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For incoming Freshmen. The quick high school how-to guide.
 
   
WHAT I WISH I WOULD HAVE DONE. . .  . . . . . .
 
Academics:
1. Miss fewer days of school and don’t be tardy. . .Exam exemptions are awesome!
2. Do homework the night it is assigned
3. Learn instead of memorize.  Study every night and place the lessons into long-term memory for the finals and EOCs.
4. Get organized. . .keep Planner up to date
5. Use a backpack….keeps everything in place.  Consider two binders or folders.  One for “A” days and one for “B” days.
6. Use the supplies each teacher tells you to use.
7. Don’t take two double block classes.  Double blocked classes meet every day. Although not impossible, it’s very hard to do       both Athletics, Band, and a few other classes are double blocked. 
8. Do make-up work the same day it is assigned! Don’t wait!!!
9. Take advantage of morning and afternoon teacher tutorials.
10. Get name and phone number of a reliable classmate
11. Actually study for tests!
12. Start on Project when it is assigned!  Check the teacher’s website for the rubrics.  Look at it, study and have questions ready.
13. Do all homework and turn in it . . .zeros really hurt!
14. Read the entire novels/assignments assigned.
15. Do the summer project over the summer and turn it in on time.  Make sure you really understand the assignment.
16. Pay attention in class and take good notes
17. Don’t take grades for granted!
18. Don’t procrastinate!
19. Don’t be afraid to Ask questions and for help when needed!
20. Check Home Access and talk to teachers about missing or failed assignments as soon as you notice them.  Athletics will have weekly grade checks.
21. Have folders in your Google drive dedicated to each of your classes.  Keep it organized to save time and stress.
22. Sign up for Remind 101 on the first day of school.  It keeps you updated on each class.
23. Get more sleep….Go to bed earlier!
24. Eat Breakfast
25. Bring a snack with you.  “C” lunch doesn’t start till almost 2pm.
26. Connect with the upper classmen
27. Get involved in clubs and organizations
28. Show your spirit!  Go to the games and pep rallies
29. Don’t take on too much
30. Get to know more people.  
31. The main mall during passing period is fun but can make you late to class too.
32. Spend less time trying to impress and more time being yourself
33. Don’t stress about homecoming….You don’t need a date!
 
Parents
Get Involved
Join the PTSA.  Help support your child at school and in their extracurricular activities.
 What is the daily schedule?  
MHS is on an alternating “A/B” day block schedule. On “A” days students attend periods 1-4; on “B” days, periods 5
-8. “A” and “B” days alternate daily throughout the school year. School begins at 9:05am and ends at 4:10pm.  Classes are approximately 90 minutes long. This block scheduling is the same at all district high schools.
 
.AP vs. Dual Credit and Grades
Students in Pre-AP and Advanced Placement (AP) classes take a rigorous course that prepares them for the Advanced Placement exam. Students are awarded credit based on their performance on the exam and their college’s requirements. 
 
Students in Dual Credit classes are simultaneously enrolled at McNeil High School and at Austin Community College. Students can earn credit at both McNeil High School and the community college with their grade during the semester. Students are not eligible to take dual credit courses until the summer after their sophomore year. 
 
What is most important…Your child’s grade point average (GPA) or obtaining college credits?  Taking all pre-AP and AP classes helps your student’s GPA and class ranking.  If the goal is to be in the top of the class, then pre-AP and AP courses are the way to go.  However, if the goal is college credit, than dual-credit classes beginning the summer after sophomore year is the better option.  Credit will be awarded once the college transcript has been received by the registrar’s office.
 
 
What are colleges looking for? 
8. Counselor/teacher recommendation
7. Class rank
6. Student’s demonstrated interest
5. Essay or writing sample
4. Grades in all courses
3. Admission test scores (ACT/SAT)
2. Strength of curriculum
1. Grades in college prep courses
2011NACAC Admission Trends Survey, factors of “Considerable Importance”
 
 
**Information gathered by McNeil HS PTSA