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Guest Editorial: Recommendations to parents of incoming ninth grade students

I would like to extend a very special congratulations to all of our Gadsden County schools for their performance in the recently-released school grades.

We made remarkable gains in all of our schools, especially at Gadsden County High School, which made a “C” under the leadership of Principal Juliette Fisher Jackson, her administrative team, teachers, students and parents.

As one of the five school board members, I know these accomplishments could not have been done without the vision of Superintendent Roger P. Milton; the support of the entire community; the employees; the parents; the students; and our faith-based partners. Therefore, let’s celebrate all schools in the district for their accomplishments and especially, to you, our parents for entrusting your children to our care.

The 2018-2019 new school year is right around the corner, with a continuation of “out-of-the-box thinking” expected at Gadsden County High School, where rigorous and exciting initiatives are being planned to maintain and continue the growth of the school as it welcomes our graduating eighth-grade students.

Now, ninth grade is next and it is extremely important for the parents of high school freshmen to support their children – now more than ever.

Parents should begin by staying on top of what is going on with their children. High school is the next vital stage in your children’s educational life, so remember to check but verify what’s going on with your children.

Do not leave it up to your children to find out the information for you. It is your responsibility to find out what the school offers and what is expected of you and your children to continue their success in school and life.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Ask questions, stay informed, and most of all, stay involved.

Build relationships with your children’s teachers and, definitely, their guidance counselors as well.

Check with your child, but verify with the school concerning the following:
• Academics – 9-week grades, GPA, Credits needed to graduate (Use Skyward to find out your children’s grades, attendance and so much more).
• The school having your correct address and phone number is serious. Your children’s attendance is mandatory with consequences to be levied for absences according to the school and district’s policies.
• Your children’s attitude is important, as well as their reaction to discipline and following the school rules.
• Bright Futures Scholarship requirements and other scholarship offerings for college.
• ACT and SAT testing – Your children can take these tests as many times as offered, which also can satisfy other requirements.
• Career Certifications – What are your children’s future plans for a career?
• Dual Enrollment – AA associate’s college degree paid by the School Board.
• AP and Honors Courses, on-line courses, Jr. ROTC.
• Sports and Band requirements.
• Attend Parent Expos (only 3 times a year).
• Get involved with the School Advisory Council, the PTA, booster clubs, the volunteer program, and visit the school as often you can to insure your children’s success.

By Audrey Lewis, Gadsden County School Board, District 1