Transitioning to the High School

School supplies are going to vary with each class. However, general supplies are suggested below.

  • Two-pocket folders for each subject area

  • Spiral notebook for each subject

  • Pens and pencils (no need for a variety of colors)

  • Highlighters

  • 3-hole punch

  • 3-ring binders (see below)

  • Calculator - before buying something really expensive, talk with the math teacher. Opinions vary with the level of math class.

  • Colored pencils, ruler, protractor, compass - keep these things at home. Don't buy new items if you still have them from middle school.

  • All students will receive a school daily planner which they will be required to carry

Organization is an individual thing; we all do it differently. However, after quizzing my seniors and juniors, here's what they have to say.

For classes:

  • Use your planner every day!! Write down assignments; it's an important habit to get into (every student said this).

  • Ditch the trapper keeper! Most are too large for the high school lockers anyway and become a fire hazard (cluttered with paper).

  • Buy a 3-ring binder for each subject. In the binder, keep your folder, spiral, handouts etc… Binders are mandatory for some classes.

  • If you don't want to try the binder system for each class, purchase 3 or 5 subject spiral notebooks. Use one for your morning classes and one for your afternoon classes.

  • Color code supplies for each class i.e. red folder and spiral for math, blue for English, green for social studies etc… That way you look for a color and not the title or name.

  • Cover your textbooks with plain paper and write the subject and title on the spine (texts have to be covered anyway).

  • Utilize a small pencil holder and keep it stocked. Take it to class.

  • Don't keep papers in your textbooks!!!!

In your locker:

  • Plan to go to your locker 4 times a day - before school, before and after lunch, after school. Don't waste time by going after every class.

  • Buy locker shelves (save your receipt in case they don't fit).

  • Use a dry erase board to write things to remember i.e. “put money in lunch account, turn in WIAA card, remember picture day…”

  • Buy magnets to hang up things - you can't use tape or glue (anything that leaves a residue).

  • Not a necessity but nice - purchase a mirror and magnetic basket for things such as a hair brush, loose pens, pencils etc…

  • Post it notes come in handy.

  • Sharing lockers is a bad idea!!

Keeping organized at school is one thing. Remembering those things once you get home is another! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Post the school calendar in a prominent place at home.

  • Mark due dates for long-term assignments.

  • Highlight commitments i.e. concerts, home athletic events, parent/teacher conferences. If you like to color code things - yellow for days off of school, red for athletics, blue for concerts - go crazy!

  • Post your school schedule at home. Include the names of your teachers. Write down the time you have lunch. Also include your locker number and combination. If you're home ill, this will be important info for your parents to have!

  • If you have a home computer with Internet access, bookmark the district web page and post your family access password. Use it to check your grades on a regular basis.

  • Post teacher emails. Parents can email teachers from the district website; you must include your email in the body of the message in order to get a response.

  • Maintain a study spot. Is this your room? The living room table? Keep it clutter free, stress free and free from distractions!

  • Keep your backpack and things for school in the same place. In the morning, you can grab your backpack and go without having to take time to look for keys, books, or athletic gear.

  • Plan after school snacks or lunches week by week. If you need something to eat before practice, stock up at home. Keep those things handy so you can quickly stuff them in your backpack for that after school time.

  • Regularly get rid of clutter by cleaning out backpacks and lockers. Hold onto old tests (3-hole punch them and put them in a binder or folder for when you study for your semester finals). Toss what you don't need.

  • Talk about school at home. Parents are a huge part of student success. Involved parents help students to plan and be organized (that doesn't include running to the school with forgotten assignments and lunches).

High School is different than middle school. Teachers lecture, students must take notes, there are long-term projects, extra curricular events occur after 6:30 pm leaving little time for homework, and late assignments are downgraded. Learning to prioritize is important:

  • Use a monthly calendar - write down due dates of long term projects

  • Make a list

  • Decide what is most important - what needs to be done first

Did you know that…

  • High school grades become a part of your permanent record that is forwarded to colleges and employers.

  • Your cumulative grade point average (GPA) is an average of semester grades.

  • Your cumulative GPA determines class rank.

  • There are three sets of bathrooms in the high school, not including the locker rooms.

  • There are 4 minutes between classes and it takes 1 min. 45 seconds to leisurely walk around the building.

Some final words of wisdom from upperclassmen:

  • Do your assignments right away when you get them!

  • Smart kids ask questions - go in for extra help when you need it!! It also shows teachers that you care.

  • Some kids don't ask for help because they feel dumb; Get over it plus asking questions is good practice for college or that job later on! Ask your teacher when you can see them and get help.

  • Ask for assignments when you are sick - teachers won't just tell you.

  • If you have ten minutes at the end of the period, use it - don't sit and talk with your friends!

  • Don't set your lock - stuff will get stolen.

  • When you get stressed out, talk with an adult. It helps to put things in perspective.

Thanks to those upper classmen for their words of wisdom!