Families: 11th Grade Checklist
Your student's junior year is key; encourage your student to work hard and refine his or her college options.
☑ Do well in school.► Help your student set academic and personal goals for the year in order to stay motivated and focused.
● Discuss ways to take on challenges. Help your student understand that failure is a learning experience and an opportunity for growth.
► Be vocal about your expectations for school.
● Understand your student's academic growth and development.
► Absences make a big impact on student learning; make sure your student goes to class.
● Ensure that your student attends school as much as possible; schedule family trips during school breaks.
● Encourage your student to participate in classes and turn in assignments on time.
► Ask questions about your student's classes, teachers, homework and class assignments.
● Knowing that you care will help your student take school seriously.
► Check your student's grades regularly.
● Keep track of weekly progress.
● Ask school staff how you can learn about your student's grades, opportunities for tutoring and other available services.
► Encourage reading for pleasure.
● Reading improves focus, concentration, imagination and knowledge.
► Help your student practice good written and oral communication skills.
● Encourage your student to write more: keep a journal, start a blog, or join an activity like the school newspaper.
● Encourage your student to practice writing college and scholarship essays now and ask for edits from a teacher or trusted adult.
● Encourage your student to learn to speak confidently: join the debate team, try out for the school play or practice public speaking in the community.
☑ Take the right classes.► Talk to school staff to make sure your student is on track to graduate and prepared for college.
● Make sure your student plans to take math all four years in high school.
● Encourage your student to take a foreign/world language; four-year public universities in Oregon require at least two years of the same language while more selective colleges might require more.
► Encourage your student to sign up for advanced classes and earn college credit in high school.
● Tackling tough courses can give your student confidence and prepare him or her for higher-level classes. Encourage your student to take the most challenging courses that he or she can handle.
► Make sure your student takes as many classes as the school schedule allows.
● Encourage your student to explore new interests by taking electives including career and technical education (CTE) classes.
☑ Get organized.► Help your student find a system to stay organized.
● Review the school calendar together. Note important dates and put them in a shared online calendar or in an easy-to-view place, such as a bulletin board in your kitchen.
● Encourage your student to use a paper or digital planner or calendar to keep track of school assignments and projects.
► Help your student find a quiet, well-lit study location.
► Establish a homework routine for your student to follow each day.
● Promote good study skills.
● Set limits around technology.
► Help your student update the file of important documents.
● This should include a list of activities, copies of report cards and lists of awards and honors. These will be useful for college and scholarship applications.
☑ Prepare for college admission tests.► Learn about college admissions tests and test optional admissions.
► FALL: Encourage your student to take the PSAT/NSMQT to qualify for scholarships.
► WINTER: Encourage your student to take practice tests and learn helpful tips for the SAT or ACT.
► SPRING: Encourage your student to sign up for and take the SAT or ACT.
- What are your goals for the school year for classes, sports, or other activities? What are your plans to achieve these goals?
- What is one cool thing you learned today at school?
- What is your favorite class in school? Why?
- What is the most challenging class in school? Why? Who can you ask for help?
☑ Get involved.► Encourage your student to continue participating in extracurricular activities and to consider a leadership role.
● Getting involved in clubs and other groups is a great way for your student to identify interests and feel more engaged in school.
► Get involved yourself. This will send a strong message to your student that you think school is important.
● Volunteer at the high school.
● Make contact with teachers and the counselor. Know the resources at the school and make sure your student is aware that there is help when needed.
● Attend award ceremonies, activities, sporting events etc.
► Help your student sign up for summer programs or activities.
☑ Spend time with good people.► Get to know your student's friends and their parents.
● Peers will have an increasingly large role in your student’s behaviors and actions.
► Help your student find a trusted adult or older student who can serve as a mentor.
● Schedule time with your student to discuss school, goals, and how life is going.
► Encourage your student to serve as a role model and mentor for younger students.
☑ Make good choices.► Help your student understand appropriate, safe behavior online and on the phone.
● Help your student set appropriate privacy settings on social media.
● Remind your student to only share information with people he/she knows and trusts, that information posted can live online forever, and to always ask him/herself: would I want my grandma/teacher/religious leader to see this?
► Share your expectations and the risks of behaviors like drinking, doing drugs, and having sex.
● Understand your student's social and emotional development.
- What is your favorite activity or club?
- Who did you eat lunch with today?
- Who is your favorite adult at the school? Why?
☑ Explore college and career options.► Help your student refine his/her list of careers to 3-5 options.
● Help your student explore the education needed for each career.
► Share your expectations about college attendance.
● Talk about the importance of higher education.
► Review with your student what is most important to him/her in a college.
► Help your student refine his/her list to 5-10 colleges or training options that interest him/her.
● Help your student confirm that these colleges have the program or major for his/her chosen careers.
● Help your student research admission requirements for each college to make sure she or he is on track.
● Help your student sign up to receive information from his/her top colleges on their websites.
● SPRING: Help your student make a list of deadlines for each college.
► If your student is undocumented or interested in the arts, military or playing sports, research special requirements and deadlines.
► Get to know your student's top colleges.
● If possible, visit your student’s top colleges on a school field trip or as a family. Sign up with the admissions office to take an official tour and go to an information session and sit in on a class if possible.
● Explore colleges online with your student using college websites and social media.
● Encourage your student to attend a college fair if there is one in your area.
☑ Learn about paying for college.► You can afford college. Learn about financial aid and ways to pay for college.
● Attend financial planning or how to pay for college programs with your family.
► Explore the different costs of college with your student.
● Complete the FAFSA4Caster with your student to estimate how much financial aid he or she may receive.
● Explore the net price of the colleges on your student's list - use a calculator to get an estimate.
► Set up and regularly contribute to a college savings account for your student.
● Look into matched savings accounts that provide extra money for college.
► Encourage your student to search for scholarships and apply to any available now.
- What would be your perfect college? Are you interested in going to a big or small school? Rural, urban or suburban?
- Can you explain to me the sticker price v. the net price of colleges with an example?