Heading to high school is a big step, and choices there can be critical to a student's future. This is part three of our back to school series.
We checked in with the University of Richmond's education department, and they connected us with Dave Myers. He is also the Superintendent at New Kent County schools.
Here's his best advice: do a taste test.
He says students that get involved outside of the classroom always do really well inside the classroom. High school offers activities, clubs, and courses that students did not have access to in middle school. Parents should encourage their children to break out of their comfort zone and try new things.
Choose classes wisely. Help your children work with counselors and teachers to choose the level of rigor in classes that pushes students to try their best and matches their goals for life after high school.
"Really set goals," says Myers. "Look at setting short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals can be everything from grades to what you want to get involved. Combine this with your long term goals, which includes what kinds of careers do you want to pursue? High school offers so many different opportunities now from agriculture classes to journalism classes to anything just about that you want to do. And, you can earn college credits now very often in high school."
Find your passion. High schools offer a wide range of classes on everything from computer science to journalism. Encourage children to investigate careers and related class offerings. It's a good chance to get a head start in life, to figure out what you like.
"Don't wait to get help," said Myers. "So often, many months will go by and everybody thinks it is going to get better and better. And it doesn't. It just usually gets worse. We always encourage everyone to get help early. There are lots of people in the building, lots of resources that want to help you. School counselors, teachers, and even mentors. There's a lot of technology out there too to keep parents connected to schools and informed."
And you can always learn more in our RVA Parenting Facebook group. We encourage all parents to join the conversation.
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