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:
Updated   November 24, 2017 |
5 Things You Must Not Do With Personal Technology
Young people take personal technology devices for granted. We parents and teachers must make them aware of how such devices are used in the real world.

Most private schools have an Acceptable Use Policy in place governing the use of technology. That means that students in private schools must follow their school's guidelines and directives when it comes to using personal technology. Personal technology includes devices such as laptops, desktop computers, tablets, smartphones. What is somewhat perplexing to many mature teachers is that none of these devices were in common use ten years ago. The reality is that young people have all some or all of these devices and use them naturally, freely and without much thought. Using technology is second nature to students these days.

As a rule, there are limits on these devices and their use in private schools. Let's look at five things you are not supposed to do with personal technology. Breaking the rules in your school could land you in a heap of trouble, including expulsion. If you are a parent, review her school's personal technology use policy. Then discuss the policy with your child. Help her understand the rules, the limits and the reasons why the school has a technology policy. Remind her further that she has no rights in a private school. So if the school disciplines her for an infraction, there is very little or no recourse. That is because private school students are covered by contract law. The rights and privileges are spelled out in detail in the contract which you signed with the school. She does not have constitutional rights per se.  The contract is a

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Updated   June 25, 2014 |
What's In A Grade?
The letter grade at one school may or may not be the same as the letter grade scheme at another school. Some answers to the inconsistencies here.
Most schools use letter grades these days. But not every school uses the same letter grade scheme. This can cause problems when it comes time to send transcripts off to college admissions offices. The A at one school may not be equivalent to the A at another school.
 
The most common grade scheme is the following:

A+  97-100
A    93-96
A-   90-92
B+  87-89
B    83-86
B-   80-82
C+  77-79
C    73-76
C-   70-72
D+  67-69
D    63-66
D-   60-62
F     Below 60

If your school uses a variation of this scheme, then be sure to send a key or explanation sheet attached to each transcript. Failure to do so could cause mis-interpretation of students' results.
 
How does this tie in with GPA?
GPA or Grade Point Average is numerical equivalent of all your letter grades totalled and averaged. The numerical equivalents for letter grades are as follows:
A = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0
 
So, in theory if an A is 4.0, an A+ is higher. At some institutions that is the case. To put grades into perspective most graduate schools will require a 3.0 GPA for admission. American public schools set the benchmark at 1.0 for graduation.
Updated   December 22, 2017 |
Preventing Teen Suicide
Teen suicide is the 3rd largest killer of young adults between the ages of 15-24. It can be prevented.
Every year there are reports of private school students taking their own lives. Suicide casts a terrible pall over any school community. It just seems so pointless, so senseless. Yet, had members of the community acted on the signals the young person was most likely sending, that suicide could have been prevented.
 
The academic work in private school can be very heavy. The pressures to succeed, to get into the best college, to not let parents and others down combined with the reality of adolescent uncertainities can create a climate for depression. Depression can lead to suicide. But suicide is preventable.
 
Suicide is preventable.
 
Suicide is the 3rd largest killer of young adults between the ages of 15-24. But teen suicide is preventable. You just have to know the warning signs. The following information from Kids Health tells you what to look for.
 
"Suicide among teens often happens after a stressful life event, such as problems at school, a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a major family conflict.

Teens who are thinking about suicide might:

  • talk about suicide or death in general
  • give hints that they might not be around anymore
  • talk about feeling hopeless or feeling guilty
  • pull away from friends or family
  • write songs, poems, or letters about death, separation, and loss
  • start giving away treasured possessions to siblings or friends
  • lose the desire to take part in favorite things or activities
  • have trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
  • experience changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • engage in risk-taking
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Updated   May 06, 2016 |
Cellphones In School
Cellphones are leading the wave of the future. Convergence is here. It is changing the way students learn and how teachers teach.
Read the educational listservs these days and you realize hat iPhones are leading the convergence charge. The Blackberry revolutionized the way business stays connected. The iPhone is doing the same thing in education. Actually cellphones in general keep students connected in ways we never would have thought possible even 5 years ago.
 
Cellphones' big advantage when it comes to learning is that you don't have to build any local infrastructure. In other words you don't have to wire buildings and set up servers to support a cellphone. The cellphone service provider does that. There's still a ways to go but it won't be much longer before teachers will routinely deliver information and content via students' iPhones or similar devices.

The text novel craze which started in Japan a year or so ago has spread to the U.S. Do we care that kids are writing in this specific genre? Not at all! The point is that they are writing! Writing with passion and with a vengeance. Writing the way they want to. How extraordinary.

Back to cellphones.These handheld devices are revolutionizing the way we live and the way we teach.Whether it is an iPod, an eeePC or an iPhone, it is getting smaller by the year. It is incorporating more functionality and power and features.

Convergence. Now that's a good thing.
Updated   May 25, 2016 |
My Child Has Been Expelled For Smoking Pot!
If your child is caught smoking pot or drinking on her private school campus, the consequences will be severe.
We parents hold our breath as our children enter the teenage years. They face so many temptations. They cope with so much peer pressure. Popular culture bombards them with notions of what is acceptable and what's cool. What's a parent to do? Sometimes it seems as though we are swimming against the tide. A very strong tide.
 
Regardless of what pressures our teenagers face, our job as responsible parents is to teach our children that there will be consequences for their actions. Some consequences are positive. Others will be negative. For example, when our teenagers learn to drive, they are taught that it is illegal to run a red light. Or to drink and drive. Those consequences seem pretty obvious. Most teenagers, but not all, tend to obey those basic rules. That's the point. We try very hard to teach our teenagers that rules are there for a purpose. You perhaps many not agree with the reason for the rule. You do, however, have to be aware of the rules and obey them.
But what about the consequences our children might face for breaking the rules in a private school? You see, private and publc schools are very different when it comes to discipline. The difference between public and private school becomes even more noticeable when it comes to the handling of the big issues such as substance abuse among other disciplinary matters. There will be immediate consequences in most private schools for infractions of the
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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.