By Hayley M. Cook
WILLIAMSON – School in Mingo County is officially back in session, and many students are making the transition from their old school building to a brand new one.
Ninth-graders all across the county are leaving their respective junior high schools behind to begin high school this year at Mingo Central High School or Tug Valley High School, a move that can be overwhelming for many students. Fortunately, teachers and staff are working diligently to make sure this change is as easy and comfortable as possible.
One tip for parents is to encourage their children and support them during the transitional process. Children at this age are old enough to express their fears and need a listening ear from parents and loved ones.
Another tip is to encourage ninth-graders to become involved in extracurricular activities, which will help them feel like they belong. Sports, clubs and other groups offer an educational, supportive and fulfilling high school experience for teenagers. Enrolling early allows children to experiment and find what they are best at, and also encourages them to become involved from the start.
Students should be prepared, as well. Learning where important locations in the building are, such as the main office, restrooms, classrooms and the cafeteria, can help them get a good head start. It is also important for students to learn important numbers such as their student ID, locker number, combination to their lockers and what time classes change throughout the day.
It is important for parents to remember that adjusting to the higher academic standards of high school can take some time. Although students need to understand that their freshman high school grades are important and a part of their transcript which is sent to prospective colleges in future, it is also important for students to adjust to the new standards at their own pace.
Parents should also stay involved by contacting teachers on a regular basis to check on how their children are performing in the classroom. If parents are more involved, studies have shown, children will be more involved as well.
Children who have anxiety and trouble adjusting after the first two to three weeks may need help from an outside source. If these issues are combined with low self-esteem and poor grades, counseling may be an option for parents to consider.