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  1. HIGH SCHOOL 411ACADEMICS A Presentation by Parent University Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System


  3. Attendance in High Schools Ideally, high school students will be in attendance for each of their classes every day. Realistically, students sometimes become ill, or have family emergencies that may not allow them to attend classes every day. Students in high school cannot miss more than 10 days (whether excused or unexcused) in any one class without recovering the days missed.

  4. Attendance RecoveryMost high schools have recovery, but some may not. If a student misses more than 10 days in any class, that student must make up the days missed, hour for hour, after school. Transportation home is NOT provided. If the student does not recover absences in excess of 10, that student may receive an automatic “F” for that course. Example: Rick, a 10th grader, missed 12 days in his Algebra I class because he became sick (missed 7 days) and had a death in the family (missed 5 days because his family had to go out of state to attend the funeral). He needed to stay after school for one and one-half hours on two different days to recover his absences in his Algebra I class. Rick did not recover his absences over 10. Rick’s grade in Algebra I was a “B”. The final grade Rick received on his report card and his high school transcript was an “F” because he did not make up the 2 extra days (over 10 days) that he missed. Since Rick needed Algebra I to be promoted, he was also placed in a 10th grade homeroom again the following school year.

  5. If My Child Is Absent, How Do They Get Their Missed Assignments ? • Call the school and/or email the student’s teachers. Tell them why your student is absent and when you expect them to return. Some assignments may have to be picked up from the school, while others may be emailed to the student. • Students have 5 school days to make up work once they return to school. The student MUST ask the teacher for missed assignments. The teacher WILL NOT provide assignments to students who do not ask for them. • If missed assignments are not completed and turned in within 5 school days, the student could receive a grade of zero for that assignment.

  6. Important Facts About High School Academics • Grades are cumulative and are earned beginning with a student’s first day in the ninth grade. • 1 class that a student has completed and passed = 1 credit. EXCEPTION: Some classes are double-blocked, meaning the student may earn 2 credits or 1 credit, depending upon the type of the class.

  7. Student Schedules English I World History Aerobics I Physical Conditioning I Sociology Algebra I Health/PE Aerobics I Physical Conditioning IV Earth/Environmental Science

  8. What is the difference between a 4 x 4 class and an A/B day class ? • 4 x 4 classes meet 90 minutes every day for one semester (one-half of the school year). When the semester ends, the student earns one high school credit, if he/she receives a passing grade. • A/B day classes meet throughout the entire year, but only meet every other day for 90 minutes. When the year ends, the student earns one high school credit, if he/she receives a passing grade.

  9. Can Students Take Both 4 x 4 and A/B Day Classes? YES !!! Students can, and usually do, take both 4 x 4 and A/B day classes. If a student takes an A/B day class, however, the student must take two of these classes – one for A day and another for B day.

  10. 4 x 4 Classes Core classes that are graduation requirements, such as English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Career & Technical Education Classes 9th Grade Health/PE Some schools provide additional 4 x 4 options A/B Day Classes Band, Orchestra, ROTC, PE Elective classes, Art courses, and Theatre classes. Most Advanced Placement (AP) classes Some schools provide additional A/B day class options. Examples of Classes

  11. High School Transcripts Why is there so much talk about high school transcripts?

  12. High School Transcripts • Trade schools, Community colleges, Universities, and the Military all look at a student’s transcript to identify strengths and weaknesses. • Strengths and weaknesses are identified through the courses selected by the student and grades earned.

  13. Example: Alisha chose to apply to a four-year university but wanted to have a 4.00 GPA in high school. She, therefore, did not enroll in the most challenging courses. Alisha elected to take ALL standard level classes, even though she earned A’s in all of them. The universities she applied to, when reviewing her transcript, felt that Alisha did not prepare herself for college because she took courses that were not challenging to her. John wanted to go to a technical school and major in engineering. He knew that engineering required a strong foundation in math. John chose to take the most challenging math classes available to him, even though he could have elected to take easier math courses. This was noted by the technical school that accepted him, and they rewarded him with a scholarship.

  14. What’s the answer? Challenging courses with lower grades or less challenging courses with higher grades? It is always best to take challenging courses, but only in those classes that a student feels confident that they will succeed. For instance, if a student has a D in Spanish III and the student worked hard to earn the D, Spanish IV may not be a choice the student should make.


  16. How Are Grades Earned in High School ? • Students earn grades in high school, using the same grading scale that was used in CMS middle schools (see below). 93 – 100 = A 85 - 92 = B 77 - 84 = C 70 - 76 = D Below 70 = F (No credit given for course)

  17. Graduation Requirements • Entry year 2009 to present = 24 credits • Entry year 2008 and earlier = 28 credits

  18. End of Course Tests “EOC” • Required for graduation • 2012 Freshman class and earlier = English I, English II, Algebra I, and Biology • 2013 Freshman class and later = English II, Algebra I, and Biology

  19. Promotion • 9th to 10th grade - 6 total credits (including 2 EOCs) • 10th to 11th grade - 12 total credits (including English I, English II, and Algebra I) and 2 High School Exit Standards (EOCs). • 11th to 12th grade - 18 total credits (including all those requirements for 10th to 11th grade) and 3 High School Exit Standards (EOCs).

  20. What is the Difference Between Weighted and Unweighted Grades? • Students who choose to take an Honors, AP, or IB level course receive higher points for grades earned in those classes. • This can increase a student’s Grade Point Average and Class Rank.

  21. WEIGHTED Honors Courses A = 5 points B = 4 points C = 3 points D = 2 points F = 0 points AP and IB Courses A = 6 points B = 5 points C = 4 points D = 3 points F = 0 points UNWEIGHTED A = 4 points B = 3 points C = 2 points D = 1 point F = 0 points Weighted Grades vs. Unweighted Grades

  22. How Is a GPA and a Class Rank Determined ? • GPA = Grade Point Average This is a calculation of letter grades for all courses in high school, converted to numbers (using the charts on the previous slides), added together, and divided by the total number of classes taken. • Class Rank = A listing of GPAs for students ranked from the highest GPA to the lowest GPA in each grade (12th grade, 11th grade, etc.). Colleges may use this number for admissions.

  23. Important Facts About High School Grades • Extra credit is rarely, if ever, given to students. Do not expect the teacher to provide a student with extra credit to raise a poor grade. • Grades are determined by the teacher. • Grades are calculated using the following formula: In 4 x 4 courses: 1st semester numerical grade consists of 80% from regular classroom performance (homework, class work, projects, tests, and quizzes) and 20% from the mid-term exam. Final grades for 4 x 4 courses = 37.5% from 1st semester grade PLUS 37.5% from 2nd semester numerical grade PLUS 25% from the final exam or EOC

  24. Grades For A/B Day Classes Are Calculated Slightly Differently • FINAL grade consists of calculation of four quarter grades (includes homework, class work, tests, projects, and quizzes), mid-term exams, and the final exam. The final exam counts as 25% of the final grade.

  25. How Does Homework Affect A Student’s Grade in High School • Homework is not only for practice anymore!! • Homework is often factored into a student’s grade, so completing ALL of the assigned homework is a MUST !! • Most teachers in high school will not accept late homework – even if it is one day late (unless the student has a valid, excused absence). • Copying another student’s homework or allowing another student to copy your homework is considered cheating. Cheating results in 2 days of in-school suspension and a ZERO on the assignment.

  26. How Much Do Tests Count? • Each department determines how much tests, homework, class work, and other assignments count towards the final grade. For example, the Math Department in CMS has a policy that states that math tests count 70% of a student’s final grade. Homework, class work, quizzes, and other assignments make up the remaining 30%. • The class outline provided your student by their teacher will state how assignments are weighted.

  27. Never Receive a Report Card ??? The report card schedule is listed in several places: -- CMS calendar -- CMS webpage -- School website Be certain to note these dates and ask your student for his report card on the dates indicated. Progress reports are also provided several times throughout the year. 2012-13 Report Card Dates November 8, 2012 January 31, 2013 April 17, 2013 End of June, 2012 2012013 Progress Report Dates September 25-26, 2012 December 10-11, 2012 February 25-26, 2013 May 2-3, 2013

  28. What do I do if my student needs help with their assignments? • Tutoring is usually available for all students during after school hours, though individual schools may offer tutoring differently. Tutoring is provided free of charge, though transportation home is not available in most schools. • Example: Sonya does not understand how to do her math assignment. Sonya also needs help completing her English paper. She looks at her high school website and notices that After School Tutoring is offered for Math on Tuesdays and English on Wednesdays. Sonya goes to school and asks her teacher if she can stay after school for tutoring. The teacher is then aware that Sonya is planning to stay and helps prepare things to help Sonya. Sonya stayed on Tuesday to receive Math help, and then on Wednesday and received help with her English paper.

  29. Parent Assistant • Internet program to monitor grades and attendance. • You will need the student ID#, valid email address, and code. - The main office will let you know who to speak with to obtain the code. - Can be used to monitor all students in CMS no matter the grade level.

  30. More on Parent Assistant • Use as a tool for open dialogue between you and your child. • Have student take active role in monitoring grades online, helps to catch errors. • If grade is not posted, it does NOT mean student did not do work. May not be updated yet by teacher. • Questions need to be directed to the teacher for clarification.

  31. Other Academic Resources • Textbooks often have references to websites that provide additional help for students. • Some school clubs offer Peer Tutoring. • Different high schools offer a variety of academic resources. Check with your child’s counselor to access these.

  32. Additional Resources, cont’d. • Before school, help is sometimes available to students, depending upon the teacher’s schedule and responsibilities. Students need to check with their teacher to see if this is an option. • Counselors are available to offer study tips, test taking hints, and other pertinent information. • Parent-Teacher Conferences are a valuable resource for parents to hear how their child is performing in a classroom. Techniques are often provided to help your child study. Parent-Teacher Conferences can be set up by contacting the school.


  34. Proven Techniques to Perform Well on Tests • Study each day. Students need to review the material covered in class daily, practice math problems, and highlight key points to look over again before tests. • Make and use flash cards. Making flash cards and reviewing these daily helps students remember important facts, and reduces the overwhelming burden of “cramming” before a test. • Don’t take the easy way out. When reviewing flash cards daily, don’t try to remember the one-word answer. Instead, try to remember the definition or phrase. • Keep your assignments organized. Students who keep their assignments organized in one central location perform better in the classroom. Use of a calendar or agenda is IMPORTANT to success !!!

  35. Note Taking and Tests • Keep notes on class lectures. Writing notes helps students visualize what they hear. Some students learn best by hearing rather than reading. A tip to help these students is to audiotape themselves reading their notes. Then listen to the audiotape each day to help remember key information. • Notes should include: key points, everything the teacher writes on the board, and answers to questions that were discussed in class.

  36. When Studying, Don’t Forget To: • Review the study guide, if provided by the teacher. • Study with friends who perform similar or better than you, if this is helpful. • When studying math, work the odd problems from the texts because you can check your answer in the back of the book.

  37. PARENTS, Don’t Fall For This !! Students often say that they study better with distractions such as the TV, IPOD, cell phone, computer, etc. This is usually more of a habit than a help to students. Encourage them to break this habit and study in a quiet area. As an example, how many wrecks are caused because of distractions such as cell phones, radios, CD players, etc. ?

  38. Options After High School How To Help Students Plan For The Future

  39. First Step • Identify interests of the student This can be accomplished through personal experiences, and/or career interest inventories, and/or courses taken in which the student seems interested.

  40. 1. Clubs and organizations, both in school and out of school. Mecklenburg Youth Voice = experience in community decision-making, team-building, and the political process. Boy/Girl Scouts = community service in diversified areas Academic Internships = students are placed in unpaid internships through CMS beginning in the 2nd semester of their sophomore year. School clubs = exposure to a variety of interests. How Does My Student Get Personal Experiences?

  41. Career Interest Inventories Students can pinpoint areas of interest by completing a career interest inventory. Some free career interest inventories can be found at the following websites:

  42. High School Courses Students can select a variety of courses to help them determine interest in a career. Examples of courses: Human Anatomy, Horticulture, Computer Engineering Technology, Fashion Merchandising, Small Business Entrepreneurship, AP Government, AP Economics, etc., etc.

  43. Second Step • Determine the type of classes needed to advance towards the chosen career. • Determine the type of education and/or experiences needed for success in the chosen career. • Explore the requirements for being accepted into the educational program or career program. • Communicate, either by telephone or email, with the college or career program of interest, to keep abreast of changing requirements.

  44. Third Step • Select the appropriate high school classes associated with the chosen career. • Select the clubs, organizations, or other experiences to encourage success in the career field. • Meet application deadlines.

  45. List of Options • 4-year University • 2-year Technical School • 2-year Community College • Trade or Business School • Military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, et. Al) • Employment/Career (On-the-Job Training, Job leading to a career)

  46. Preparing to attend a four-year-college • Find out information about the colleges to which your child wants to apply. • Visit the colleges. If you cannot visit immediately, go on a virtual tour. Many colleges have websites that you can visit. You can also visit . This is a free website with a lot of information about colleges in North Carolina. • What were the competitive scores of the college’s previous year’s freshman? • What are the demographics? Is this the perfect fit for my child? • Is the college affordable? What are some merit scholarships, need based scholarships?

  47. Outside of academics, CollegeEntrance Tests are key to admittance to a 4-year university

  48. SAT Consists of three components: Critical Reading, Math, and Written Language. Math covers subjects through Algebra II. Accepted by all colleges and universities. Students in high school should take this test in the spring of their junior year. They should retake this test in the fall of their senior year. Most colleges will accept the highest score in each section of the test. For example, if a student scored a 500 on Critical Reading the first time and a 600 on Critical Reading the second time, the college will accept the 600. If this same student scored a 750 on Math the first time and a 600 on Math the second time, the college will add the 750 for Math from the first test, to the 600 for Critical Reading from the second test, for a total SAT score of 1350. The SAT focuses more on critical thinking skills and the test consists of 10 timed sections, plus writing. ACT Consists of five components: English, Math, Science, Grammar, and Writing. Math covers subjects through Algebra II. Accepted by most colleges and universities. Wake Forest University will not accept the ACT. Students in high school should take this test at lease once in either the spring or their junior year or the fall of their senior year. If the student scores better on the ACT than the SAT, then the student may want to retake the ACT rather than the SAT. Most colleges look at the Composite Score as the score for acceptance. The ACT focuses more on academics and consists of four timed sections, plus writing. The ACT is the test more commonly known in the central part of the United States. The SAT and the ACTTests necessary for admission to colleges and universities

  49. New Information About How Colleges Will Be Viewing the SAT and ACT Test Results Per the Admissions Counselor at UNC-G, students who submit both the ACT and the SAT results for admission MAY be required to take the test with the lowest score over again before being admitted. Other UNC system schools are expected to implement this policy soon. Example: Leslie took the ACT and the SAT, sending both test results to UNCG as part of her admissions packet. Leslie scored lowest on the ACT. Her SAT score was higher but slightly lower than what UNCG requires for admission. UNCG required Leslie to retake the ACT before being admitted to their university.

  50. CPCC, Technical, or Trade Schools