or an FFA (Future Farmers of America) program could make a huge impact on them. If your child is dreaming of being an engineer or doctor, finding schools that can allow high levels of math and science courses to be taken is imperative for competitive college admission. As you begin to look down the high school path, begin to ask questions like:

Image credit:  Scouts caslu

Image credit: Scouts caslu

  1. What are the academic programs out there? Can they be combined; such as Advanced Placement with Dual Enrollment?

  2. When can my child start these programs and what is required to get in?

  3. How can I maximize in-school time and outside of school time like online, summer, and evening programs?

Planning is key to ensuring your student has the best possible situation they are able to have. You do not want to say at the end of it, “I didn’t know they had that opportunity.”