High School Issues

Learn more about high school academics, discipline policies and other issues relevant to private schools. Here we cover dress codes, explain the difference between AP and IB courses and discuss teen suicide. You’ll also find information on study abroad programs, codes of conduct and the best graduation gifts.
View the most popular articles in High School Issues:
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5 Ways To Protect Your Child From Bullying
Bullying lurks everywhere. Learn the warning signs and how to protect your child.

When you send your child to a private day or boarding school, you might well assume that bullying is a non-issue. You have read the school's discipline code. You understand the consequences for major infractions of that discipline code. In the McCallie Student Handbook, "Hazing or mistreating another person, whether it is mental, physical, or emotional" is a major infraction. Private schools take discipline code infractions such as bullying, intimidation, harassment and so on, very seriously. Perhaps you still have concerns about what might happen if your child is bullied and nobody in the school community notices. Let's review five ways to protect your child from bullying.

Be able to identify the types of bullying.

Start by reading an informative article such as Sherri Gordon's 6 Types of Bullying Every Parent Should Know About  If you grew up before computers and the internet flourished, you probably think that bullying is threatening somebody physically. But it is now much more than that. Bullying lurks in the digital corners of your child's online life. Learn about those dark spaces. Understand them. Talk about them with your child. Your child's well-being, indeed, her life, is at stake.

Know the warning signs of bullying.

Read Warning Signs of Bullying on Violence Prevention Works! I can speak from my personal experience because I was bullied when I was in 6th grade. What made it rough for me was that my neighbor across the street was the bullier. He

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A Look At An Athletic Academy
 
Editor's note: I recently asked Bobby Bossman, Director of SPIRE Academy, to explain and outline the kind of athletic programs and training which the Institute offers. It is one of dozens of athletic institutes around the country which give young women and men the chance to see whether they have the right stuff to take it a step further. ~Rob
 
1. How does a specialty institute such as Spire Institute handle the balance of academics and athletic training?
 
By having flexibility with each student's time and the ability to create custom daily schedules, our staff can plan the most appropriate training day unique to each student-athlete.  Some athletes may require more or less time in academic training based on progress.  We have the ability to accommodate accordingly by infusing more academic time when needed and allowing those who are ahead academically extra periods of athletic training.  This is versus the traditional high school setting that blocks students into a 7:30am-3:30pm structured school day before athletic activities even begin.  
 
SPIRE also has the ability to condense the academic portion of the day by removing some filler blocks such as study halls and P.E. classes to allow athletes opportunities to train in the mornings as well when their bodies are physically the freshest.
 
How do you advise your young athletes regarding their academics?
 
All of our student-athletes are advised to complete all require core courses as per the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  NCAA schools require college-bound student-athlete to build a foundation of high school
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How To Improve Your SSAT Verbal Score
The experts at Noodle Pros show us how to improve verbal scores on one of the most widely-used private school standardized admissions tests, the SSAT.

Editor's note: I asked the experts at Noodle Pros to show us how to improve verbal scores on one of the most widely-used private school standardized admissions tests, the SSAT. I am most grateful to Rebecca Scott, Clarissa Constantine, Travis Chamberlain, Karen Lister, Loren Dunn, Jonathan Arak, Garrick Trapp and Neil Seltzer for their invaluable advice and expertise. ~Rob Kennedy

1. Make learning vocabulary a family competition.

Pick two to five words a day and keep track of who in the family uses the words correctly the most. Players get extra credit for using 2 or more words in one sentence. The more students can hear words in context, the better they will be able to remember the meaning. Let your child choose the prize for the week's winner. To improve reading skills, have children read short online articles to you and explain what they mean. Ask what the main idea is and ask how the main idea is supported. - Rebecca Scott, 17 Years Tutoring

2. Study root words.

You may not know what malfeasance is, but if you recognize 'mal' you'll know that it has a negative connotation - Clarissa Constantine, 18 Years Tutoring

3. Create a word journal.

You don't have to know a new word every time you hear it, but you should write it down and then create a flashcard for each word. Memory tricks are helpful. Example: The mean truck driver was feeling truculent. - Travis Chamberlain, 15 Years Tutoring

4. Read articles, not vocabulary lists.

Lists

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The A-B-C's of Tutoring
Like most things these days, tutoring comes in a variety of methods and formats. We explore your options so that you can decide which one is right for you.

Having raised four children, I can tell you that occasionally you will have to think seriously about providing some kind of tutoring for your child. Now, don't confuse tutoring with the specialized help which your child will require if she has special needs or learning difficulties. That is a completely different situation. I have written about that in When Should You Consider A Special Needs School

Why does your child need a tutor?

Think of tutoring as that extra help your child needs to master a skill or to understand a concept. I know that you are probably wondering why your child can't get by with the teaching she receives every day at her school. Truthfully, her teachers may be providing about 90% of what she needs to learn something. Now, I am not knocking your child's teachers. The reality is that every child learns differently. And sometimes it simply takes a little longer for the light to go on, for that "Eureka!" moment we all have when suddenly we get it.

In this brief video Alex of Prepped & Polished offers three characteristics to look for when you engage a tutor.

Personally, I used to struggle with learning history in high school. It most likely had something to do with the very dry presentation of world history which was in fashion back in the early 60s. But history began to make sense when an expert lecturer used a timeline to explain the events

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10 Things To Do Before You Graduate
This is a very practical list of things you must do before you graduate. The items on this list will enhance your college applications.

Have you seen some of those lists with titles like 50 Things You Must Do Before You Graduate From College? I like the idea of lists. It keeps me focused. But honestly a couple of those lists I read made me wonder what on earth were they thinking. With tuition and fees running $50,000 and more at a private college, I thought that most of the items were a total waste of time and effort. Consequently, I offer the following worthwhile things to do before you graduate from private school.

Earn strong SAT scores.

This assumes that you are attending a school which prepares you for the SAT which is one of the standardized tests you take as part of getting admitted to college. The SAT just like the LSAT or GMAT tests your knowledge gained over several years. While you can certainly take a couple of practice tests to get a feel for the test and working to the clock, really the best preparation for the SAT is your day by day conscientious learning. You cannot cram SAT preparation.

Offer 5 or more AP's.

If you are in a high school which teaches Advanced Placement courses, then try your very hardest to take 5 AP courses. They are a lot of work. Some are very difficult. The upside is that colleges recognize the AP standard and may give you credit for introductory courses in the subjects you took APs in depending on your score. 

Here is what

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High School Issues

Academics

A comprehensive look at high school academics. We cover grades, AP and IB courses, and the post graduate year. Learn the secrets of A+ students. Explore summer abroad programs, read interviews with experts and get valuable tips on excelling academically.

Discipline

A brief look into high school discipline policies. From codes of conduct to uniforms and dress code, we'll provide information on the latest practices in private schools.

Other Issues

From graduation gifts to preventing teen suicide, this section provides information on a variety of topics affecting high school students. Learn what to do when your child is expelled, you need financial aid or you’re looking for a teaching job. Get expert advice on protecting your teen from substance abuse, finding the right high school and handling personal technology on campus.