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Preparing for a Different Look of High School this Year

NBCUniversal, Inc.

What is the most important thing you need to get ready for high school? Parents and students undoubtedly have two different answers, but this year, there is one thing everyone can agree on. Preparation for this school year will be different from any other.

Shareefah Mason, a Dallas ISD Distinguished Teacher and a 2020 Presidential Leadership Scholar, said preparation is the best thing a parent can do for their child.

“Parents need to think of themselves as coaches,” Mason said. “Right now, we have a lot of stressors and we don’t need any additional stressors.”

She said the best thing parents can do for their high school students right now is to get them ready for things to continue to change.

“Nothing about this school year will be normal. So, it’s extremely important that they understand the students need to be aware things are going to look different. Every safeguard being put in place is there to protect them,” Mason said.

Mason said working with your student to ensure they know the pathways after graduation is just as important as the preparation for school.

“If your student is attending a college or a university or even entering the military or going to a career school, you need to know the requirements and criteria, because things have changed,” Mason said.

Mason said because of the pandemic, some higher education institutions have waived SAT and ACT testing or military career testing. It’s important to know those changes before the school year starts.

Finally, keeping a work-school balance is imperative for high school students.

“We need to make sure that students not only have the opportunity to work to help the family with bills or necessities during this time, but we need to make sure their grades are appropriate to be able to do both,” Mason said.

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