Sue spoke at Yinghua Academy

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How to choose the best high school

Sue at Yinghua
Photo source: Yinghua Academy
Parents at Yinghua

Sue gave a presentation Count Down to High School and Beyond: Getting Connected-Finding a Fit at Yinghua Academy, a Chinese immersion charter school, last night (1/12/16). And no, she did not present in Chinese!

Sue spoke to a group of middle school students and their parents on how to choose the best high school. Among the topics Sue addressed were her top ten tips for choosing the best high school.

  1. Check out the academics. Look at the high school prolife, the course catalog and the school website to learn all the details. I also like read the mission statement if they have one. Look to see how many honors, AP or IB classes are available, do they have the electives you are looking for, will there be enough math available since you are all so advanced in math and what about language options.
  2. Think about what you want in your high school. If you love art and doing hands on things, look for a high school that has lots of opportunities in art or tech classes.. If you’re big into sports, look for a school with a good athletic program. You get the idea, right?
  3. Consider where your friends are going, but don’t let it dictate your whole decision. You can see your friends no matter what high school you go to, and even make new friends to introduce to the old! This is your decision not theirs.
  4. Discuss your choices with your parents. Ensure the fees are affordable for your family without having to make sacrifices. Fees usually only apply for private school; most public schools will charge minimal or no fees. If the fees are too high, try for a scholarship or financial aid. Scholarships are given to certain students but if you fill out a form for financial aid it’s guaranteed!
  5. Don’t rule out a school for one thing. If that school doesn’t have as many clubs as another school don’t rule it out. Or if one school has free laptops don’t choose that school because of it. Try to look at a school overall and not for one thing. For example, If your top high school does not have an orchestra you can join Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestra or Minnesota Youth Symphony.
  6. Tour the school and, ASK QUESTIONS! What electives are there? How are the teachers? Do they have clubs? Good athletic programs? How big are the classes?
  7. Think about the size, are you comfortable with a smaller school or do you want a larger size.
  8. Try to imagine yourself going to school here every day. Imagine how you would feel walking down the halls or in the cafeteria. If you’re comfortable and happy with many things about the school, then definitely make it an option. You want a school that’s just right for four years.
  9. Location – how will I get there, if it is close, can I bike or walk, if far, is there a bus.
  10. Trust your instinct, I really believe when you visit a school you will know in your heart if this is a place where you can by happy.

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