9th Grade Keys to Success

Consider the following factors that will only make your freshman year great, but will also make your entire high school experience successful! 

1.      Understand your permanent record.  During the 9th grade year you begin building your permanent record, which stays with you for the rest of your life.  Remember the following things: 
• GPA – your GPA begins with your 9th grade year, unless you took high school courses at the middle school.
• Class rank
• Transcript – your transcript is a record of your grades and credits for each course that you complete, beginning (usually) in the 9th grade.
• Graduation requirements  
• College admission requirements
• Uniform grading policy
• Promotion/Retention policy

• To be promoted to Grade 10, second-year students must have earned a minimum of 5 credits, including 1 unit in English and 1 unit in math.
• To be promoted to Grade 11, third-year students must have earned a minimum of 10 credits, two in English and two in math, one science and one social studies.
• To be promoted to Grade 12, fourth-year students must have earned a minimum of 16 credits, typically having three units in English, three units in math, two in science, one in social studies AND be enrolled in coursework that will allow them to complete all requirements for graduation. However fourth year students may be classified seniors if they have at least 16 credits and are enrolled in course work which allows them to complete all requirements for graduation.

2.      Know your school – rules, policies, and procedures. 
• School calendar
• Attendance and tardy policies
3.      Know the testing opportunities that will come your way during high school and be prepared for them: 
• End-of-Course tests
• PSAT (practice SAT)
ACT and SAT (college entrance exams)
• AP Exams 

4.   Stay organized – use your AGENDA! 

5.   Set goals.  Setting goals helps you determine where you want to go and what you want to accomplish.  Set goals that are:  SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, and ATTAINABLE. –  Short-term and long-term. 

6.   Think about and begin to plan for your life after high school.  It sounds like a long way off, but it will go very quickly and what you do in high school may have a big impact on what you do after high school.  Think about:
• The courses you will take in high school – choose them carefully.
• Career options you may pursue after high school and how your high school choices will prepare you.
• Resources and services available to help you make course and career choices.  USE THEM!
• Educational options after high school. 

7.   Think about the choices and decisions you make.  Every action has a reaction.  Try to think about the consequences of your actions. 

In high school, you have a lot more freedom and independence.  With freedom and independence, however, comes responsibility.  Education is not all book learning; learning to accept responsibility for your actions and choices is an important part of your high school education! 

8.   Get involved and have fun!  High school is like anything else – the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. 

·        Meet new people.

·        Develop your skills and talents.

·        Know the extra-curricular activities that are available and join in.

·        Get involved in volunteering. 





Freshman Year

Seek out career options that interest you.  Find out about the SCOIS and Discover programs – both available in the Guidance Office.

Start a file of accomplishments and activities to start developing your resume, which you will need in the future (specifically senior year).

Discuss interests and college options with your parents/guardians.

Get to know and work closely with your high school guidance counselor to select classes that are appropriate for your future plans.

Check out summer programs offered to high school students by colleges, such as:  academic camps, tennis clinics, summer honors programs, etc.  These programs are designed to improve your skills and to provide you with a valuable opportunity to spend time on a college campus.

Start looking for summer jobs that compliment the skills you have or wish to develop.  Find out about organizations needing volunteer help to expand your skills and experience.