Freshmen Newsletter

Welcome!

Students, as your school counselor, one of my primary jobs is to help you plan for life after high school. However, that happens while I help you throughout high school. That means helping you with your current classes, schedules, and relationships with others along with anything else that might be of interest or concern. You are free to see me anytime during the day but it is best to get a pass from me. You can see me before school, between classes, during study hall, at lunch, after school OR you can leave me a note on my chair (and I will send for you!). I look forward to seeing and working with you over the next four years. Parents, if there is something I should know about your student, please contact me at school. I am at the high school all day, every day.

Did you know?

  • All high school teachers post their grades on-line. Know how to use your family access code and feel free to check the district website often!
  • Progress reports do not come for every class. Parents, please check with teachers if you are wondering how your child is doing. Teachers can print a progress report at your request. You may leave a message for a teacher by calling the main office. A secretary will put you through to their voice mail. Teachers will call you back if you ask them.
  • Mentorship (tutoring) is available at the high school for students with no exceptional education needs. This takes place during the regular school day. Students struggling with a class should see Mrs. Flory to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • Most teens need 8 ½ to 9 hours of sleep per night. This can be tough to accomplish! If they are tired in the morning, check their nighttime habits to rule out texting, snapchat, etc...
  • Teachers begin their day at 7:30 AM - students may get extra help before school starts!
  • The 2018 senior class earned over $1,002,880 in non-local scholarships (just thought I’d mention that because it’s noteworthy).
  • In order to get into National Honor Society as a junior or senior, students need to have a high grade point average, take challenging classes, participate in extra curricular activities, and do some type of community service every year of high school.
  • It’s harder to raise a grade point average than to lower it.
  • It’s unrealistic to expect that students achieve the same grades without adjusting their study habits in high school.
  • The constant use of cell phones changes the pathways in your child’s brain. If they are struggling in school, check to see how often they use their cell phone and when. For this and more fun information regarding social media and cell phone usage, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6CBb3yX9Zs

If I’m not an athlete or musician, what can I do? Along with sports and music, there are 40 different extra-curricular activities available at Brodhead High School. These include:

  1. Association of Student Artists
  2. Drama – School Play
  3. Musical
  4. Stage Crew and Makeup
  5. Forensics
  6. Class Officers
  7. Student Council
  8. National Honor Society
  9. High School Helpers
  10. Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  11. FFA
  12. AFS Club
  13. History Club
  14. Math Team
  15. Engineering and HMV Club
  16. Football
  17. Cross Country
  18. Basketball
  19. Wrestling
  20. Hockey
  21. Equestrian Team
  22. Golf
  23. Baseball
  24. Softball
  25. Track
  26. Volleyball
  27. Cheerleading
  28. Dance Team
  29. Color Guard
  30. Band
  31. Jazz Band
  32. Pep Band
  33. Show Band
  34. Solo and Ensemble
  35. Choral Ensemble
  36. Guys and Dolls
  37. BHS Express
  38. The Red B – Yearbook
  39. Guitar Club
  40. Outdoors Club
  41. League Club
  42. Creative Writing Club

Do something!! Don’t see something interesting? Start your own club! We just started the Creative Writing Club!!

Did you know?

  • Students who participate in extra curricular activities earn better grades in high school.
  • Students who participate in extra curricular activities say they have more fun while in high school.
  • Students who participate in extra curricular activities receive more scholarship money.

Senior students say:

  • Hard work the freshman year pays off later on; don’t slack off - it’s hard to bring up a grade point average your junior or senior year!
  • Do your homework and study for tests – seriously!
  • Don’t spread yourself too thin the first year. Taking 7 classes a semester is good enough and won’t sacrifice your grade point average like 8.
  • Don’t always believe what you hear; don’t get caught up in gossip or rumor spreading.
  • Get enough sleep – it helps to reduce stress.
  • Use the garbage cans and don’t spit your gum in the bubblers.
  • Go to school events!
  • Nothing good happens after midnight (really).

Good attendance is the key to academic success. Many classes use textbooks as a resource; learning occurs with discussion, lab activities, projects and lecture.

Brodhead High School utilizes Career Cruising. This program allows students to complete interest inventories, explore careers and college majors, and then research various colleges and potential employers. Labor Market information is available providing wages and employment statistics. Career Cruising provides national information on 4-year, 2-year and technical colleges with links to their web sites. Students may create a resume and learn about building a budget that suits their desired life style. Each freshman will work with Mrs. Flory during the winter months and learn how to use the site. Students already have a password from middle school; they may log on where ever they have Internet access - the library, home, school... Passwords are good from year to year. Parents may wish to visit the site with their student. If you do, let us know what you think!

“What I know now that I wish I knew then.” Words of wisdom from freshmen.

  • I would have more freedom than I did in middle school.
  • I would have more responsibility.
  • People would expect me to act more mature.
  • Teachers would be stricter – I would have to study more.
  • Semester finals happen!
  • I can’t be tardy to class.

High school is different than middle school because…

  • The work is harder and there is more of it.
  • Teachers “appear” more laid back than in middle school.
  • It’s realistic to have 3 tests on one day.
  • Grades on late work are reduced.
  • I used a lot of index cards and notebooks.
  • My grade is really my grade (good or bad).

What do you need to do in order to get along?

  • If there’s extra credit – do it!
  • Use your free time wisely.
  • Associate with people making healthy choices.
  • Be nice to your teachers (you might need a favor later on).
  • Try to make a good first impression.
  • Don’t mess around in study hall – do your work!

What freshmen say to parents:

  • Students need to manage their time well and plan ahead.
  • Grades may decrease in high school.
  • There’s more peer pressure here.
  • Be aware of parties, drinking, and drugs.
  • Talk with your kids about school and listen to what they say.

Expectations:

As students transitioned to the middle school, many parents concerned themselves with the challenges of moving from room to room, opening lockers, homework etc… Expectations were increased given that educational leap. Transitioning to the high school is similar. Please note that with this leap, you should expect work to be more challenging. It is unrealistic to expect that students achieve the same grades without adjusting their study habits. What’s the difference? Students need to spend a significant time studying, taking notes and rewriting notes, working with teachers outside the regular class period. Extra-curriculars take a toll too, since many events occur later at night. Talking about the differences and what changes need to take place will help everyone prepare.

A list is posted on the high school website.

  • Two-pocket folders for each subject
  • Spiral notebook for each subject
  • Pens and pencils (red pen and a blue or black pen)
  • Highlighters
  • Ear buds - cheap
  • Two 3-ring binders
  • Loose leaf paper (1 pack)
  • Scientific Calculator, e.g. TI-30X
  • Paper bags (3) for book covers
  • Miscellaneous project supplies; keep these things at home. Don’t buy new items if you still have them from middle school.
  • All students will receive a school daily planner which they will be required to carry

Organization is an individual thing; we all do it differently. However, after quizzing my seniors and juniors, here’s what they have to say.

For classes:

  • Use your planner every day!! Write down assignments; it’s an important habit to get into (every student said this).
  • Ditch the trapper keeper! Most are too large for the high school lockers anyway and become a fire hazard (cluttered with paper).
  • Some students buy a 3-ring binder for each subject. In the binder, keep your folder, spiral, handouts etc… Binders are mandatory for some classes.
  • If you don’t want to try the binder system for each class, purchase 3 or 5 subject spiral notebooks. Use one for your morning classes and one for your afternoon classes.
  • Color code supplies for each class i.e. red folder and spiral for math, blue for English, green for social studies etc… That way you look for a color and not the title or name.
  • Cover your textbooks with plain paper and write the subject and title on the spine (texts have to be covered anyway).
  • Utilize a small pencil holder and keep it stocked. Take it to class.
  • Don’t keep papers in your textbooks!!!!

In your locker:

  • Plan to go to your locker 4 times a day – before school, before and after lunch, after school. Don’t waste time by going after every class.
  • Buy locker shelves (save your receipt in case they don’t fit).
  • Use a dry erase board to write things to remember i.e. “put money in lunch account, turn in WIAA card, remember picture day…”
  • Buy magnets to hang up things – you can’t use tape or glue (anything that leaves a residue).
  • Not a necessity but nice – purchase a mirror and magnetic basket for things such as a hair brush, loose pens, pencils etc…
  • Post it notes come in handy.
  • Sharing lockers is a bad idea (and prohibited)!!

Keeping organized at school is one thing. Remembering those things once you get home is another! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Post the school calendar in a prominent place at home.
  • Mark due dates for long-term assignments.
  • Highlight commitments i.e. concerts, home athletic events, parent/teacher conferences. If you like to color code things - yellow for days off of school, red for athletics, blue for concerts – go crazy!
  • Post your school schedule at home. Include the names of your teachers. Write down the time you have lunch. Also include your locker number and combination. If you’re home ill, this will be important info for your parents to have!
  • If you have a home computer with Internet access, bookmark the district web page and post your family access password. Use it to check your grades on a regular basis.
  • Post teacher emails. Parents can email teachers from the district website.
  • Maintain a study spot. Is this your room? The living room table? Keep it clutter free, stress free and free from distractions!
  • Keep your backpack and things for school in the same place. In the morning, you can grab your backpack and go without having to take time to look for keys, books, or athletic gear.
  • Plan after school snacks or lunches week by week. If you need something to eat before practice, stock up at home. Keep those things handy so you can quickly stuff them in your backpack for that after school time.
  • Regularly get rid of clutter by cleaning out backpacks and lockers. Hold onto old tests (3-hole punch them and put them in a binder or folder for when you study for your semester finals). Toss what you don’t need.
  • Talk about school at home. Parents are a huge part of student success. Involved parents help students to plan and be organized (that doesn’t include running to the school with forgotten assignments and lunches).

High School is different than middle school. Teachers lecture, students must take notes, there are long-term projects, extra curricular events occur after 6:30 pm leaving little time for homework, and late assignments are downgraded. Learning to prioritize is important:

  • Use a monthly calendar – write down due dates of long term projects
  • Make a list
  • Decide what is most important – what needs to be done first

Did you know that…

  • High school grades and attendance become a part of your permanent record that is forwarded to colleges and employers.
  • Your cumulative grade point average (GPA) is an average of semester grades.
  • Your cumulative GPA determines class rank.
  • There are three sets of bathrooms in the high school, not including the locker rooms.
  • There are 4 minutes between classes and it takes 1 min. 45 seconds to leisurely walk around the building.

Some final words of wisdom from upperclassmen:

  • Do your assignments right away when you get them!
  • When you get stressed out, talk with an adult. It helps to put things in perspective and adults do care.
  • Smart kids ask questions – go in for extra help when you need it!! It also shows teachers that you care.
  • Some kids don’t ask for help because they feel ‘dumb’; Get over it because asking questions is the right thing to do!
  • Ask for assignments when you are sick – teachers won’t just tell you.
  • If you have ten minutes at the end of the period, use it – don’t sit and talk with your friends!
  • Don’t set your lock – stuff will get stolen.

One last thought: As your child gets older, rules change. Keep in touch with the parents of their friends to make certain that expectations are similar. Communicating with parents is a good thing; it shows you care, builds trust, and allows for good decision making.