October 2023


Dear Freshman Parents,


Welcome to SHS and we hope you were able to attend Back to School Night but, if you're like us, you're a bit shell shocked to realize we're already halfway through the first marking period! We hope your child has settled in a bit but you may still have questions. Post on Facebook or reach out to us anytime.  In the meantime, here are some thoughts as you adjust to your child's transition to life as a high schooler:

Share student tips for high school success such as:

  • Make sure you understand material EVERY day/week.  Quizzes sneak up and tests are cumulative. Don’t find yourself teaching yourself the material the night before the test!
  • ASK FOR HELP!  See your teacher for extra help or use the help desks during study halls
  • Remember the teachers are on your side; ask them like you would ask a coach or mentor for help, feedback, and tips
  • Organize and SAVE your notes, quizzes, etc. – you’ll need them for midterms & finals!!
  • Find a consistent system that works for YOU to juggle your time and papers. Everybody’s may look different – interview friends, parents, teachers for ideas & alternatives
  • High school is not ALL “school.” Try out activities that interest you – even if your current friends aren’t into it – and do more of whatever energizes, recharges, excites you
  • Balance your day = academics, physical activity, screen breaks, sleep, healthy eating

Step back a bit; give your child chances to practice adulting.
Sure, we all worry … but you can’t “do” high school for them. It's okay to check Genesis, ask questions, and support your child with tips and resources. But encourage THEM to self-advocate, make some of their own mistakes, practice their own time management. This is also true in extra-curricular and social settings. Trying and practicing those life skills is a critical part of their high school education.

Get yourself involved at school! 
There's lots more to do at SHS than LCJSMS and parents are pretty involved.  Get involved through your child's sports and clubs (e.g., Boosters, SPARC, SMPA) or more broadly through PTO, SEF, teacher appreciation, book club, graduation, etc.  And if your child is still looking for activities, share this list of SHS Clubs & Activities and encourage them to try a few.

Making travel plans? 
Whether is for the holidays or spring break, many parents wonder how/whether they can pull their kids early for vacation now that they're in high school. Our off-the-record advice is this:
1) Academics come first and high school is a commitment. Each day, classes cover A LOT of material and it can be difficult to catch up after an absence so make sure you minimize school-day conflicts and make sure any absence is for a good reason.
2) A responsible student with good attendance and a solid standing in their classes can usually make up any one-day absence. If your child knows in advance they will miss school, they should tell their teacher and work out a makeup plan directly. Advance planning is critical as some teachers will require makeup work BEFORE the absence (especially if missing a test.)
3) SHS athletes should check w their coach BEFORE parents book non-refundable travel. Many freshman families are blindsided to realize teams usually practice through school breaks.  WINTER sports often have only a few days for a VERY LIMITED YEAR-END BREAK and SPRING athletes often have NO SPRING BREAK, with practices and games scheduled right through these breaks. Athletes should discuss dates and expectations with their coach and parents may be able to learn the ropes from returning parents (another great reason to get involved in Boosters!)


Your children are at a such a fabulous moment – old enough to start taking care of their affairs and setting their own directions – but you’re entering the hardest part of parenting: Sharing the reins!! It’s a delicate balance and you’ll get it wrong sometimes but keep trying. And if they refuse your advice, simply lead by  example; research shows they are watching your every move. You’re in this together and their moments of independence and accomplishment make it all worthwhile!


Go Hilltoppers!


- Sara Barbato, Maria Darmer, Kathren Delikaris, Michelle DeMuth, Heather Grondin & Kim McGovern



PS - Please mark your calendar with the following Freshman related event dates (*PTO Sponsored Events):

  • December 8 -SHS PTO General Meeting*- 8:30-10:00 a.m. in the SHS Auditorium
  • January 12- SHS PTO General Meeting*- 8:30-10:00 a.m. virtual
  • March 5 – Freshman/Sophomore Family Night – 7:00–9:00 p.m in the SHS Auditorium
  • March 8- SHS PTO General Meeting*- 8:30-10:00 a.m. in the SHS Auditorium
  • March 14- SHS PTO Dad’s Social 7:00-11:00 at the Elk’s Lodge
  • May 17- SHS PTO General Meeting*- 8:30-10:00 a.m. in the SHS Auditorium.