AACPS College/Career Readiness
Additional Guidepost Information
HOW A PARENT CAN HELP
- Notice what your child enjoys doing and help
them do more of it. Link your child’s interests to academics; it
helps make learning more interesting. Visit the library, the zoo, museums, learning or activity centers, and sporting events to encourage your child to explore areas of interest.
- Encourage your child to take challenging
courses. Research suggests students who take rigorous courses typically perform better and have a higher graduation rate in college.
- Develop study habits to support academic success. Your child should learn how to organize materials, use agendas to keep track of assignments, work on and complete homework assignments independently, and submit assignments that are neat, complete and timely.
- Help your child set short and long-term goals. Praise your child for successes and provide support when needed.
- Continue to stay involved by attending parent conferences, joining the PTA or PTSO, volunteering at the school and accessing the School Improvement Plan. Don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teachers, school counselor or principal if you have questions or concerns.
- Familiarize yourself with available AACPS resources such as the county website,
Middle School Program of Study,
High School Program of Study and school websites. The county website has links to available resources or you can contact your child’s school for copies if you do not have access to the internet.
- Include a bit of college on family trips. Stroll a college campus or have lunch at the student center on the way to your vacation destination.
AS YOUR CHILD
APPROACHES COLLEGE AND/OR A CAREER...MORE PLANNING TIPS
WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW....
- While students are not expected to know what courses
they want to take in middle and high school, it is important for parents and students to have a general understanding of AACPS
- Elementary school is a time for students to explore areas of interest. Parents can help students connect their class work to their interests by discussing what happened during their day; asking, “what did you like about your classes today”; visiting local sites to foster interests such as libraries, parks, zoos, etc.
- Attendance plays a vital role in academic achievement. Attendance habits established in elementary school have a direct impact on student success in middle and high school. “The National Center for Children in Poverty," found in 2008 that on average, pupils who missed 10 percent or more of school in kindergarten scored significantly lower in reading, math and general knowledge tests at the end of 1st grade than those who missed 3 percent or fewer days.”
(Education Week, Volume 30, No. 8)
At AACPS an absence rate of 10 percent or more is equal to 18+ days of missed school; and absence rate of 3 percent is less than 6 days.
- Elementary school is also a time to begin establishing organizational and time management skills. Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 can start by using an agenda to keep track of assignments and due dates.
- View a full list of:
- While students in sixth grade are not expected to
know what courses they would want to take throughout their middle
school and high school years, students and parents should be
familiar with the course sequence information, especially in
mathematics and English/language arts. View a full list of:
- Middle school is a time when students can begin to formally enroll in specific math and language arts courses noted as “advanced”. Enrollment in these courses is based largely on past performance (grades and standardized test scores), potential for success, and teacher recommendation. Taking advanced coursework at the middle level is a key to accessing more rigorous courses in high school. Parent input is also an important part of the course selection process.
- Each student in middle school will take math, language arts, science, social studies, a fine art, and physical education/health course each year during middle school. There is also an array of Encore courses students can elect based upon their interest level. These include, but are not limited to, art, music (including performing choral and instrumental music), technology education, and family and consumer science.
- Attendance, study skills, the ability to remain organized and a positive attitude are huge keys for success in middle school. Having ongoing conversations with your child about overall school performance and interests is critical to helping them maintain their motivation and focus. Remaining positive, developing constructive working relationships with peers and teachers, and learning to persevere are life skills necessary for success at the middle level.
- While we don’t expect ninth graders to know
all of the courses they want to take in high school, it is
important for students and parents/guardians to have a general
understanding of the course offerings. View a full list of:
- High schools offer a wide variety of courses from which students must choose to develop a high school “completer plan.” This plan must ensure students are enrolled in the courses necessary to earn a high school diploma.
- As in elementary and middle school, parents can continue to help students connect their class work to their interests by discussing what happened during their day and visiting local sites to foster interest, such as museums
and historical sites.
- The mathematics courses taken in middle school determine the mathematics and science placement in high school.
- Students entering ninth grade in the 2011/12 school year (and beyond) who take Algebra and/or Geometry in middle school, still need to earn four mathematics credits in high school.
- Now is the time to continue the conversation
you began with your child in middle school regarding college and
- Most high school courses in the core subjects have an honors level. Initial course placement is based on student performance and
teacher recommendation. Input from parents/guardians is always welcomed.
- If your student is interested in playing college athletics then they must register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Students must meet specific academic requirements in order to be eligible.
- In high school, regular attendance is
required and necessary for academic success. Regulations
regarding high school attendance are available on the AACPS
Board of Education Policies and Administrative Regulations
- Most post-secondary programs expect that
students will participate in a challenging educational program
throughout their high school experience. While seniors who have
met most or all of their graduation requirements can opt for a
partial schedule, it is highly recommended that they take a full
schedule, opt for early college access at AACC, or pursue an
internship that will provide them with experience in their
chosen field of study.
Important to Success
Academic behaviors are important to school success. As students move through elementary to high school, they need to learn to develop independent work habits.
The following are four academic behaviors that will help your child achieve success in school:
For many students, academic challenges are related more to a lack of organization than a lack of intellectual ability. Your child may need assistance learning how to use binders or folders to get organized. Using an agenda book to track assignments on a regular basis helps students stay organized.
- Time Management
Learning to organize time to be productive takes practice and experience. Together, develop a schedule for nightly activities including homework and help your child stick to this schedule. When students receive a large assignment, help may be needed in breaking the assignments into smaller pieces to get them done.
Most students say they want to do well in school but don’t know how to make it happen. The reason is often motivation. Tapping into and linking your child’s interests to academics is a great way to get him or her geared up to do well in school and makes learning more interesting.
Attendance plays a vital role in academic achievement. When students miss school for all or part of the day, he or she misses out on meaningful instructional time. Parents can encourage proper attendance by ensuring their child:
- Gets enough rest
- Wakes up to their own alarm clock to get to school on time
- Eats a healthy breakfast
Attendance habits established from elementary school through high school have a direct impact on success post-graduation.