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Grade 9 Parents and Families

Now that your child is in high school, he or she is experiencing a whole new world with a lot more choices and responsibility. 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 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 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 10. 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.
  • 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 planning for college.
  • 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.
  • 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)


Math teaches your child important skills he or she will need in the future.