Parent Tips: Things you can do to prepare:
1. Start thinking about high school admissions even before start of seventh grade!
2. Remember the importance of school grades. The final grades assigned at the end of seventh grade matters A LOT! Work to get over 90% (preferably higher) in Math, ELA, Science and Social Studies if you are aiming for the top public High Schools in District 2. When schools like Millennium and Eleanor Roosevelt ask for a minimum of 90% in core subjects – remember that it is the MINIMUM!
3. Talk/write to teachers in seventh grade at the beginning of school year to find out how you can support your child from DAY 1 ! Remember that the final grades assigned are cumulative grades of all three trimesters – so it is almost impossible to pull up the final grades if you don’t do well in the first trimester.
For example, if your child scores a 80 in Math in the first marking period and then works really hard to get a 90 and 95 in second and third trimesters, the final grade would still be a 88% !
While top high schools may still consider the child’s application, remember that no one has a full understanding of the algorithm that matches a child to the high school (separate blog on this topic to follow)! So, you want to ensure that your child does not just meet but beats the admissions criteria by a comfortable margin!
4. It’s not just test scores that make up grades – homework assignments and extra projects matter too! If your child has ADD/ADHD or is generally distracted/forgetful, make sure you check with the teachers to ensure homework has been turned in. Sometimes homework accounts for 1/3 of the grade! (PS: this is a personal pain point!)
5. Attendance is key! Make sure your child has 100% or close to 100% attendance and get them to school “ON TIME”! Be aware that children could be running around catching POKEMONs before going to school!
6. Make sure to retain all of your child’s seventh grade work – some schools request a portfolio of graded work! That means – you want to make sure your child puts in extra effort and has one or two pieces of “museum-worthy” work in Science and ELA!
7. Seventh grade has a lot of distractions – puberty, relationships,social media, bullying and everything else you can think of that can go wrong, will always go wrong! Enforce strict rules with respects to gadgets! No gadgets at mealtime, in the kids bedroom and during project/exam time. Here are some do’s and dont’s you can consider: http://www.parentherald.com/articles/6210/20150430/10-gadget-rules-for-kids-at-home.htm
8. Subscribe/bookmark these links:
- http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/High/default.htm -please download the high school admissions checklist and events calendar and high school directory
- https://insideschools.org/ – for an independent evaluation of schools
9. Finally don’t be afraid to call individual schools to find out more about the school, their admission’s criteria and evaluate if that school is the right fit for your child! Just because it’s the “hottest” school this season – doesn’t make it the best school for your child. Evaluate if the school serves your child’s long-term goals and provides an environment where he/she will thrive!