Teen, High School and Academics
My is 15 years old started high school and to say it was quite a transition is an understatement. I graduated from high school 29 years ago and I do not remember it being this difficult. My biggest challenge was taking public transportation to school. For my teen, moving to a new school district for 8th grade was a hurdle he navigated. In September, I tried to stay on the sidelines so he could gain a sense of independence and be self-sufficient. After the 1st quarter grades were posted, I realized it was time for an intervention.
How I Utilized the Resources Available?
- Utilized the school site which gives me access to his classes and grades. When I noticed missing assignments and /or low grades I immediately emailed the teacher(s).
- I set up a meeting with my son’s guidance counselor to understand all the resources available to freshman.
- Emailed teachers regularly if I had concerns about
his grades and classes. Teachers need to know as a parent you are vested in your child’s education.
- When I realized my son was not performing in his math class I consulted with this math teacher during conference time. In our district, there is no summer school. In the event a student fails a class they are left to repeat the class during the next academic year which impacts meeting the requirements for graduating. It was too risky to chance my son failing his 9th grade Algebra so he was reassigned to a college prep math. This made a huge difference in his 2nd quarter math grade.
- I gave permission to have my son change his roster so he was now in a dedicated period with two teachers. The purpose of this special period is to allow the student to work on projects, do homework and study. My son’s biggest challenge was the lack of study habits.
- Also gave permission for a mentor to be assigned. I really believe when teens hear knowledge from another source it has a little bit more weight versus coming from mom. As my teen already told me, “you went to high school 40 years ago”.
- A teacher recommended my son for a program within the school that tracks his academic success. Students must have permission from their parent or guardian for the program.
My teen was blindsided by the rigors of high school and the expectations. The freshman had a few hours of orientation which is not enough to prepare some students for what is needed to excel academically and socially. Unfortunately, it is hard to predict how smoothly school transitions are going to be academically and socially. I think the best action you can take as a parent is to be PROACTIVE and COMMUNICATE with the school as necessary especially when you have concerns or issues. We are fortunate to have a school that provides ample resources for students and parents.