The Journey from Middle School to High School - Tips for a Successful Transition

1.     Create a four-year plan. Read the course offerings book (online at and talk to your current teachers about their recommendations. Use this planner to map out a draft plan. Consider this plan a preliminary one; it is fine—in fact, it is to be expected-- if the plan changes over your high school years as you learn more about your strengths and the many courses and programs available to you.

2.     Think about what high school activities you can become involved with that build on things you already care about. For example, if you love technology, consider the Robotics Club or the Academy of Information Technology. If you want to develop your leadership skills, consider Student Government. If you want to play volleyball, sign up for the summer volleyball camp.

3.     Think about signing up for classes and activities with which you have no prior experience but are intrigued by. Maybe now is the time to exercise your vocal cords outside of the shower by signing up for a chorus class. If the idea of being outside in an activity with new friends appeals to you, maybe the ultimate frisbe club is something to investigage. High school is the perfect time to explore new interests and areas. 

4.     Practice organizational and time-management skills. Keep track of your assignments and due dates by conscientiously using your (electronic or paper) planner. Know how to access your teachers electronically. Set aside time each night to review the notes you have taken in class that day—don’t wait until the night before a test to start thinking about the material

5.     Contribute to your community through service to others. This can be in school or in the community. Earn some service hours during the summer before ninth grade. To learn about approved activities, go to

6.     Begin to think about your goals for life after high school. Do you want to attend a four-year college or university? What are the advantages of attending a community college? What is a gap year, and would you consider taking one? When can you do internships?  

7.     Participate in opportunities to visit your high school and learn more about its programs. You and your parents are encouraged to attend informational meetings that are held in the spring of your 8th grade and at the beginning of your 9th grade year. You are not alone in this important transition, and there are many excellent resources to help you succeed in high school.






Set some goals for yourself, make a plan, and then enjoy the journey!