In a few short weeks 8th graders will be graduating from that familiar place of middle school and begin contemplating what it will mean to be a high school student. While both parents and students will surely experience feelings of pure excitement and joy, some might also feel a tad bit of anxiety about what is to come. Here’s a few tips to help parents prepare for some of the academic and social challenges your rising 9th grader may face.
- Many high schools will offer a visitation day and hopefully your child has attended one of these events. If not, make an appointment to visit the school sometime over the summer to alleviate some of the stress freshmen feel about navigating a new and oftentimes larger building.
- Many schools will also offer a summer transition program for the rising 9th grade class. It can last anywhere from a few hours to multiple days but it is an invaluable experience. These programs allow students to make friends, learn their way around the building, learn study and time management skills, meet teachers and most importantly it can help to reduce the anxiety that many students may feel.
- If your child has any academic deficits use the summer to remediate and get ahead if possible. Many academic centers offer summer tutoring courses to help students prepare for the upcoming year.
- Research shows that students who don’t engage in some type of structured academic program during the summer break experience learning loss. If your budget is tight, at the least make sure reading is still happening by utilizing the resources at your local library. Your local high school may also offer a summer reading list.
- Request a copy of a grade reporting schedule at the beginning of the semester. Schools typically provide progress reports every 6-8 weeks and have the dates already set. Plug these dates in your calendar and ask to see reports. Students don’t always bring documents home and this will keep you informed and avoid end of semester surprises!
If this is your first high school student please prepare for the operational changes. High school teachers will expect more and until your student gets the hang of things this may mean you will have to do more. Jump in the boat with your students and make sure they have a strong start by helping them to get and stay organized, create and monitor your parent portal, monitor their academic and social commitments and remember, no matter what they say, they need you now more than ever! Parents and student get Ready for 9th Grade!