Do you have a child completing grade eight this year? It’s time to start thinking about the next chapter of schooling – starting high school. You and your child must take time to research all of the options available and make an informed decision. Be sure to search online for the schedules of school open houses in your area. Open houses are typically held as early as late October through January. Click here for the TDSB schedule, and the TCDSB schedule.
Start by thinking about your child’s personality and interests, then research the strengths of your local high schools and compare these results to your child’s needs. Some things that set different schools apart are the programs of study they offer as well the extra-curricular activities available. Here are some things to consider:
- Co-operative Education: One program your child may be interested in is co-op education. Co-op or co-operative education provides students in grade eleven or twelve with opportunities to gain work experience, while receiving high school credits.
- Field Specific Courses: Investigate what courses are offered at your child’s prospective high school. Your child may be interested in pursuing a career in a specific field so look for high schools that offer courses that will engage your child. Remember that not all schools offer all of these courses. Examples include focused business courses, cosmetology courses, media arts courses, etc.
- Arts Based Education: While high school students in Ontario are only required to take one arts course, your child may be interested in studying visual arts, music, dramatic arts and dance. Some highs schools offer a wide variety of these enriching programs, and some offer intensive auditioned arts programs.
- Extra-curricular Activities: All schools offer a variety of extra-curricular activities. Whether your child is interested in getting involved in sports, school plays, or the school newspaper, make sure that your child’s prospective school offers activities that interest your teen.
All in all, the key is doing research. The best approach is attending high school open houses or information nights to gather information, get a feel for the school and interact with current students and teachers. Take advantage of the upcoming opportunities in your area and help your child make the right decision.
For more information regarding academic support and secondary academic planning, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space 416.925.1225 or visit www.ruthrumack.com.