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Build familiarity: You can eliminate some potential nervousness by taking advantage of student orientation and other activities that are planned to help new students adapt to their new environment before the big day. If you receive your student’s schedule ahead of time, scope out his/her classrooms so they know where to go. This can help prevent tardiness and confusion on the first day of school.
Accentuate the positives: Generally speaking, high schools are much larger than middle schools. This fact may be intimidating to a recent middle school graduate, so it is important to focus on the benefits. For instance, they will likely have a greater array of extracurricular activities in which to participate. Review the clubs and athletics available at the new school and encourage your student to determine which he/she would like to pursue. Tryouts may take place over the summer, so it’s important to plan in advance.
Embrace the new: A new school means new teachers and new classmates. If your student has a tendency to struggle adjusting to new people or places, reach out to the school and learn about opportunities to build a relationship between you, your student and your student’s new teachers. By doing so, your child may feel more comfortable, especially when he/she needs help with schoolwork.
Expect higher expectations: Since high school is designed to ensure students are prepared to succeed in college and career upon graduation, your student may find that the academic rigor increases. Encourage your student to establish organization methods that will enable them to keep track of their workload and balance academics with extracurricular activities and other personal responsibilities. If you notice that your student is struggling in one or more subjects, research the tutoring offered through the schools. Conversely, if you find that your student isn’t challenged enough, explore whether Advanced Placement or Dual Enrollment may be a good option for your student (learn more about those opportunities HERE).
The middle to high school transition is a great time to emphasize the value of maintaining good grades in preparation for college. For more information, including our grade level specific Parent Guides, click here.