Freshman Guide to High School
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Your freshman year in high school is an exciting time – full of new experiences. This guide is to assist you as you begin your journey toward graduation.
We welcome your calls, questions, and appointments to work out the obstacles and joys of this journey. Regular and open communication, within the family and with the school counselor, makes this a much easier process and leads to success. We strongly encourage you to become involved in school activities. We want you to be an avid and enthusiastic part of our Cavalier community!
Below you will find a lot of information on Student Services (counseling/academics), honor code, time management tips, accessing Schoology and SIS ParentVUE, and frequently asked questions we have collected over the years. Please let us know if there is a question you would like answered by emailing Mr. Richardson at @email.
Course Access and Grading
For student and parent information regarding class schedules, grades, attendance, and other pertinent information, please refer to our SIS Information Page.
Our learning management system, Schoology, provides detailed information regarding individual courses, syllabi, class materials, due dates, and other relevant information within our school community. For more detailed information such as log-in instructions, accessing mobile apps for Schoology, and other information, please look at our Schoology Information Page.
Parents and students can email their teachers directly via ParentVUE/StudentVUE accounts or through their email provider using the contact information provided through their syllabus. Our staff directory is also available for contacting individual teachers.
Counselors are assigned based on students' last names. Your counselors are here to help you with any social, emotional, academic, or career problems you may be having. They are available to help you register for classes and prepare your college applications amongst many other things. They also organize class-wide and school-wide events throughout the school year. If you are unsure what to do or how to do something, your counselor can help you figure it out or point you in the right direction.
Student Services Staff
Seeing Your Counselor
Ask your teacher for a pass to student services at any time, but be aware they have the right to say “No, not right now” if you are doing something they feel you cannot miss at that time. If it is an emergency, explain that to your teacher. Or, you may stop by the office in between classes. If your counselor is busy, complete an orange slip located outside each counselor’s office and leave it in the box on their door so they can contact you.
When you are speaking with your counselor, you can be assured that your conversations with them will remain confidential. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule. They are:
- If you are having thoughts about hurting yourself or someone else
- If you or somebody you know has been harmed, neglected or abused
- If you or another student have committed a crime
- If you are in a dangerous situation
College & Career Center
The College & Career Center is an integral part of the Student Services Department at WHS and works directly with our counselors to provide the most current information to the Woodson community. The College & Career Center has multiple resources including:
- College Planning - specific college materials, college representative visits to WHS, and how the college process works
- Paying for College: financial aid & scholarship information
- Standardized Testing: SAT/ACT, ASVAB, TOEFL
- Vocational & Technical Schools
- Career Resources – current job openings for students, career inventories, resume help, mock interviews and internships
- Gap Year Options
- Summer Programs
- Volunteer Opportunities
There are two different diplomas to choose: Standard and Advanced Studies.
*Total of 22 standard credits
**Total of 6 verified credits
- 4 English
- 4 History
- 3 Math
- 3 Science
- 2 Health & PE
- 2 World Language/Fine Art/CTE
- 1 Economics & Personal Finance
- 3 Electives: 2 Sequential
- *** 1 Course must be Virtual
- CTE Credential
*Total of 26 standard credits
**Total of 9 verified credits
- 4 English
- 4 History
- 4 Math
- 4 Science
- 2 Health & PE
- 1 Fine Art/CTE
- 3 or 2+2 World Language
- 1 Economics & Personal Finance
- 3 Electives
- *** 1 Course must be Virtual
*A standard credit is earned when a student passes a course.
**A verified credit is earned when a student passes a course and the associated end-of-course SOL test.
Everyone may need help in a class from time to time. Of course, the best resource for help in a particular class would be your teacher and this should be the first thing you do to seek out help. If additional help is needed beyond your teacher, all departments offer peer tutoring through their Honor Society. Ask your teacher who to contact for each subject. Students can also schedule peer tutoring on Wednesday mornings before school begins.
The Parent Resource Center also provides information about private tutoring.
The Honor Code defines the expected standards of conduct in academic affairs.
- Giving or receiving any unauthorized aid, assistance, or unfair advantage on any form of academic work including homework, writing prep, and/or tests.
- Copying another person’s work or ideas. This includes anything from the internet and failing to give proper documentation of another person’s idea.
- Committing any statement, written or oral, of an untruth relevant to one’s academic work.
Cell Phone Use
- Use of cell phones or other portable devices during all assessments is strictly prohibited.
Possible consequences of an honor code violation include receiving a 50% as your grade on the assignment in question, loss of qualification for an honor society membership, notification to your counselor that you violated the Honor Code, and/or mandatory community service hours. Please visit the Honor Code page below for a more detailed description of the process.
We encourage all students to become involved in extracurricular activities while at Woodson. We believe that being involved helps you become more engaged in Cav Culture, meet new friends, and have fun! Keep in mind that those students who have invested their time in these activities during their high school years are very interested in having new students join them. Please feel encouraged to go to an interest meeting or to any meeting throughout the year.
Get involved and have fun!
Helpful Hints For Good Time Management
- Write everything down! Don’t rely on your memory. Write all your assignments in your planner or in your phone so you know when you have assignments and when you don’t.
- Use your agenda, calendar, and time management pages to create a daily, weekly, and/or long-term schedule for classes, activities, and schoolwork.
- Make a realistic to-do list for each day and don’t go to bed until everything is done.
- Make an “appointment” with your important schoolwork assignments. (ex. “I have an appointment with my science fair project this Sunday from 2-3pm.”) That way, time is set aside for work you need to complete.
- Break big assignments down into smaller parts so they are not overwhelming. Work ahead of the deadline!
- Use lunch time, 3rd Period, and time between the end of school and the start of activities to get work done. Find “pockets of time” during the day to do small or parts of assignments = less work to do at home.
- DO NOT log in to social networks until your work is finished. They are too tempting!
- Find a place to work that does not have any distractions.
Just get started! You may find that a task is more enjoyable than you had thought.
Tips To Help The Procrastinator
- Agree to dedicate 10 minutes to starting a task. You may find that it is not as difficult as you think.
- Make studying a sort of game. Challenge yourself to complete a task within a specific time frame.
- Label or “rank” you assignments – easy, difficult, takes time, etc. This gives you an overview of what you need to accomplish.
- Most people try to complete their easier tasks first and save the more difficult ones until later. It may be easier to rationalize putting a hard task off when you’re tired, busy, etc. Change it up a little. One day, start with your easy tasks first and see how long your homework takes. Next day, try starting with the harder tasks (You may find they are not as hard as you think!) and then do the easier tasks later. Or – alternate what seems easy or hard to you. Compare the times it takes for each of these methods and see what time frame you really need to complete your work. Make it a game. Make it fun.
The demands of high school can be stressful. We want you to be a happy and healthy student and to enjoy the fun of friends and learning.
- Diet – What you eat affects how you feel. No matter how much you love junk food, keep in mind that healthier snacks will make you feel better.
- Exercise – Even though you may be taking a PE or Personal Fitness class, you need to move your body! Even a short daily walk will improve mood and relieve stress. Walk your dog. Take a run after school. Go swimming. Even walk the mall. It’s good for you!
- Sleep – We know this is not easy during your high school years. You want to stay up late but your school bus comes early. Add the fact that you have lots of homework and you want to stay current with your social media. Lots to do and not enough hours in the day! Try your best. Every study shows that sleep deprivation affects mental performance. Getting enough sleep is important!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ParentVUE? How do I sign up for an account?
To create a ParentVUE account please click here and follow the instructions on the page. Additionally, parents can now create their own account for Schoology. After registering and having their account validated at Woodson High School, parents will have their own username and password to access all of their children's available courses and their Career and College Planning through Family Connection.
I signed up for Honors but now I think that was a mistake. How do I switch out?
To switch out of a class, students need to complete a schedule change packet. These packets become available after first quarter interims. In order to be considered for a switch you should have met with your teacher for help at least four times and have completed all homework assignments.
Can I can turn in all my homework by the end of the quarter and still earn credit?
No. Every department has a late homework policy but late work is not accepted after the due date unless you were sick and have made arrangements to turn it in within the appropriate time frame.
If I don’t like my elective class, can I change it after school starts?
No, elective changes are not considered after the school year has started.
What is Honor Code? How does it work?
"On my honor, I have neither given nor received aid on this work."
If a teacher feels that you have violated the honor code, they will complete a referral. The student has the opportunity to review this referral and write a statement. The parents/guardians will be notified by the teacher that the referral was made. Then the honor council will review the violation and make a decision about the consequence of the action.
How do I join an activity?
You can attend a meeting and join. You can join through club day (late September). You can speak directly to the sponsor of the club.
What is my responsibility if/when I miss class for any reason?
To work with your teachers directly and make up the work in a timely fashion.