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Grade 6 Parents and Families

Grade 6 is an exciting time for your child. Many students are starting a new school, and classes are getting more challenging. Following are some ways you can help ease the transition and start your child thinking about college (if he or she hasn't already):

  • If your child is entering middle school this year, talk about what will be different from elementary school and how your child can prepare for the new expectations and experiences.  
  • Have high expectations. Make it clear that schoolwork and good grades 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 is doing his or her homework, and provide a quiet place for your child to study.
  • Encourage your child to read for fun. Reading outside of class will give your child a chance to discover new interests, which will help him or her do better in school.
  • Check your child's grades and talk to teachers to make sure that your child’s skills are on track. 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.
  • Seek out opportunities for 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 planning for college.
  • 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.
  • Encourage your child to volunteer in community service and extracurricular activities to explore his or her interests and increase the chances that he or she will be eligible for scholarships.
  • 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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Keva's son graduated from Cesar Chavez and is going to Potomac State College ... view video (1:45)


It's never too early to start planning for college.