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kentuckymom

Practical questions re: transitioning to public high school

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My son has been homeschooled for middle school and we've made the decision to send him to public high school for 9th grade in the fall. He went to public school all through elementary so he does have previous school experience, but, of course, elementary school and high school are quite different. He'll be attending a fairly small (about 150 students per grade) nontraditional magnet school with a Steam (that's Stem plus arts in case you don't know) focus. 

Any tips on skills I should make sure we're building this semester to ease the tradition? He's currently taking his second independent Bravewriter course, which I hope will help him learn to follow deadlines and work independently from me. We've been part of a coop all three years, so he hasn't lost the skill of working in a group or learning from someone other than mom.

Practically, I've already contacted the district and learned that I will need to provide attendance records and a transcript. I have the attendance records, but the transcript is a little tricky since we haven't been giving grades. What we'll have to do is just look back at his work and assign an overall grade. Any tips on how to proceed if you've had to do this? Also, is there a standard transcript form somewhere that I can just fill in?

Thanks!

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My kids have always been homeschooled, but I've asked friends who have put their kids into public school in high school what, if any, they wished they had done before sending them.

All agreed that they wished they had helped them set up some method for keeping track of what was due when as they struggled with this at first. The kids all got it down pretty quickly though. 

If he hasn't been taking note from a lecture - and high school students still do that (yes, I know this seems a silly question, but my college students have had classes where the notes were handed out and you just filled in the blanks, and a couple of classes where the teacher just published the notes on Canvas/Blackboard after the class itself), I'd probably have him practice that some if you think he needs practice. My kids took notes during sermons, so the note taking transition to college classes was pretty seamless. 

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I would guess the transcripts are for proper placement for math for the most part, so just assigning As if you're happy with the work would be fine for most kids. I would have to think about for my ADHD kid who struggles with time and my dyslexic kid who would struggle without a lot if help before just giving As. I wouldn't want them placed into something they couldn't handle, even if we had worked through the material. 

Nobody I know has had any struggles with the transition and seemed to do well with the timelines set by outside teachers when they got to classrooms in high school or college. I've seen a lot do it, but we haven't. 

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We sent ours to 7th this year. The main issues have been: keeping track of materials, using a planner effectively, and participating in group assignments. It's gone smoothly. The school does a lot to work on using a planner, etc. but the expectation is that those skills are in place by high school.  We put him in at 7th so that he would have a couple of years to work on that before his grades were tied to credits. 

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Thanks for the tips so far. He has ADHD and dyslexia so I do need to be careful not to just give A's without reflection. The fact is,  he hasn't done A work in everything and I'm okay with that.

Thankfully, he won't have to struggle as much as he might with knowing what is due when because the school has everything on a digital calendar and every student gets a Chromebook. He's really looking forward to that.

 

Any tips on how to format a transcript?

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That's weird that the school cares about "attendance." o_0 What specifically do they want? daily? quarterly? Can you just tell them how many days your child was "present"? (which would be the total number of days required by whoever, e.g., 180).

Here's a link to a college that has lots of helpful information for homeschooled applicants. It includes a sample transcript and an editable one.

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2 hours ago, kentuckymom said:

Thanks for the tips so far. He has ADHD and dyslexia so I do need to be careful not to just give A's without reflection. The fact is,  he hasn't done A work in everything and I'm okay with that.

Thankfully, he won't have to struggle as much as he might with knowing what is due when because the school has everything on a digital calendar and every student gets a Chromebook. He's really looking forward to that.

 

Any tips on how to format a transcript?

I think HSLDA has transcript templates on their site.  You could also google and see what you get.  I decided that trying to do transcripts with 1st semester, 2nd semester and final grades looked cluttered, so I just give one final grade per class.  I also do it by subject rather than chronologically because I think that's more organized as well, but "by year" seems to be the more typical choice.  

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I have a word version that I did for DD when she went back last month that I could email you. It has our school logo in the header but you could take that out.

Edited by Sneezyone

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Does he have/need a 504/IEP? Better to get those wheels turning now rather than to wait.

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

I have a word version that I did for DD when she went back last month that I could email you. It has our school logo in the header but you could take that out.

Thanks for the offer! I just messaged you my address.

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1 hour ago, Tanaqui said:

Does he have/need a 504/IEP? Better to get those wheels turning now rather than to wait.

I think he would benefit from a 504 for ADHD. It's nigh unto impossible here to get services for dyslexia, and he's been through Barton and reads well (though his spelling still leaves something to be desired), so that's not a hill I'm willing to die on. When we toured the school I asked the counselor what I would have to do to set up a 504 and he told me I could contact him to start the process anytime, so thanks for the reminder!

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4 hours ago, Ellie said:

That's weird that the school cares about "attendance." o_0 What specifically do they want? daily? quarterly? Can you just tell them how many days your child was "present"? (which would be the total number of days required by whoever, e.g., 180).

Here's a link to a college that has lots of helpful information for homeschooled applicants. It includes a sample transcript and an editable one.

Thanks for the info! Yes, the attendance requirement is weird, but one of the legal requirements for homeschooling here is to keep an attendance record, so I imagine they just need to see proof that we did it.

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56 minutes ago, kentuckymom said:

Thanks for the info! Yes, the attendance requirement is weird, but one of the legal requirements for homeschooling here is to keep an attendance record, so I imagine they just need to see proof that we did it.

...which begs the question of why it matters, since you're enrolling your ds in their school..

Not arguing with you or anything, just thinking out loud how weird it is, lol.

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I just wanted to mention keeping your eye on the HS course selection time frames (although it sounds like you already are). We sent DD back this month so she could attend all the rising HS course and club selection activities. Her school had several HS counselor visits last month and the kids all made their selections this month. Final tweaks are due mid-March with initial schedules going out at the end of this month. Sometimes if you sign up too late, you get placed in whatever electives have room, not necessarily what your student actually wants.

Edited by Sneezyone
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7 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I just wanted to mention keeping your eye on the HS course selection time frames (although it sounds like you already are). We sent DD back this month so she could attend all the rising HS course and club selection activities. Her school had several HS counselor visits last month and the kids all made their selections this month. Final tweaks are due mid-March with initial schedules going out at the end of this month. Sometimes if you sign up too late, you get placed in whatever electives have room, not necessarily what your student actually wants.

 

That's a good point. I put my soon in this year for 8th and even though I talked to the counselor in the Spring his classes didn't get picked until June, after everyone else's because he was not enrolled. It ended up fine for him. His electives weren't necessarily his first choice but the one he absolutely hated he got switched and his core classes were great (but it helps we knew some of the teachers who went to bat for him and changed his placement).

Ds wanted honors courses and evidently, those have limited spots but his scores and transcript garnered him spots when other kids weren't so lucky. They want placement tests here and prefer the ITBS, I did that in the spring before entering with ds. I made a transcript too but I can't remember what template I ended up using, I had to tweak it and looked at several official ones so I could get an idea of what they expected. I didn't assign a lot of grades as we worked on things until they were mastered so the grades I gave him we're what I thought he deserved. I included course descriptions in his transcript, technically that wasn't required but I thought it would bolster his odds of getting into honor's courses.

My son has done well (As and 2- B+(in English and History) on his semester report card), better than I imagined being the ADHD boy in Honor's classes. He is not very organized but that hasn't hurt him much. I do want to go over with him more organizational info before high school though. My son has dyslexic tendencies, reads well now but spelling still not great. I'm sure his English teacher wonders if I ever did teach him capitalization but he's kept a B+-A in there.

Speaking of writing since he is doing writing classes I'm sure this isn't an issue but schools around here still want to see the 5 paragraph essay at this age. So, practice with him pumping one out in 45 min would be a good skill. We did do some explicit essay review in the summer before he started but perhaps could have done more. I don't know writing was just a struggle of his, we spent so much time on it I don't know that we could have done any more! Lucky for us they don't seem to care as much about spelling but I'm sure glad we did as much practice as we could before he entered school b/c they don't work on it explicitly there. 

Honor's Math in 8th is Algebra here (I know in other places it's done earlier) but regardless.... We did Algebra the year before at home and I believe that has been a huge help to him as getting things to stick can take some time. I was glad we had spent all the time working on Algebra at home. I plan to work on Geo more this summer before he goes into 9th, even though he thinks this is some sort of punishment. We did some Geo before he went to school but that was over a year ago now. 

Science his done very well in we did lots of science at home and he loves it. History has been his hardest subject (still ended up with a B+ but I wondered at times!), we did a lit-based history and he enjoyed that. Now his PS teacher's does some lit but so far he's hated the choices she's had. History is one of the classes I'm considering dropping him down to a regular class, I just don't know if the extra work is worth it when his workload will be increasing across the board anyway.

At his school most of his work is done on the Chromebook and although I'm not a huge technology fan it has been great for him as he cannot write by hand very fast at all (and even after years of remediation his handwriting is not great). I think our work on typing was a great help to him, I'd make sure yours knows how to type correctly and quickly with these type of kids that's just a boost, his brain might not be the fastest sometimes he needs all the help he can get with speed.

We honestly did more writing at home but they do more projects. They do more quizzes and tests, depending on what you do at home you might want to practice test taking if he has any anxiety with it. I was worried about time being a factor for ds for tests, (no timed tests was one of the NP's rec for the 504rec) as far as I know, he's only had one test where he ran over time(it was an essay test) but his teacher let him stay late to finish it.

I do want to conference with his teacher's before he picks highschool classes b/c I worry about the workload if he keeps in all honors, I just don't know. Will his hs teachers also be accommodating? Will the timing issue be rare as it has been in JH? 

 

Edited by soror
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9 hours ago, kentuckymom said:

Thanks for the info! Yes, the attendance requirement is weird, but one of the legal requirements for homeschooling here is to keep an attendance record, so I imagine they just need to see proof that we did it.

Actually, the only legal requirement in KY is notification.  But, there are some Best Practices recommendations out there and attendance may be one of them.  It's probably just a box the school wants to check off for whatever reason.    

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9 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I just wanted to mention keeping your eye on the HS course selection time frames (although it sounds like you already are). We sent DD back this month so she could attend all the rising HS course and club selection activities. Her school had several HS counselor visits last month and the kids all made their selections this month. Final tweaks are due mid-March with initial schedules going out at the end of this month. Sometimes if you sign up too late, you get placed in whatever electives have room, not necessarily what your student actually wants.

Thanks! Since this is a special program they do such things late compared to other schools and the schedule is mostly the same for everyone. They made it clear on the tour that if having a lot of electives was important we should send our child to their zoned school. If we were sending him to the local high school we absolutely would have already had to have him choose his schedule. It seems crazy early to me.

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1 hour ago, Another Lynn said:

Actually, the only legal requirement in KY is notification.  But, there are some Best Practices recommendations out there and attendance may be one of them.  It's probably just a box the school wants to check off for whatever reason.    

Interesting. I guess the actual laws and what our district lists as the laws are different? Regardless I kept attendance records and it's not hard.

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Since its a STEAM school, I'd look at the art opportunities for the summer in addition to his background and make sure he's prepared.  Nothing like looking forward to drama and finding out everyone else has been to summer camp for three years, is well read, and is well prepared to audition; same for having the skill level needed to be able to progress to the objectives for band/chorus/dance at this grade level.  

If he'll be doing a fall sport, contact the coach for summer practice suggestions. 

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15 hours ago, Ellie said:

...which begs the question of why it matters, since you're enrolling your ds in their school..

Not arguing with you or anything, just thinking out loud how weird it is, lol.

Oh, I totally agree. I mean, what are they going to do if I didn't keep attendance? Decide I'm committing educational neglect and force me to enroll him in school? Oh, wait, I'm already doing that.

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4 hours ago, HeighHo said:

Since its a STEAM school, I'd look at the art opportunities for the summer in addition to his background and make sure he's prepared.  Nothing like looking forward to drama and finding out everyone else has been to summer camp for three years, is well read, and is well prepared to audition; same for having the skill level needed to be able to progress to the objectives for band/chorus/dance at this grade level.  

If he'll be doing a fall sport, contact the coach for summer practice suggestions. 

Most of that actually doesn't apply to him, though I appreciate the ideas. The arts is mostly within the classes. There's a band and orchestra but he doesn't play anything. No drama or chorus. The one thing he could pick up is steel drums, and they expect everyone to be a beginner. The only sport he plays - Ultimate Frisbee - our schools don't have. He actually plans to keep practicing with his homeschool team, though he won't be able to play tournaments.

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40 minutes ago, kentuckymom said:

Most of that actually doesn't apply to him, though I appreciate the ideas. The arts is mostly within the classes. There's a band and orchestra but he doesn't play anything. No drama or chorus. The one thing he could pick up is steel drums, and they expect everyone to be a beginner. The only sport he plays - Ultimate Frisbee - our schools don't have. He actually plans to keep practicing with his homeschool team, though he won't be able to play tournaments.

 

Not to be nit picky, but a beginner at this level is someone who has mastered the previous grade level objectives.  So if he was to consider steel drums, you would review the music objectives from prior levels and make sure he had minimal competency.

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10 hours ago, Another Lynn said:

Actually, the only legal requirement in KY is notification.  But, there are some Best Practices recommendations out there and attendance may be one of them.  It's probably just a box the school wants to check off for whatever reason.    

 

8 hours ago, kentuckymom said:

Interesting. I guess the actual laws and what our district lists as the laws are different? Regardless I kept attendance records and it's not hard.

I stand corrected. HSLDA agrees with what you've said. Not that it matters, but I think saying it's legally required is different than what was said when I started 15 years ago, lol. 

Best wishes to your ds. I used to know someone who taught English  at STEAM.  Seems like a neat school!  😊

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12 hours ago, kentuckymom said:

Interesting. I guess the actual laws and what our district lists as the laws are different? Regardless I kept attendance records and it's not hard.

Individual districts may not require things that the law does not require. And you cannot trust the public schools to get the law right. That's why HSLDA membership is so important: know the law, comply with the law and not one iota more, call HSLDA if the school gives you grief for actually complying with the law instead of what the school wants you to do.

FTR, if *I* had hsed in a state which required "attendance" (and what does that even mean for hsers? I mean, we get up every day and there they are...) I would claim 180 days (or whatever the magic number is) and call it good.

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7 hours ago, Ellie said:

Individual districts may not require things that the law does not require. And you cannot trust the public schools to get the law right. That's why HSLDA membership is so important: know the law, comply with the law and not one iota more, call HSLDA if the school gives you grief for actually complying with the law instead of what the school wants you to do.

FTR, if *I* had hsed in a state which required "attendance" (and what does that even mean for hsers? I mean, we get up every day and there they are...) I would claim 180 days (or whatever the magic number is) and call it good.

Turns out, HSLDA says it's required also.  Although I'm with you regarding attendance, lol.  

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8 hours ago, Another Lynn said:

Turns out, HSLDA says it's required also.  Although I'm with you regarding attendance, lol.  

Yes, but you don't have to turn it in to anyone, or prove your 170 days/1062 hours. I know that there's *at least* that much learning going on, so I would have no qualms about claiming whatever the required hours/days were.

If a school made a request for "attendance" from a homeschooled enrollee, which is so silly I can't even, I would write "170 days" and be done with it.

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On 2/9/2019 at 11:00 AM, kentuckymom said:

My son has been homeschooled for middle school and we've made the decision to send him to public high school for 9th grade in the fall. He went to public school all through elementary so he does have previous school experience, but, of course, elementary school and high school are quite different. He'll be attending a fairly small (about 150 students per grade) nontraditional magnet school with a Steam (that's Stem plus arts in case you don't know) focus. 

Any tips on skills I should make sure we're building this semester to ease the tradition? He's currently taking his second independent Bravewriter course, which I hope will help him learn to follow deadlines and work independently from me. We've been part of a coop all three years, so he hasn't lost the skill of working in a group or learning from someone other than mom.

Practically, I've already contacted the district and learned that I will need to provide attendance records and a transcript. I have the attendance records, but the transcript is a little tricky since we haven't been giving grades. What we'll have to do is just look back at his work and assign an overall grade. Any tips on how to proceed if you've had to do this? Also, is there a standard transcript form somewhere that I can just fill in?

Thanks!

Just make up the transcript. It does not have to be accurate. List the classes middle schoolers would normally take and give mostly A's (or all a's) with some b's. Oh..one thing though, our local schools wanted to see the grades broken down by semesters and they also wanted to see percents. Name your middle school. Use a random template off the internet for it. So, for example, you might say Language Arts 6H  89  93  and at the bottom have a key that says H means honors. Before you cringe at the idea of labelling everything honors, in the middle schools here, there is about nothing different between the PreAP classes and the regular. 

 

As far as attendance goes, I might make up something that sounds reasonable. Mark the child absent a couple times in the year and leave it at that or even give perfect attendance. Maybe say they left early one day for a dentist appointment. Again, does not need to be accurate. No one has a time machine to go check. 

Edited by Janeway

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