Freshmen Class

How to be Successful in 9th Grade

Your 9th grade is, in many ways, a turning point year for teenagers. Classroom performance (as well as behavior and attendance) as a high school freshman is a strong indicator of a student’s future academic pathway.
Here are a list of 12 steps you can take right now to begin building a solid foundation for your future.

• Get organized. Keep your surroundings neat and clutter free. Make a list of things that needs to be completed, and check off each item as you complete them. Being organized allows you to put your energy into completing assignments.
• Complete quality work and homework. Your class work and homework tie into what you are learning in class. Your teachers can tell the difference when work has been rushed through or a lot of effort has gone into it. When assigned a project start working on it immediately. Do not wait until last minute to start it. Studying is part of your homework EVERY night.
• Check Genesis daily. Log into Genesis to monitor your attendance and your grades. Make sure you are not missing any assignments.
• Grades do matter starting in Freshman year. Freshman year counts towards your cumulative GPA and it impacts your class rank. You get a fresh start from middle school. You want to keep your grades up and take challenging classes. You will spend the next three years either maintain OR making up grades, you earn as a freshman. Your grades are a representation of you and how much effort you put into a class. Now is a good time to plan to get good grades, because your grades can influence future opportunities. Remember to graduate you have to PASS classes to earn credits.
• Study daily. Your learning does not end when you walk out of school. This is when YOU take responsibility YOUR learning. Your guardians, teachers, or counselor cannot make you study daily. It is YOUR responsibility to review what you did in class every day, make sure all assignments are complete, and study every day.
• Come to school daily and on time. High school classes cover a lot of material. When you are absent, you are missing important material. If you miss 18 or more days in a given school year, you will automatically fail your classes. Three tardies is equal to one absence. If you are chronically absent, there can also be consequences not only for you but for your guardians as well.
• Ask for extra help. If you do not understand something that was gone over in class, ASK your teacher for extra help. Do not have the mentality that if I don’t understand something it is O.k. Ask your teacher when you can stay for him/her to explain the concept again to you that you did not understand. Do not wait until test day to get extra help. It is YOUR responsibility to ask questions when you do not understand something.
• Get involved with school activities. Freshman year is a great time to try different extracurricular activities. This is a good way to meet people with similar interests as you. It is also a good way to learn more about your own likes and dislikes.
• Get to know your guidance counselor. Mrs. Scala can play an essential role in giving you the tools to help shape your future. When opportunities come up, if she knows what your interests are, she will be able to contact you directly.
• Treat others the way you want to be treated. PHS has a lot of students with many different backgrounds. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect, and dignity. Students who give and receive respect, often do better socially, emotionally and academically. Now is the time to treat others the way you want to be treated.
• Take care of yourself. Your body is still developing and growing. You need to get ample amounts of sleep each night. You also need to eat healthy foods. Your body will function better and stay healthier if you get a good night’s rest and eat healthy.
• Take advantage of summer. Summer of Freshman year is when you can start to study for your SAT’s/ ACT’s. Khanacademy.org is a free website that can be helpful when studying for your SAT / ACT. You can also either get a part time job or volunteer with a local organization. To further your interests, you can also attend a local college for one of their many summer programs. As you see, summer time can be very productive.