High School Transition: *What is it all about?*

Feb 9, 2015
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This is an Exciting Time!
Outline the process of transition to high
Answer questions
When do we start?
What are credits?
What is the difference, Honors vs. Standard
What is Block Scheduling?
How can I help my child?
Where and when registration forms need to
be turned in?
Pros and Cons of Block Scheduling
Clubs, Sports, After-School Programs
What if my child has an IEP?
Testing: is there TCAP? How does it affect
Honors, A.P. classes, Dual Credit programs
WHO: Parent, Student, Counselor, and
Teacher (recommendations)
WHEN: Time: Discussion between
parent/student; open house visits; individual
registration appointment
WHAT: Class Selection
Block Schedule: (also known as 4x4 block) students take 4
classes from August through December; then 4 new classes
from January through May
+Classes meet everyday (don’t rotate)
+Will take up to 32 classes by graduation (26 required, leaves
6 additional classes of choice)
+Fewer classes at a time
-Extended breaks between subsequent courses
-Full year course completed in ½ year
Research is statistically identical on schedule models
 Elective: a class that a student chooses based on
academic interest; examples include fine arts classes
(Theater I, Children’s Play), business classes
(Accounting, Marketing), career and technical classes
(Agriculture, Digital Design, Criminal Justice)
 Credit: a credit is the value given to a class that has
been passed
▪ Freshmen will attempt 8 credits
▪ 26 credits are required for graduation
▪ English, Math, Science, and Social Studies are often referred
to as “Core” credits
 Required Credit: a class that must be taken and
passed for graduation
▪ Every class that an incoming freshman takes is
considered “required”; class choices have been
restricted to only those classes that count towards
 Transcript: the official record of grades of classes
taken during a high school career
▪ Every single class—pass or fail—goes on the transcript
▪ The transcript will go with the student towards college
 Honors: a class that goes beyond the regular rigor
of a standard course; close equivalent to
Advanced in middle school
▪ All Honors classes require either a pre-requisite or
teacher recommendation
Advocate: seeking information from the
proper person; a student will be expected to
advocate by asking questions
Up to this point, “registration” has consisted
only of filling out a single form
February: Students and parent should be
discussing academic strengths and
weaknesses, as well as areas of interest;
review resources together, including available
test scores; visit the school website
Feb (9): AP and Honors Open House at HHS, 6:00-8:00
pm; meet the teachers and hear about academic options
March (TBA): Attend the 8th grade parent night open
house at HHS; schedule individual registration
April (1-4): Attend registration appointment and turn in
registration form (at EMS); perform as well as possible on
May: Prepare and perform as well as possible on final
exams, placement tests
June-July: Read at least 1 grade level fiction book
(pleasure/choice) and at least 1 non-fiction book
(autobiography, biography)
Physically, the building is laid out so that
students can get from place to place fairly
Students have longer breaks between classes
Freshmen will be placed into an Advisory
group with a teacher that will follow them
for 4 years through graduation; advisory
groups plan to meet weekly
Every class offered to freshmen counts
towards graduation
EMS teachers will make careful
recommendations in English, Math and
Once at HHS, the teachers will also help
make recommendations on Honors/Standard
classes for 10th, 11th, and senior years
If you are on the fence, aim for “balance.” Once
your student is established and has developed
clearer academic strengths, more rigorous
classes make more sense (a bad experience in an
honors class makes the student less likely to set
that goal for another honors class later)
Data shows that students who are in honors
classes because their parents want them there
do worse than students who have the
appropriate recommendations
Yes, 2 credits of the same language (i.e.,
Spanish I and Spanish II)
However, students do not have to take
foreign language their freshman year; these
credits must be earned by the time a student
Honors and standard classes are exclusive of
each other; that means a student can take
Honors math, and standard everything else;
or Honors Science, and standard everything
From year to year, a student can take more
honors classes even if he/she is in standard
this year
Data shows that honors classes yield higher
ACT scores
Freshmen can take Standard or Honors *
Advanced Placement (AP) classes are offered
starting in 10th grade
 Successful score on College Board (AP) exam can
equal college credit (advantage); more AP
classes offered than Dual Enrollment (adv.)
 AP classes require a tremendous amount of
outside work (disadvantage)
 Dual Enrollment classes are available to Seniors;
student gets high school and college credit for
the course; credits accepted at TN public
*Beginning 2015, World Studies includes AP Human
Geography; class placement requires teacher
Start with your student; in high school,
students are expected to advocate for
themselves—but not entirely by themselves
If you have a question about a particular class
or assignment, contact the teacher directly,
preferably by email (use staff directory on
If you are not satisfied with that answer, or
you don’t get an answer, contact an
If you are seeking advice about your child in
general (development, not transitioning well,
failing all classes), contact the counselor; the
counselor won’t be able to speak in detail about
each class
 If you want some perspective about your child
and the whole high school experience, try
reaching out to your child’s Advisory teacher
 Other resources include: the school website;
some teachers have individual websites; Online
gradebook system*
Note: high school teachers do not have the
same schedule as middle school teachers;
they are much more likely to respond by
email than by phone message. Also, high
school teachers do not have common
planning times, so you will have to contact
each teacher separately (but you only have 4
each semester).
The high school has more than 20 clubs for students.
Sometime in late September, 9th graders can see all of
the options during “Club Rush” week.
 The high school boasts more than 15 sports in the fall,
winter, and spring. Many athletes successfully
participate in more than 1 sport. (Generally, sports
and practices are held outside of the school day and
do not take the place of a freshman class.)
 The high school has the county’s largest visual and
performing arts department, and all are open to
freshmen. (Some may require an audition.)
Data shows that students who are involved in
at least 1 extracurricular activity (in or outside
of school) academically far outperform
students who do not participate.
Balance is the key; by the end of the
freshman year, students should be able to
determine their interests and strengths, and
limit their activity participation to those few
areas they do very well, rather than
“spreading themselves too thin.”
TCAP testing ends in 8th grade
Students will take an End-of-Course exam
when they complete one of the tested
courses; a proficient score on the EOC must
be achieved in order to receive full credit for
the course towards graduation; EOC tests are
for “core” classes only
The primary goal of the high school is to help students
achieve graduation.
Start with the teacher, then the counselor.
The counseling office has a list of recommended
tutors in specific courses (including foreign
languages), some of which tutor for service hours
instead of money
Each academic department has established extra
instruction time, usually before or after school, that is
open to anyone.
Students with IEPs receive their accommodations in
courses and can graduate with a regular diploma