High School: What Parents Need to Know

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1 High School: What Parents Need to Know - Communication is the key to success in high school. Communication with your student and his/her teachers and professional school counselor will help your child achieve personal, social, and academic success in high school. If your student is absent from school, he/she is responsible for making up all missed assignments. High school students have one locker. Students may be assigned a hall locker and/or a physical education locker. This is a place for students to keep their school supplies and books through out the day, but please make sure the student is careful not to leave valuables in his/her locker. High schools dress codes are different from those of most elementary and middle schools. All students are expected to dress in a manner that demonstrates respect of the learning environment. See the student handbook for more detailed information. All Plattsburgh City Schools adhere to a strict policy prohibiting harassment and/or bullying. Students are also expected to follow the established behavior expectations (Also outlined in the PHS Student Handbook). Plattsburgh High School offers a variety of clubs and activities for students. Encourage your student to get involved! (Please see a list of activities and clubs offered in the PHS Student Handbook ). Organization and time management are vital components to your student s adjustment to high school.

2 Expectations in High School High school students interact with more peers and adults than ever before. Students often leave a middle school that they are both comfortable and familiar with and enter a high school where the expectations for performance and responsibility will increase dramatically. While these students are struggling with the transition from being child-like to adult-like, they are also expected to adjust to a new academic setting. Organization Each high school student is provided a student handbook/planner to keep track of when assignments are due, when tests are scheduled, meetings, practices, and project due dates. Check your student s agenda book each day. Encourage your student to keep their book bag and locker neat and orderly. A messy book bag or locker can slow a student down and cause them to be late for class or to lose important papers. Help your student develop a system for organizing his/her notebooks. Teach your student to master big projects by breaking them down into smaller ones. Also, help your student set realistic goals for completing the project early. Time management is an important life-long skill! Be involved! There is no need to hold your student s hand but you should help them to stay on top of and know what projects and assignments are due. correspondence is often the best way to communicate with teachers and the counseling department.

3 Study Routines Make time for homework. It may be helpful to schedule a special time each day to complete homework. Help your student balance his or her homework with other activities. Make a place for homework. Students need a quiet, well-lit place to work. Be sure your student has the supplies necessary before they begin working and that there are no obvious distractions. Encourage your student to prepare for school the night before. Organizing notebooks, selecting clothing, and packing book bags the night before will help your student start the day more relaxed.

4 Social Issues in High School High school students experience a lot of ups and downs with their friends. Help your child understand that people are unique and have differences of opinion. Remind your student to make mature responsible decisions and to keep in mind that one problem does not have to end a relationship. Teach your child the value of compromise and when it is appropriate to end a friendship. High school students are faced with positive and negative peer pressure. Help your child maintain a positive self-concept and to use their influence to inspire others to do the right thing. Reinforce with your student that our differences are what make us unique. While some high school students want to be different, they are more likely to conform to the values of the group, if they are not self-confident. Know the group of friends your student has acquired. Teach your child appropriate means for dealing with peer pressure. Knowing that you are always there for them will create a safety net for your student. Please see the Parent section of the Plattsburgh High School website to get more information about cyberbullying, internet safety, and other social issues (plus many more topics and resources will be available to you there). Parental Involvement in High School Parental involvement in high school is important to the success of your student and the school. Many parents mistakenly believe that this is the time for them to withdraw from the educational process and let their student become completely

5 independent. While developing independence is crucial for the young adolescent, there is a difference between dominating your student and providing prudent guidance and supervision. In fact, research shows that students whose parents stay involved in their education are more successful in school: grades and test results are higher, students attitudes and behaviors are more positive, academic programs are more successful, and the schools are more effective. How can you get involved? Get to know the teachers and the staff at the high school. Read all information about school policies and curriculum carefully. Get involved in the parent-teacher association at the school. Volunteer at the school there are many ways that you can assist the school without having direct contact with your student. Participate in committees or parent groups at the school. Go to school whenever you are invited. Whether it is parent-teacher conference week, a band concert, a school play, or a parent meeting, attend every event possible at the school.

6 School Counselors in High School Counselors The High School Guidance and Counseling Program is designed to teach and model skills and competencies to adolescents experiencing rapid physical, social, and emotional changes. The Plattsburgh School District is working towards a counseling curriculum that focuses on the academic, career, and personal/social development of students. School counselors are available to work with students, parents, and teachers through guidance services, counseling services, consultation services, career planning, college prep and referrals. Services Offered for Students: Personal/Social Services One-On-One and Group Counseling The counselors at Plattsburgh High School are available during walk in hours and also by appointment to help your child with any personal or social needs or issues they may have. Please note that the guidance department and other counseling staff in the building (Student Advocate, School Psychologists) are available for individual counseling and there is some availability for counseling in a group setting as well. Referral To Community Agencies The counselors are aware of, and in contact with, a variety of community mental health agencies specializing in individual and family counseling. The Student Advocate and School Psychologists work closely with community agencies as well. Please feel free to discuss these resources with any of the PHS Counseling staff. Provided that no known violation of school policy has occurred, a student will receive assistance with issues. The school will create a climate and provide resources by which a student may seek and receive education, referral and/or counseling related to the problem. As with any medical condition, costs associated with medical treatment will be the responsibility of the student s family. Academic Services Class Scheduling and Planning (Academic) Your child s counselor will meet with your student once a year (at least) to devise a schedule that meets your academic needs, adheres to standards and requirements of New York State, and appeals to your interests and future career plans. Please note that counselors in the PHS Guidance Department are always willing to provide additional

7 help if the initial course selection needs to be altered to meet your child s academic needs. Career/College Services College And Career Information Center (Career) The counseling office serves as a storehouse for information concerning higher education and careers for future planning. Computer programs (nycareerzone.org), higher education catalogues and occupational catalogues are readily available to students and parents/guardians. Career interest inventories are provided online or on an individual basis. The counseling department maintains a list of college open houses and local information (noted on the School Counseling Department Calendar). Additional information may be available at our Plattsburgh High School Guidance Department website. College And Career Planning Each school counselor is dedicated to helping every student gain access to the information and knowledge they need to develop/explore career opportunities and the educational training that they need to attain his/her career goals. Individual student planning (career counseling) is available and it is encouraged that students visit his/her counselor to discuss career aspirations and interests so that together the student and counselor can create a plan for the future. If college is a process goal needed to be able to attain the student s career choice, counselors will work with students discussing college choices and provide insight into the process of applying to college. Further aid is given to students who need help completing college applications and letters of recommendation. Occupational/Vocational Counseling and Opportunities The counseling staff offers information regarding the following programs: Vocational School Opportunities- CV-TEC Any student interested in pursuing a program in a vocational-technical school should contact his/her counselor for information and an application. Vocational course work can be arranged for Junior and Senior high school students through Champlain Valley Services. Please feel free to call your child s counselor for more information or visit the CV-TEC website. Work Experience (Summer work program) This program is designed to place students in supervised work sites that relate to their short- and long-term vocational interests. Please contact your counselor for more information about the summer work program and other opportunities for summer employment.

8 Frequent Concerns of HS Student Finding lockers, classes, and bathrooms Being able to open the lockers Getting to class on time Having someone to sit with at lunch Keeping up with the work Responding to peer pressure Coping with more teachers Being with friends Accepting more responsibility Adjusting to appearance and peer status Getting through crowded halls Coping with a larger school Adjusting to social status Adjusting to new grading standards Knowing and following the rules Learning about safety issues such as bullies, gangs, Adjusting to little free time during the school day Making new friends

9 Tips for High School Parents Students are likely to adopt the attitudes and beliefs their parents hold about school and education. Show interest in your student s work. Let them know that school is important and that you have high expectations for them. Be willing to help them with their work, but do not do it for them. There is no substitute for spending time with children. They need not just quality time occasionally, but lots of time time to work, time to play, time to laugh, and time to bond with you. Create family rituals to celebrate academic success and always encourage progress. Enjoy the high school years! Be consistent. Set firm, clear rules and stick to them! Do not believe that, everybody else gets to.... Talk with your child. Avoid talking to them. Give your student an appropriate amount of freedom and responsibility. Be sure criticism is constructive and not destructive. Follow through. Don t make idle threats. Never be afraid to say NO! Remain authoritative but give thorough, genuine explanations when you say no. Distinguish between, I don t like you, and I don t like your behavior. Be sure you apply rewards and consequences in a firm, fair, and appropriate manner. Listen closely when your child talks to you. Typically, they know when you are preoccupied with something else. Work to build a relationship of mutual respect and trust. Help your child find activities in which he or she excels.

10 Help your child learn to accept and like who they are. Set realistic goals and expectations with your child. Know what is going on at school. Parents who volunteer at school feel more connected to their student because they know what is going on at school. Monitor your student s time and activities on the computer. Know who your student s friends are, where their time is spent, and what they spend their money on. Encourage your child to try new things and to learn new skills. Tell them that it is OK to fail and resist overreacting when they do fail. Teach them that learning takes effort, time and practice. Get help when you need it. Be patient! Success doesn t happen overnight. Children model behavior; don t disrespect adults or your children will do the same Give your child an encouraging, loving, supportive environment to grow and learn! for a S

11 ddle School Experience Links for a Successful High School Experience (This list does not represent all available resources. The information is subject to change.) Education Our High School website: PHS Counseling Department website: - Education World - Study Skills and Homework Help - homework sites - Designed to help students do better in school Internet Safety - Family contract for online safety. Guidelines for parents and their children. - Teen safety on the information highway. Learn about the dangers so that the positive aspects of the internet can be enjoyed. Career Planning - Information that assists students and their families to select a college, apply for admission, and plan to finance higher education. - Information to aid in the transition from high school to college. - This website is used by many students as part of the career guidance curriculum. - Learn about a wide variety of careers from the people who are working in those jobs. - Search by keyword, index, or occupational cluster. - Designed to help students think about futures in math, science, and technology. - Virtual tours of universities. - Free math help using simple animation to bring problems and solutions to life.

12 General Educational Resources - Strategies for raising alcohol and drug-free children provided by National PTA. -Includes characteristics of various areas of giftedness. - A newsletter with valuable ideas for parents. - An overview of the health concerns facing many young people - United States Department of Education Created by: Erica Tobrocke, Ashley Mason, Julie Timmons and other students in the Plattsburgh State University, School Counseling Masters Program. Revised and Edited by: Erin Monnat, School Counseling Intern, Plattsburgh High School

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