Making a smooth transition to high school

Marjorie Boyd
Marjorie Boyd
Omar Morris
Omar Morris

By Dawne Gee - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You go from playgrounds to packed hallways and a lot of expectations. After middle school, students entering high school face a heavier course load, more homework, new friends, after-school activities and all the emotions that go along with being a 9th grader. All of that being thrust on a young teen can be a heavy load to bear. But there are steps you can take to ease the transition.

Marjorie Boyd, 14, has mixed emotions about her first year in high school.

"I don't know, I'm kind of nervous but I'm kind of happy too, Boyd said. "I think it will be like a big responsibility. More than middle school was."

Students will feel some pressure, but there's also a lot of the pressure on the parents as well, when it comes to making sure they do what they must to ensure their child's success.

Omar Morris, a counselor at Barrette Traditional Middle School in Clifton, has some suggestions for parents of incoming high school freshmen.

"Get to know the staff members at the school," Morris said. "Every person ... in your school is there for student success," Morris said.

Morris says some parents never get to know their child's teachers or school staff, and says he's actually seen evidence of that at high school graduations.

"The student runs up and hugs someone and says 'you've been so great, I'm going to miss you!' And the parent says 'who is that?'"

Also, keep up with how your child is doing in class, and now there are more tools than ever in place that can help you monitor your child's success.

"Jefferson County uses this thing called a parent portal," Morris said. Use that. It helps you stay on top of your child and their grades. Don't find out at mid-term or finals what grade your child has. That's too late."

[Click here to see the JCPS Parent Portal]

If you feel like you can't fix the problem, Morris suggests asking for help.

"The parents are so funny," Morris said. "They are always like, 'I'm so sorry to bother you.' How are you bothering me? That's my job. I am your child's counselor. I'd rather have the parent who is knocking on my door...I got an issue with my child...than the parent I don't see until they are walking out the door."

As far as students are concerned, Morris says "they need to get involved in things that are going on at school outside the regular class."

"I'm excited to be going to high school. Actually, I feel like I'm growing up," laughed Boyd.

If you do it right, your child's freshman year can be an exciting experience they'll never forget."

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