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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 co-operate.

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. Let’s 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 can’t and those that won’t; 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 son’s/daughter’s 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 use the school planner, carry it to class and record your homework, tests and I S P’s.

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. 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. School work should always take priority.

Good attendance is a must in our semester high schools. Dentist appointments should be made after school, not during math class. In a study at Saunders Secondary School I found that poor school attendance was the best predictor of dropping out. 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 In the world of T. V. and videos our children’s written language skills have suffered.

I encourage students to be your self 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