Parents of the HS Class of 2025

From the look of things, some schools may revert back to tests when C25 students are applying. The plan is for my kiddo to take an ACT next year and then we evaluate.

S25 is taking:
Adv. Pre Calc
Adv. English
US History (dropped APush)
JROTC
Spanish I
Wind Ensemble
Foundations of Communication (req. 1st semester)
Gym(req-2nd semester)

This is the first year he could take AP but isn’t.

He isn’t taking science this year because he had no room in his schedule- but last year he doubled up and took Adv. Chem and Bio (freshmen have to take Bio and there is no adv. option).

Next year he’s thinking AP Calc AB, AP Com Sci, Physics (we have heard the AP teacher is Horrible so will avoid) or AP Bio and Physics senior year, maybe AP Euro,

His goal is Naval Academy, Air Force Academy or ROTC.

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So it appears that it’s US News & World Reports college rankings release day, judging from the flurry of news reporting and CC posting going on right now.

My take: USNWR is a failed magazine that figured out how to prey upon the insecurities of America’s middle class to keep its brand financially afloat.

Because that’s all that their rankings are—a way to make money off of the worries of parents and students, who have been conned into fearing for their financial futures if they’re not associated with a “good college” (defined as one that does well in the USNWR rankings, of course).

Seriously, don’t buy into the hype.

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Well said!

Late to the first day party—

Started right after Labor Day.

English II-Honors
Latin II
AP Computer Science Principles
Pre-Calculus-Honors
Chemistry-Honors
United States History I-Honors
AP World History
Health II (Semester)/SAT Prep (Semester)

Shocked that so far my STEM daughter’s favorite classes are the 2 histories. So far so good on her liking the school year.

D25 suffered knee injury that kept her out of Fall sports so she can rehab for the Spring season which is her main sport anyway (did a few college clinics over the Summer). Hopefully that works out, club practice starts this weekend.

Good luck to all the super sophs out there.

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A couple updates:

I expressed concern about D25’s honors precalc teacher, beacause historically the honors/AP classes don’t get the best teachers in our math department. D21’s precalc teacher was one of the worst we have had at any level, K-12. New teacher (actually new to our school but she has taught for 20 years) for that class, and so far so good. We had our first round of conferences last week and all is going well, at least for the first 1/4 of the class. D has one of the top grades in the class and says the teacher is actually teaching it, which doesn’t always happen. Her other classes are going well too.

On a personal note, I think I have alluded to the fact that socially she has struggled. She was kind of on the fringes but still part of the popular group in early MS, then there was a mutual falling out. She has drifted between a couple not great groups looking for her people. She had a boyfriend for almost a year that she broke up with about a month ago. I think everyone but her could see it was a bad idea, but it was a social crutch. Now that she has shed that, she is doing better on the friend front. She has a girl she is hanging out with quite a bit, I think a bit shy and nerdy, and also struggling with making friends. They seem to be really good for each other. D is also spending more time socializing with student council people and others in groups she is in.

Overall soph year is going pretty good. Academically frosh was fine, but socially this year is head and shoulders above last year.

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I’m still shocked that kids can take eight classes at a time. Our public school generally has six classes, with only a few zero period classes offered (and not AP classes, so you aren’t going to get an extra academic class by taking seven. You can take drama or band, etc, but not another “solid”). I think this is fairly standard in CA, although maybe it’s just the schools of which i’m aware.

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You can actually take 10 in our school, which is insane.

We have a block schedule, with full year classes taught in a semester, like in college. We used to have 4 blocks, but now have 5. School day is 8:00-3:40 with unrealistic passing periods and barely enough time to shove down a sandwich for lunch. But it was cheaper than hiring more teachers. Don’t get me started on that one.

Generally my kids try for 3 core academic classes, plus one other to pursue some interest, then one study hall. D25 had 2 quarters last year with 5 classes at once. She doesn’t want to do that again. Since they are full year classes crammed into one semester not 2, that means essentially double homework every night. Which is why we shoot for only 3 tough ones at once, plus one easier one since it’s the same workload as 8 classes in a regular schedule.

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The standard schedule for my kids’ school district is 6 credits per year…

But the high school my older two went to switched to a block schedule of 3½ credits per semester during my D19’s sophomore year, which she used to double up on math classes so that she went from our district’s ordinary math track (which caps out at precalc senior year, for those who take beyond the required 3 credits of math) to taking calculus at the local college senior year. So I’m a fan of block schedules because they allow doubling up like that for a kid who discovers after middle school how much they like a particular subject they weren’t previously interested in (whether that’s math like my kid, or science, or literature, or whatever).

The high school my younger two were/are in is the standard 6 credits schedule, but the DE high school my D23 is now in, being purely DE, has way more flexibility. Most kids take 4 (high school) credits each semester, though they can take as little as 3 and as many as 5. Again, really good for flexibility.

Thinking back to my own high school, the usual schedule was 8 credits per year, and for my spouse 7 (in the same state, but different districts). There were more required courses to take there than is the case for my kids, but even so the difference between 8 and 6 makes the latter feel horribly constrictive.

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I agree that 6 just doesn’t give much “explore” room. If you take the 4 main subjects and foreign language every year, which you probably should if interested in competitive college admissions, then that leaves 1 class a year. Add in a few other random requirements the school may have (PE/Health/Art/Personal Finance/whatever other random thing they put here) you can easily end up with 1-2 classes over 4 years that are truly elective. If you are doing something like band or FFA that requires a music or agriculture class every year (2 of my 4 did this, not D25), then not only are you missing out on a couple of your “should take” academic classes, you have zero “fun” electives.

This year D25 is taking Child Development/Holocaust/Ceramics/Personal Finance for her “fun” class (each is a class that would normally be a semester, so with our blocks is only a quarter). Personal Finance is required, the other 3 she took just because she thought they sounded interesting.

Junior and Senior year they have the option to be excused from 2 blocks/semester if they are taking a class that meets during that time at the local directional U. S19 did that 2 semesters and D21 did it once. I’m thinking D25 may do it at least a couple times, and maybe all 4. We will probably have a better feel on that in the spring when it’s time to sign up for junior classes.

ETA: I guess AP Human Geography is also a “fun” class. Could be considered a “core”, but she has AP World History so it’s an extra class.

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S25 has 7 classes a day. One is band, so at least that has minimal homework. He’s also required to take religion for four years so that takes up a class period. That only left one “exploration” course, and he decided to do the computer science track that the school offers. He enjoyed it last year, but this year he’s not thrilled with AP CS Principles. He’s already decided that the track is not for him and he doesn’t want to continue in it next year. I’m trying to remind myself that you often have to figure out what you don’t like before you can figure out what you do like.

Poor kid was sick with pneumonia two weeks ago and is still trying to catch up on all the work he missed. He’s done a pretty good job of staying on top of it, but it’s still been a slog for him to catch up.

Fall break is next year, and this year they expanded from four days to a week. Looking forward to a family trip to Sedona. It will be nice to have a break from work and school.

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Our public school up here in WA also has 6 classes at a time (with the additional 1 in 0 period, although that is usually band or gym class – if you put gym there, you can maybe squeeze another academic class out of the 6 regular periods).

My kid is doing:
Pre-Calculus H
World History 10
English 10
French 1
Chemistry (he hasn’t quite decided if he wants to do the extra honors work, but probably won’t)
Marketing Essentials / Gym (first one in Fall Term, second one in Spring Term)

So, yeah, the only “exploratory” class is Marketing Essentials for 1 semester. Everything else is basically core classes.

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