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Grade 10 Parents and Families

Now that your child has been in high school for a year, taking the right classes and preparing for college and careers is more important than ever. Here are a few tips for you to help your child make good decisions and stay on track for college:

  • Have high expectations. Make it clear that good grades and good attendance are important. Let teachers and counselors know that you expect your child to go to college and ask for their advice and support.
  • Make sure your child enrolls in the courses he or she needs to graduate high school and be ready for college. Talk to your child and his or her school counselor about the courses your child will take in grade 11. Remind your child that most colleges require students to have more than the minimum number of courses required to graduate from a DC high school, so taking challenging classes is important.
  • Check that your child is doing his or her homework, and provide a quiet place for your child to study.
  • Talk to school counselors and teachers to make sure your child's skills are on track to graduate high school and be ready for college. If he or she is behind, talk with the school counselor, teachers, or college access provider to make sure your child gets the help he or she needs.
  • Encourage your child to participate in additional academic programs before and after school and in the summer. If your child is struggling, these programs can help him or her catch up. If not, they can give your child a headstart on preparing for college.
  • Make sure your child registers for the PSAT/NMSQT or PLAN test. These preliminary tests help them prepare for the SAT or ACT — standardized admissions test most colleges require.
  • Help your child explore colleges and collect information about schools he or she is interested in. Check colleges' Web sites to find out what they expect from their applicants: high school courses, grade point averages, SAT/ACT scores, extracurriculars, etc. Make sure that your child is on track to meet these expectations. You and your child also can investigate summer programs offered at DC colleges to learn more about college.
  • Encourage your child to research careers related to his or her interests. Help him or her find out what colleges specialize in those fields and what it takes to get into those colleges.
  • Encourage your child to volunteer in community service activities or participate in job shadowing opportunities to explore his or her interests and learn more about different kinds of workplaces. Plus, many scholarships require students to demonstrate a history of community service.
  • Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular activities, including clubs focused on careers, such as teaching or business. This will give your child a chance to explore interests and improve his or her chances of being eligible for a scholarship.
  • Ask the school counselor about programs, such as TRIO Upward Bound, that provide underserved children with support and skills to prepare for college. Find out where these programs are offered in DC and how to enroll your child.
  • Help your child research scholarship options. It's never too early to start planning how to pay for college.
  • Contribute to a DC College 529 Savings Plan. The earlier you start, the more your savings will grow! (See additional tips to help pay for college.)
  • Get involved in school by volunteering, participating in parent-teacher organizations, and attending school events. Your involvement will have a big impact on your child's education.

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Michel's son graduated from Wilson and attends Clark Atlanta University ... view video (1:52)


Colleges like it when students in 9th and 10th grade visit campuses.