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Transitioning to High School

The transition to high school brings additional challenges.  Academically, there is more focus on preparing for life after school, whether a two or four year college, vocational training, or the military.  Socially, students may be juggling academics, athletics, a part time jobs, and peer and dating relationships.

Choose classes based on post-high school plans.  For example, if college is the target, students need a strong schedule of English, math, foreign language, science, and history or social studies.  Vocational and technical training have different requirements.

Talk to the school counselor early to learn more about expectations and options.  Ask about checklists for applying to college or for financial aid.  The school can tell you about college entrance exams.  For example, Minnesota’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) allow students to take college courses and earn college credits while still in high school.  Ask about programs that can support college success by teaching study skills, and providing tutoring. 

Continue to monitor your child’s friends and behavior.  Be aware of their grades.  A drop in grades or change in a child’s behavior (such as anger or sadness) can be signs that they are struggling.  Talk to the school counselor about any problems that may affect a student’s performance in school, such as divorce or illness.