Welcome to High School: Meeting theChanges and Challenges
• High school counseling • Changes and challenges • Grade-level information • How can I help my child transition to high school?Tonight we will share with you some valuable information as you and your 8th grader prepare for this transition to highschool. We’ll review common language, the process for grade 9 course selection, graduation requirements, what toexpect and how you as a parent can help your son/daughter, and a brief overview of the counseling program.
What is the role of the high school counselor... “Secondary school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population.” - from the website of ASCA (American School Counselor Association)As students change and develop, so does the role of the counselor in high school. Ultimately, our goal is to help students and families grow inindependence, self reﬂect on strengths and interests, and prepare for life after secondary school.
...helping students feel successful about themselves and chool • social and emotional well-being • academic goals • college and career goals
Counselors help students...• build self-esteem, identity, and autonomy• learn strategies and skills to make good choices (academic, social, emotional, college/career)• create and maintain healthy
How do we do this?• Guidance Curriculum: delivered to students in grade- level meetings, Flex classes, individual or family meetings (as needed)• Individual Student Planning: help students develop personal and academic goals, and future plans• Responsive Services: meeting individual student needs that require counseling, referral, information, or intervention• Systems Support: support from administration and teachers (team approach)
Challenges and Changes• “Perhaps the only thing more difficult than being a teenager is parenting one”• A time of great development: physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively
Social Development• Trying to understand who they are or who they are trying to be• Peer group is the strongest influence• Increased pressure from peers regarding risky behaviors: alcohol, drugs, sex• Exploration of boundaries in relationships and behavior
Emotional Development• ‘Roller Coaster Ride’ of hormones and mood swings. Often one heartbeat away from laughter or tears.• Students are evaluating themselves and trying to understand who they are.• With change comes uncertainty.
Cognitive Development• In tune with technology (digital natives)• Respond well to cooperative learning, academic variety• Increase in cognitive and reasoning ability• Critical thinking and writing skills are emphasized across the HS curriculum
How can I help with the transition to high school? • Listen to what your child has to say and offer your support. • Stay connected and communicate. Spend time together. • Establish (together with your child) clear rules, specific expectations, and consequences. This sets a tone of respect, trust, and fairness. Review them regularly. • Respect your teen’s privacy – e.g., knock before entering his/her room!Parenting a teenager can be challenging. Each teen has different needs and thus what might work for one child, mightnot work for another. Parenting teenagers is about ﬁnding the right balance between offering them structure andsupport.
More advice on helping your teen • Understand your child is transitioning from childhood (needy, dependent) to adulthood (freedom, trust, responsibility) • Be a parent first, not a pal. Boundaries are important -- model them. • Stay in touch with teachers. Be aware of and engaged in what is going on at school. Follow the HS Blog and HS Counselors’ blog. • Help monitor sleep (average of 9 hours), diet, and exercise, laptop use.Try not to compare your son/daughter to others. Students at this age are experiencing a tremendous amount of growthand change and all children develop at different rates. High School Counseling blog often includes articles,announcements about presentations, etc. that you will ﬁnd useful. Access this through the HS Blog
Teenagers are just people trying to learn how to make it among the adults in the world, who are probably not so sure themselves.We have an valuable article for you tonight that focuses on the importance of “failure.” Teenagers will often try newthings, explore boundaries, and try to ﬁgure out who they are and where they “ﬁt” in. Inevitably, there will be high’sand low’s throughout this process.
SAS High School Graduation Requirements Subject Credit English 4 Math 3 Science 3 Social 3 Studies Foreign 2 Language PE/Health 2 Fine/ 2 Performing Electives 5 Arts TOTAL 24Meeting these graduation requirements is generally not a problem for our students as most students can earn up to amaximum 28 credits by the time they graduate. Ideally, we strongly encourage students to exceed these minimumrequirements by earning 4 credits each in math, science, and social studies. Many universities also prefer to seestudents challenged themselves with 3 or 4 years of a language.
Required subjects for grade 9 • English 9 • Lab Science • Asian History 9 • Math: per 8th grade teacher recommendation and placement test • Physical Education/Health 9But, before students have to make those choices, we have a core program for students that allows them to gain astrong and well-rounded educational foundation that will prepare and provide students with the prerequisite courserequirements for AP and IB courses later in high school. All grade 9 students will take English, Math, Science, SocialStudies, Foreign Language, PE & Health, Fine Arts, and a Flex.
Foreign Languages:French – per 8th grade teacher recommendationSpanish – per 8th grade teacher recommendationChinese – per 8th grade teacher recommendationEAL – per testing and MS EAL teacher recommendation
Fine/Performing Arts Electives:• Art Foundations• Introduction to Drama• Band Intermediate/Advanced• Orchestra Intermediate/Advanced• Choir Intermediate/Advanced• Dance
Students have 7 academic blocks -- the 8th block is FLEX • counselor meetings/Naviance • time to meet with teachers • MAP Assessments • Supervised Study Flex • EAL Flex • productive study timeAll high school students have a Flex class. In grade 9 and 10, Flex is supervised time where students can study, workon homework, consult teachers, make up assignments, etc. This is also an ideal time for counselors to meet withstudents.
What can YOU do now? 1. Ask your child for the course selection sheet he/ she will receive on March 4. 2. Check out the course description catalog at the high school blog at http://teachers.saschina.org/ hspudong/ 3. Contact your child’s current teacher if you have questions about a specific subject area. 4. Tell us about your child! Naviance parent survey. 5. Discuss fine arts choices with your child. 6. Submit the selection sheet by March 9 to student’s advisory teacher.Tonight, you have received information on how to access your account in Naviance. Please take some time int he nextfew weeks to complete survey and share more about your son/daughter.
Keep up on high school news by checking the Dr. Borden’s high school blog at: http://teachers.saschina.org/hspudongYou’ll want to bookmark this website. Each week, Dr. Borden posts a message to the community. This site also allowsyou and students to access upcoming events, exam schedules, our course catalogue, and a variety of other informationyou’ll ﬁnd helpful. Links to each teacher’s blog (including the counseling blog) can also be accessed via this site.
What next? • meeting with HS counselors and teachers on Monday, March 4 about course selection • grade 9 students will talk to grade 8 students about course selection during advisory on Friday, March 8th • A Day in the Life of a High School Student: Nuts and Bolts held on Friday, May 31st, for students.Later this week, we will be meeting with your 8th graders to talk more about the course selection process. Students willbring home a course selection sheet for you to sign as well. Later this Spring before summer vacation, counselors andhigh school Eagles Ambassadors will offer a program for 8th graders to provide them with an opportunity to learn moreabout high school.