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I trust this will be a great year filled with success for all secondary school pupils . Parents, teachers and students make an awesome trio when they work together.

The majority of students should take the Academic (University) level subjects in Math, Science and English in order to keep all doors open for post secondary education and meaningful careers. Historically the Applied (College) level students have a very high rate of attrition at community colleges.

Perceptions play a large part in who and what we are. Letís all agree that the vast majority of our children are smart and if they are motivated they will do well.

There are two kinds of students that are in need of encouragement: those that canít and those that wonít; the latter can achieve if they have a why along with a sense of direction.

Here are some suggestions for a smooth school year.
Check your sonís/daughterís school timetable . If there are errors please have them contact the Guidance department a.s.a.p. Folks make sure the course load is balanced; not all of the hard courses in semester two and all the easy subjects in September.

Students do not be afraid to ask for help when you do not understand the assignments or if you have been away because of illness. The teacher will be happy to help. Remember , there is no such thing as a foolish question.
Organized students in high school use the planner provided free of charge. Please carry it to class and record your homework, tests and ISPs. Hard to procrastinate when you are organized with a focus on time management.

Try to establish a routine for your studies: Sunday to Thursday are homework nights (Mom/dad get real, no one wants to study on Saturday evening). Phone calls and watching T.V. do not mix well with studies.

Grade nine and ten students should expect to spend one hour per night for their studies/assignments Grade 11 and 12 students have to remember that marks will determine their post secondary placement.

Students should be encouraged to involve themselves in extra curricular programs. Football, cheerleading, basketball, track and field, soccer hockey are a few of the sports offered up in school. Keeping fit with your fellow classmates is a great way to make friends that can last a life time. There is always a need for those who like to write to take part in creating the year book Gee, I nearly forgot running for studentís council allowing students the opportunity to voice their opinion and make a difference. There is something for everyone and remember it looks great on a resume.

Part time jobs can put some money in your pocket but try to keep the work load to a maximum of ten hours per week mostly on week-ends. Good marks in high school can lead to scholarships that far outweigh working for minimum wage. Remember to have your youngster create a proper balance of study along with a great social life. School work should always take priority.

A reminder for parents who have male students that many hours spent in front of the monitor watching video games can be addictive and counter productive to successful completion of school. Recently, I counselled a thirty year old male who spent ten hours a day playing video games. Little or no social activities, academic, athletic or career goals achieved for the last fifteen years.

Good attendance is a must in our semester high schools. The semester system divides the school year into two five month sessions and before you know it Mid terms/Final exams are over. In a study at Saunders Secondary School I found that poor school attendance was the best predictor of dropping out of school. Multiple tries at returning to school for a fresh start the following semester was not positive. Sadly, males in grade eleven/twelve quit school twice as frequently as females.

Parents and students have to be involved in making an educational plan for the four years of high school. It is important to keep all of the doors open to a post secondary education.

Reading for fun will help your youngsters do well in school Those who read well succeed. The success rate is twenty-two times the norm for those who spend a minimum of thirty minutes a day with a good book. In the world of T. V. texting and videos our childrenís written language skills has suffered.

I encourage students to be yourself but be your best self and dare to be different and follow your own star.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com