It is time to return to school from summer camp, family vacation, summer employment, or just relaxing at home.
While this is a very exciting time, it can also be an emotional transition for both students and their parents or guardians. Students are nervous to get back in the swing of classes, thrilled to see old friends, anxious to make new friends, and stressed about getting back into their school year routine. Similarly, parents and guardians often experience their own set of emotions during this time including helping their child get back into the necessary routine, which we all know is never easy, getting organized to ensure no meeting or event is missed, and preparing emotionally for their child to grow one year older and one more step towards the future.
Whether you and your child are experiencing those butterflies in your stomach due to excitement or worry, take a look at these handy tips to help you prepare for a great school year and know that every individual at your school is here to help!
Tips for the High School Student:
- Attend the Back to School Event.Check with your school to see if they host a back to school event and be sure to attend! This is usually where you can get a copy of your schedule, sign up for clubs, meet some of your teachers and your school counselor, and, of course, see those friends and classmates you haven’t seen in a while. What a great way to kick off the new school year!
- Mark Your Calendars.Be sure to make note of important events that are happening at your school and in the local area. Look for things like Educational Nights, College & Military Fairs, Job Fairs, and, of course, the various fine arts and sporting events that will allow you to show your school spirit. Planning ahead will prevent any stress from last minute meetings.
- Join a Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).This is a great way for your voice as a student to be heard and it gives you the opportunity to take on a leadership role within your school.
- Get to know your school counselor! School counselors are a great resource for you and will be able to help you throughout your high school career in completing your academic schedule, planning for your future, and providing emotional support and counseling if needed.
- Get to Work on Your Future!In addition to working with your school counselor, you should be using your time to prepare for your post-secondary plans. Whether you are planning on attending college, joining the military, or entering the workforce, there are steps you should be taking now to prepare.
- Keep Your Grades Up!This begins the moment you step foot in your very first high school class. Every class and every grade matters. Regardless of your plans after high school, you want a good GPA to help you stand out and show what a great student you are to whomever is looking. A good GPA comes from good grades, so work hard.
- Connect With Your Teachers.While your teachers cannot do the work for you, they are here to help you. Reach out to them if you need the help.
- Take Advantage of Your Opportunities.Be sure to attend tutoring if needed, step up as captain of the team if the position is open, or request to be a leader in the school and do the morning announcements over the loud speaker. Anything that can provide you a leg up, take advantage of the opportunity.
- Get involved!Your school has plenty of clubs, sports, and other organizations available to you. This is a great way to meet new people and build a strong resume and college portfolio.
For the Parents/Guardians of High School Students:
- Attend the Back to School Event.Check with your school to see if they host a back to school event and be sure to attend! This is a great opportunity to get to know the staff who will be working with your student as well as find opportunities for your student or you to get involved in the school.
- Check the Calendar.Check the school’s calendar and make note of important dates and events. You don’t want to miss opportunities to voice your opinions or gain information about graduation requirements or how to help prepare your child for their post-secondary plans.
- Join the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). These organizations do so much for the school and provide you with an excellent venue to help improve the school, support students, get involved, meet new people, and really make an impact.
- Update Contact Information. Make sure that your contact information (i.e. phone number, address, etc.) are correct in the school’s system so as to not miss any information that is sent home.
- Sign up for Synergy Parent Access.This is a great tool to use to keep up with your student’s grades and attendance, as well as a direct means of contacting your student’s teachers.
- Get To Know the School Counselor.The school counselors are a great resource for you and your student. They will be able to help with college and career counseling, academic counseling, and any social/emotional support that your student may need. They will also be scheduling meetings for you and your student to attend, so why not go ahead and help build that relationship!
- Get Involved!The more involved you are at your child’s school, the more support you will be able to provide for your student in their education.
Whether you are saddened by the thought of not having your child to hang out with during the day or counting down the hours until they get on that yellow school bus, remember that it is a new year. A new year means a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to make this year the BEST year.
Melisa M. Marsh, Supervisor
Contributing Author: Courtney Courtney, Student Advisor, IWC