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Academic Planning 101

Senior Year

Things to Think About:

  • Am I continuing to challenge myself?
  • Am I giving my best to senior coursework?
  • Have I obtained enough information about the colleges of my choice and application deadlines?
  • Am I meeting with my counselor regularly?
  • Have I made enough campus visits to my top colleges?

Things to Do:

  • Update my personal file and finalize my resume (see Files: High School Resume on this website).
  • Register for ACT if not satisfied with score
  • Maintain strong academic record and attendance.
  • Check your graduation requirements.
  • Seek assistance from teacher and counselor when needed.
  • Continue extra-curricular activities and community involvement.
  • Meet with counselor to finalize post high school planning (November).
  • Meet with college representatives during visits (College Fair in October off campus; representatives at our school).
  • Complete college applications (September – December).
  • Be aware of deadlines including early decision and early action options.
  • Complete Local Scholarships application beginning in January (watch school website for notifications).
  • Attend Financial Aid Workshop for FAFSA information.
  • Have parents complete the Financial Aid Form with FAFSA on the web.
  • Take AP Exams

Junior Year

Things to Think About:

  • Am I taking courses that lead to my post-high school plans?
  • Am I giving my best to Junior coursework?
  • With which teachers have I established a strong rapport? (potential college/job letters of recommendation)
  • Which talents or strengths might I want to further develop through college studies or post-high school plans?
  • Which activities will I highlight on my college/job application?

 Things to Do:

  • Update my personal file.
  • Keep a record of all grades including tests, homework, papers, etc. in all classes.
  • Continue extra-curricular activities.
  • Prepare for the ACT.
  • Maintain strong academic performance and an excellent attendance record.
  • Check graduation requirements.
  • Talk with teachers, parents and counselor about senior year course selections (late January).
  • Talk with parents about college needs, interests, etc.
  • Take the ACT at school in April.
  • Make college list.  Top three picks. Visit those campuses to see if it is a good fit.
  • Talk to a representative from a community college about career and vocational opportunities. Seek out the counselor for local community resource information.
  • Take AP Exams in May.
  • Continue to explore career options.

Sophomore Year

Things to Think About:

  • In which subjects did I excel?
  • Am I taking courses that lead to my post-high school plans?
  • Am I giving my best to sophomore courses?
    Of my unique talents and strengths, which would I most like to develop?
  • Am I involved in at least one extra-curricular activity or community service?
  • What potential career/post-high school option have I considered?

 Things to Do:

  • Update my personal file.
  • Keep a record of all grades including tests, homework, papers, etc. in all classes.
  • Seek assistance from teachers and counselors when needed.
  • Participate in the PreACT in October.
  • Maintain strong academic performance and maintain an excellent attendance record.
  • Be aware of your graduation requirements.
  • Talk with your teachers, parents, and counselors about course selections for Junior year (late January).
  • Visit counselor to explore post-high school plans and interest.
  • Continue involvement in extra-curricular activities.
  • Consult with academic teacher and counselor concerning AP classes and Dual Enrollment Opportunities.

Freshman Year

Things to Think About:

  • What are my talents and strengths?
  • Am I taking courses that lead to my post-high school plans?
  • In which courses am I particularly strong?
  • In what areas do I need to build more skills?

 Things to Do:

  • Become familiar with graduation requirements.
  • Develop a personal file, highlighting academic, extra-curricular and community involvement/awards.
  • Develop a relationship with your counselor and teachers.
  • Maintain strong academic performance and maintain excellent attendance record.
  • Keep a record of all grades including tests, homework, paper, etc. in all classes.
  • Seek assistance or support from teachers and counselor.
  • Talk with teachers, parents, and counselor about your sophomore course selections (late January).
  • Become involved in an extra-curricular activity, sports, clubs, music, volunteer work, etc.
  • Review finalized 10th-grade course selections in May.

8th Grade Year

Things to Think About:

  • What elective classes do you enjoy?
  • Do you understand what a GPA is and a High School Credit?
  • What careers are you interested in?
  • What are your study habits?

 Things to Do:

  • Get Organized- Teachers will often only tell you of a project/test date once. You will be given the responsibility of remembering and preparing for it without constant reminders.
  • Get Involved- No matter who you are and what you like, there will be something for you, but it is YOU who has to search for it.
  • Complete your 4-Year Plan in Kuder, Alabama Career Planning System.
  • Start looking into colleges that are well known for the subject(s) that you’re most interested in.
  • Prepare for more independence, but also more responsibility.
  • Take initiative and push boundaries.
  • Develop a relationship with your counselor and teachers.
  • Ask Questions- Any questions asked is a good question.
  • Review finalized 9th-grade course selections in May.

7th Grade Year

Things to Think About:

  • What can you do differently to improve this year?
  • Are you enjoying the extracurricular activities that you are doing?
  • What makes you feel good about yourself?
  • Who are the trusted people in your life, that you can ask for help?

Things to Do:

  • Keep a  sense of humor whenever possible. Today’s most awkward moments will be tomorrow’s funniest memories.
  • Make it your goal to peak later in life. Make good choices that set you up for a bright future. If you’re not a superstar now, that’s OK. This simply means there are better things ahead as you continue to evolve and learn.
  • Think twice before texting, emailing, or posting on social media. Cool off before giving someone a piece of your mind, venting, jumping to conclusions, reacting out of jealousy or anger, embarrassing someone, or sending an inappropriate photo. Use the Internet for good, not as a dumping ground.
  • Surround yourself with good company. Good friends lift you up. They don’t put you in risky or compromising situations.
  • Be yourself. You’ll never influence the world by trying to be like everyone else in it

6th Grade Year

Things to Think About:

  • Who are you and what are you interested in?
  • In what ways has your life changed since last year?
  • What new responsibilities do you have at home and at school?
  • How can you make the best choices while at school?

Things to Do:

  • Get organized- 1. Use a planner 2. Use folders and notebooks for each subject 3. Keep your locker and backpack cleaned out
  • Do your homework- In middle school teachers expect more of you. You will have more homework.
  • Schedule your time wisely by allotting a certain amount of time for each subject.
  • Do not wait until an assignment is due, start early
  • Talk to your teachers, ask questions if you are unsure of your assignment. Your teachers are there to help you!
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities- this is a great way to meet new people and have fun
  • Get good grades- Turn your homework in on time and ask questions
  • Stay healthy- get a good nights sleep and eat breakfast before school.
  • Talk to your parents- let them know what is going on
  • Find an adult you trust to talk to when you have problems
  • Choose your friends wisely- don’t choose friends who make bad decisions