10th Grade Action Plan
As your child settles into the high school experience, it’s a great time for him or her to take on new challenges. It’s also not too early to explore colleges, college majors and career goals. Use the list below to help make 10th grade count. Your child should review this list with you and see how you can keep them accountable to the tasks.
- Encourage your child to set goals for the school year. Working toward specific goals helps your high schooler stay motivated and focused.
- Make a plan to check in regularly about schoolwork. If you keep up with your child's tests, papers and homework assignments, you can celebrate successes and head off problems as a team.
- Talk about extracurricular activities. Getting involved in clubs and other groups is a great way for your child to identify interests and feel more engaged in school.
- Help your 10th-grader get ready to take the PSAT/NMSQT, we offer it as an optional test at this grade level. Taking the test this fall can help your child prepare for the SAT and get on track for college. Sophomores can also use their score reports to figure out which academic areas they need to work on.
- Explore Naviance. If you do not have a password or forgot your password, email Dr. Rios and let her know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Naviance is a comprehensive college and career readiness solution that helps schools align student strengths and interests to postsecondary goals, improving student outcomes and connecting learning to life.
- You can open an account with https://www.raise.me/ which is a microscholarship site that gives students scholarships based on what they’ve done in their high school career.
- Developing a solid academic track record is the most important part of 10th grade college planning. The classes you take will greatly influence your college options. As a college-prep school our Registrar and College Counselor review your courses to ensure your child is challenging themselves. Also, you can look at various college websites to see the course requirements for admission. Colleges will evaluate you based on the classes you’ve taken.
- Selective colleges want to see that you’re challenging yourself and taking some of the hardest classes that are offered at your school. You don’t have to take every single honors or AP class, but, to get into elite schools, you should demonstrate that you can do well in the most difficult classes. Also, you should be taking prerequisites for classes you're considering taking later. For example, you may need to take regular or honors chemistry if you want to take AP Chemistry in your junior year.
- Spend some time with the College Counselor. Your college choices may need a letter from your college counselor and it is better if the counselor knows you!
- Focus on your grades. Your sophomore year grades do matter for college admissions. Most colleges will focus on your sophomore and junior year grades when making admissions decisions. To colleges, your grades are a reflection of your work ethic and ability to succeed in college.
- You can start accounts that you will use in senior year to apply for schools. You can just start entering demographic and school information. You can update as need be in junior year and finalize in senior year. It will cut your preparation time in half.
- If your child was not offered the PSAT/NMSQT as a 10th-grader, they may be offered the PSAT 10 in February or March. They are the same test, just offered at different times of the year.
- Review PSAT 10 or PSAT/NMSQT results together. Log in to the student score reporting portal with your child to learn what she or he is doing well and which skills your child should work on to get ready for college and career. It will also connect your child to free, personalized SAT study tools; AP courses; and college and career planning resources.
- Start thinking about ways to pay for college. Most families get help paying for college costs via loans. Students with great test scores and gpa’s will be considered for institutional aid. If you have the disposal income, consider establishing pre-paid account for your student. Visit http://www.myfloridaprepaid.com/savings-plan/
- Encourage your sophomore to consider taking SAT Subject Tests. Many colleges require or recommend taking these tests to get a sense of your child’s skills in a certain academic area. In general, it’s best to take a Subject Test right after taking the relevant course. Learn more about SAT Subject Tests.
- Discuss next year’s classes. Make sure your child will be challenging him- or herself and taking the courses college admission officers expect to see. The Registrar and/or the College Counselor can help with this.
- Make a college wish list together. Talk with your 10th-grader about qualities he or she may want in a college in terms of location, size, majors offered and so on. On Naviance the student can start to build a college list in three categories: Dream (very competitive), Target (Somewhat competitive) and Safety (not very competitive).
- See how much you need to save for college and how much select schools might cost. Use the College Savings Calculator to get an idea of where you are in terms of your savings goal. Visit https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/tools-calculators for tools on calculating most costs.
- Help your child make summer plans. Summer is a great time to explore interests and learn new skills — and colleges look for students who pursue meaningful summer activities. The college counseling office usually sends out a summer program listing to parents and students. If you have not received one by end of Jan, please contact the college counselor.
- Visit a college campus together. It’s a great way to get your 10th-grader excited about college. Learn more about how you and your child can prepare for a campus visit.
- Get the facts about what college costs. You may be surprised by how affordable higher education can be.
- Help your sophomore explore career ideas. He or she can make a list of interests, talents and favorite activities and start matching them with occupations. Come up with fun reading ideas. Look for magazines or newspapers your child may like and talk about the books you loved reading when you were in high school. If your family makes reading enjoyable, it can become a daily habit.