Some of this information comes from Kids Health website. If you would like to read the entire article, click on the following link. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/school-help-teens.html Additional information specific to West High has been added as well.
- Attend Back-to-School Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences
Students do better with parent support. West High will be holding Parent/Teacher Conferences on Tuesday, October 10, and Thursday, October 12. Tuesday conferences will run from 4:00 to 7:30. Thursday’s conferences begin at noon and continue until 8:00. If you are unable to attend conferences at these times, contact your student’s teachers. They will be happy to share information with you. It is tempting, because of Infinite Campus, to believe that conferences aren’t necessary. However, while Infinite Campus can give you the scores for the assignment, it can’t give information about how to help your student improve his academic efforts.
- Get Involved
In addition to attending parent/teacher conferences, there are other ways to be involved. West High has a number of booster clubs. To find out more information, go to this site: https://www.waterlooschools.org/schoolsites/westhigh/?s=booster+clubs
- Instill Organizational Skills
Oftentimes, schoolwork has been completed, but students don’t turn it in. Help your student be organized by providing necessary notebooks, binders, etc. It is harder for parents to do back to school shopping at the high school level because schools no longer provide supply lists. Most teachers have supply expectations designed to help keep course work organized. Helping your student be organized by subject will help them succeed.
- Know the Disciplinary and Bullying Policies
While students don’t always believe it, rules are in place to maintain the best learning environment possible. One change this year has been the elimination of phones during class time. Please encourage your student to follow behavior expectations. Teachers have a limited amount of time to cover the curriculum, and disruptions impede everyone’s education. Additionally, distractions like phones keep students from doing their best work.
- Make Time to Talk About School
Students spend a great deal of time away from their families. Between school, extra-curricular activities, jobs, church activities, etc., it is important to stay connected. Try to discuss how school is going with your student. Ask him/her what he/she did during school. (Please don’t believe him/her when he/she says nothing. We assure you that he/she was learning.) Make sure to take the time to give him/her your full attention so he/she understands how seriously you take his/her education.
- Offer Help with Studying
It is tempting to think that you can no longer help with homework or studying when students get to high school. I know that when my niece asked for help with Algebra, I momentarily froze. Offer to help your student study for tests by helping them create flashcards, asking them questions from the study notes, etc. If you feel you can’t help, contact the teacher to see what help is available at school. Most students at West have a seminar period when core teachers are available to help students. At the 9th and 10th-grade level, these are often the teachers who instruct the students. Anyone can help. (I remember asking my mother to help me review for a college quiz. I needed to memorize the countries of Africa. I provided her a map of the continent with the names while I pointed to countries on my blank map and said the name. At first she answered my request for help by saying that she couldn’t do it. Thanks to her help, I ended up with an A on the quiz and in the course.)
- Send Your Teen to School Ready to Learn
Make sure that your student gets a good night’s sleep and eats a good breakfast. Longer attention spans and the ability to concentrate will be the result. The use of Chromebooks means that they need to be fully charged for the day’s instruction. You can help by making sure they are ready.
- Support Homework Expectations
Talk to your student on a regular basis about homework. Provide a quiet area to study. Remove distractions like phones, TVs, or other electronic devices. Check Infinite Campus on a regular basis to make sure that assignments are being turned in on time. If you see a disconnect between when your student says and what Infinite Campus says, contact the teacher for clarification.
- Take Attendance Seriously
One of the greatest indicators of student success is the attendance record. While teachers are more than willing to help students make up missing work, it is harder to provide entire lessons. The more course time the student misses, the less opportunity to master the course work. Make sure your student is getting a good night’s sleep and eating balanced meals. If there is a chronic health issue, make sure the school and teachers are aware so that the student is given the opportunity to succeed.
- Visit the School and Its Website
If you are reading this article, it is clear that you have found the website. Take time to visit the various pages to find information about how to contact teachers, calendars of events, etc. Scholarships, schedule for seniors, and financial aid information are located on the counselor’s site.