9th Grade Essentials

Parents and Students: Welcome to RHS!

The High School transcript

On behalf of the High School Guidance Department, welcome to RHS! I am Mr. Cardie, the 9th and 10th grade guidance counselor. I am looking forward to working with you and your students for the next two years. I wanted to reach out to you because my contact with your students is limited by COVID and because, in my view, 9th grade is the most important year of your child’s academic career. The transition from 8th to 9th grade is a challenging one. Teachers have significantly higher academic expectations in 9th grade than they did in 8th grade. Freshman year also begins the recording of your student’s academic progress on a high school transcript, so the stakes are higher. This transcript will stay with your student for the rest of his or her life. It is required by colleges, the military and even some employers. Therefore, it is important that it looks the best it possibly can, since it is a reflection of your child’s performance and potential. It is my goal, as their counselor, to help them reach their full potential both personally and academically.

Parents: Check Genesis Daily

Over my 20+ year career as a guidance counselor and as a parent I have learned that the single best predictor of a student’s academic success is parental involvement. Student ability and motivation definitely play a key part, but as parents we can provide the support and our own motivation that are essential for your child’s academic success. Our teachers present material in the classroom and typically expect students to complete homework daily. That homework, during COVID, is submitted online to the teachers. Teachers record the homework submissions for your child in GENESIS. This is where parents are so very important and very frankly are irreplaceable. It is very important to check GENESIS daily. If there is a single thing that you can do to ensure the success of your child during the next 4 years it is to check GENESIS daily. If your student says something was submitted and it is not showing up as turned in, then the next step is to contact the teacher to find out what has happened. Teacher email addresses can be found on the district website under staff directory (http://www.riverside.k12.nj.us/staff_directory ). Don’t be shy, the teachers welcome and expect your involvement. They want your child to succeed just as much as you do. Follow up and find out directly from the teacher what the truth of the matter is.

GENESIS is also valuable for preparing your students for tests. Many teachers indicate in GENESIS when an upcoming test or quiz is scheduled. Students need to prepare for tests, days in advance, rather than just the night before the test. If you do not see when a test is scheduled, email the teacher. Find out what their typical test schedule is and follow up if you do not see something in GENESIS as the expected test date approaches. Do not rely on your child to tell you when the next test is planned. When a test date is known, ensure that your student is spending time reviewing the material and feel free to quiz your child as a help. Eventually success becomes self motivating and you can take more of a back seat, just don’t get out of the car! You will need to stay involved.

Forgot your Genesis password? No problem, email Mrs Bisch and ask for her to send you a reset password link gbisch@riverside.k12.nj.us

Parents: Organization and Extra Help

Many students need help with organization. It would be nice if this was not the case, but most students need help in this department as well. The more you can help with organization in 9th grade the easier it will be for the remainder of high school. Using a calendar that is in a public place that you both have access to is a great way to help your student learn to organize their time wisely. Train your student to fill it with upcoming assignment due dates and test and quiz dates. As due dates get closer ask to see the work completed or begin having your student review for tests. Students are given agenda books by RHS that are a perfect place in which to write down homework assignments. Check their agenda books daily as you are checking GENESIS. A high school student always has homework. If your student says he has none, send an email to all of his teachers and verify it. Better to be safe than sorry. If there is a rare no homework night, have your student review the work in classes they struggle with. If your student continues to struggle, contact the teacher for suggestions on how he can improve his grade. Teachers are typically available after school Monday through Thursday for extra help during a normal school year. During COVID teachers are available for helping until 2:45pm. Contact the teachers to see if extra help can be scheduled virtually during COVID. Some teachers may also have specific virtual “Office Hours” for students to get extra help.

Dangers of TV, Internet, and Phones

It is a good idea, in general, to have your student do their school work in a room that you are in. Bedrooms are not as good as living rooms or kitchens, since you cannot easily monitor what is being looked at. Many students need reminders to turn their attention back on the books. Cell phones may need to be deposited with parents during study time. Remember, if you are paying the bill on the cell phone, it is your phone. Please use a family friendly filter on your children’s phones and computers for their protection, no matter what their age is. Some filters are free, but no matter the cost, they are worth it. Take full control of the internet in your home.

Graduation requirements, final grades/report cards and summer school

Freshman year is the first and most important step towards graduation. Setting good study habits with your student now, can make the next four years among the most memorable in your child’s life. Your role as parents is essential. The high school guidance website has a lot of information that can help you over the next four years. You will find the Program of Studies on this site which includes the graduation requirements for Riverside High School. A summary of those requirements are as follows: 4 years of English, 4 years of Physical Education, 3 years of math, 3 years of history, 3 years of science, 2 years of world language, 1 year of Personal Finance, 1 year of a practical art and 1 year of a fine art. A total of 130 credits are required for graduation from 12th grade. Typically, students have 35-40 credits in their schedules each year, with each course being work 5 credits. Students who do not pass a required course with a grade of 60 or better, are required to pass it either in summer school, which costs about $200, or repeat it and pass it the following year. In order to qualify for 10th grade status, 9th grade students must pass at least 30 credits (6 courses). Final report card grades are calculated with each quarter/marking period being worth 20% and the final exams being worth 20%. Once final grades are in, they are placed on the transcript. Report cards are not sent home, but are accessible in GENESIS a few days after the end of the marking periods. The marking period ending dates for 2020-21 are as follows: Q1 Nov 10th, Q2 Jan 26th, Q3 April 1st and Q4 June 17th.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about how to help you student at Riverside High School. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you have. I can be reached by email at rcardie@riverside.k12.nj.us or by phone at 856-461-1255 ext 1137. I look forward to meeting you soon! Bob Cardie, 9th and 10th grade counselor.