O. W. Holmes Junior High School

Helping Your Child Move on to Junior High

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The start of junior high is an exciting time for students and parents! It's filled with promise, anticipation and tremendous growth! You can help make your child's transition to Holmes JHS a success. Getting off to a good start can help set the stage for future success in high school, college, and other advanced training/education.

Your involvement still matters as your child gets older! Your child will need your support, attention, guidance, and love. Here are suggestions about being involved:

Reassure your child that it is normal to have concerns about:

  • Going to a school with a larger campus and older students
  • Having a schedule with 6-7 teachers, forgetting the locker combination, and learning how to buy lunch
  • Making new friends, being apart from old friends, and being left out if old friends move on to new friends
  • Increased homework with challenging projects, reports, and tests

Talk with your child...this is the first step in easing concerns.

  • Ask open-ended, clarifiying questions
  • Listen closely for unstated feelings and be ready to talk when your child wants to. Give your full attention whenever you can.
  • Highlight the positives. Remind your child that starting junior high means more independence, expanded academic and extracurricular activies, and increased maturity.

Get oriented...

  • Learn the physical layout of the Holmes JHS campus
  • Know who your child's teachers, counselor, and administration are
  • Find out what supplies your child needs
  • Stay active in the PTA (http://dcn.davis.ca.us/~hjh/index.htm) and attend school wide events
  • Don’t expect the school to contact you if your child is struggling. Many times, we find out a student is struggling from attentive parents.

Help your child academically. Organization is usually a learned skill. Help your child to develop organizational habits by:

  • Reinforcing daily and consistent use of the school planner. If the planner is empty, it shouldn't be.
  • Breaking down larger assignments (starting early, offering help when needed, and breaking down into smaller chunks/monitoring by using a family calendar).
  • Having daily backpack checks (take everything out and re-organizing).
  • Setting up a daily routine (arranging a consistent and comfortable place to study, helping to prioritize study tasks, and having all supplies needed for studying ready before beginning).
  • Preparing your child's backpack the night before (double check that homework has a designated spot and is in backpack).
  • Encouraging your child to identify "study buddies" in every class to call when your child has questions about an assignment/is absent.

Nurture a love of learning...

  • Praise your child's successes and efforts...catch your child being awesome! This positive reinforcement encourages continued effort and self-confidence. Search for opportunities to provide genuine praise and admiration. Limit disparging comments and montior your tone. Your child listens to everything you say. 100 compliments cannot undue 1 insult.
  • Use your local library. Help your child to get a library card, check out books, and access other library resources (the local Davis library branch: http://www.yolocounty.org/Index.aspx?page=263)
  • Plan family outings to local museums (for example, Crocker Art Museum: http://crockerartmuseum.org/programs-events/family-programs)

Friends and popularity are major issues for most junior high students. Support your child by:

  • Teaching family values such as fairness, integrity and respect for others.
  • Getting to know your child's friends and parents. Invite your child's friends over and make sure that house rules are respected at all times.
  • Talking with your child about risky behaviors.
  • Helping your child to have a positive self-concept by normalizing physcial and emotional changes.
  • Not accepting mistreatment as normal. Let your child's teachers and/or administration know about any concerning mistreatment that is happening at school or impacting your child's school day. Teach your child the value of walking away from a conflict, how to appear assertive/self-confident, and the importance of strong, healthy friendships.
  • Keeping in mind that it's normal for your child to want to keep certain thoughts and feelings private at this age...it's not personal, it's developmental.

Academic Interventions

If you have concerns about your child's academic performance, consider the following interventions:

  1. Increasing academic supports at home (supervising use of planner, study time and limiting use of phone/t.v.)
  2. Monitoring activity on School Loop
  3. Emailing teachers about concerns
  4. Contacting your child's school counselor
  5. Having your child get their planner signed by teachers or using the weekly progress report

Weekly Progress Report

The weekly progress report can be a powerful intervention because it requires your child to interact with teachers and increases personal responsibility. Students are responsible for giving the weekly progress report to their teachers at the beginning of class and picking it up at the end. Before using the weekly progress report, please follow these steps:

  1. Consult with your child's assigned school counselor.
  2. Email your child's teachers that you are going to start having your child use the weekly progress report.
  3. Consider having your child use the report on the same day each week. Thursday is ideal because it provides an extra day to obtain signatures before the weekend (which will give extra time to get missing homework completed).
  4. Consider implementing a behavioral reward that can only be earned, but not taken away. For example, if your child comes home with a completed progress report, he gets to go to Jamba Juice or have a half hour of free play time. Do not take away an earned reward as it will diminish its power.
  5. Use the weekly progress report consistently. Your child may resist the intervention. Time and experience has shown that it is most effective when used for at least a quarter.

Click on this link to access the Weekly Progress Report:  Weekly Progress Report