It's never too early to start preparing
1.Create a four-year high school plan: Once your child is settled into ninth grade, introduce the idea of preparing an overall plan for high school that relates to his or her goals.Make sure you know what high school courses are required by colleges, and that your courses are on the right track.Challenge yourself (register for classes that will prepare you for college coursework, i.e. Honors and Advanced Placement)
2.Start thinking about careers: Develop a tentative career goal. Of course it will change- often - but it's the thought process that counts. Identify interests - likes and dislikes- not just in academics but in all areas. A High School Planner is available for free for all high school students and offers interest inventories (Visit www.floridashines.org). Discuss career options with others, such as the school counselor, teachers, recent college graduates who are working, professionals in the community, etc.
3.Extracurricular activities: Actively take part in a sport, school club, music or drama group, or community volunteer activity. Get acquainted with what the school has to offer (clubs, tutoring, sports, etc.). Remember that colleges would rather see real involvement in one activity than a loose connection to several activities. If you want to play sports in high school, you must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. If you want to play sports in college, research the National College Athletic Association eligibility requirements. The NCAA requires completion of certain core courses; you can find the specifics at www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.net
4. Meet with the school counselor: The school counselor knows how to help get the most out of high school. Make sure you have an opportunity during the school year to discuss post-high school plans with the school counselor. Attend Open House in the Fall. Understand the High School credit system and how it 's different from Middle School. Communicate with school by signing up for the Parent Information Network (PIN), email teachers, request teacher conferences through Guidance. *NOTE: Each nine weeks schools send a progress report and report card home through the student. Prepare for State Assessments (build vocabulary by reading what interests you). You will take many State and School Based assessments this year and resulting scores determine the need for intensive math or reading classes. Attend school regularly! Excessive absences result in loss of course credit. Make sure all courses are passed with grades of 'C' or better (2.0 minimum). If not, set up a plan with a counselor to make up credits either in summer school and/or virtual school. Make sure that you sign up for the correct courses for the next school year.