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Current 8th Grade/Incoming Freshmen - Course Selection Support

December: Prepare for Course Selection/Requests: 

During December, 8th grade families should consider the following academic planning prorities: 

  1. Review PSAT 8.9 scores from October (if applicable)
  2. Understand and review individual student's core academic placements
  3. Explore the curriculum guide and begin considering elective options for next year. Resources include:

Several other details can be found in the December Newsletter. 

January: Attend 8th Grade Orientation & Begin Course Selection

All 8th grade families (including their students) are invited to attend 8th Grade Orientation on Thursday, January 18th. Specific times and logistics were included in the December newsletter and also mailed to your student's address. Following orientation, families can begin the course selection/request process. The 2024-2025 course selection/request form (it's pink!) will be mailed to your student's address by January 10th. Please allow 5-7 business days for it to arrive. Following orientation, families can also begin to explore the resources below to help finalize course requests. The resources include: 

Course selection/request forms are due to VHHS by February 9th. Forms can be emailed, mailed, or dropped off at west main security desk. 

What should students consider when selecting courses & developing an academic plan? 

  • Balance: How can your student create an academic plan and an extracurricular plan (athletics, clubs, fine arts activities and work) while maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle?
  • Choices: Which elective courses (Applied Tech, Business, Family/ Consumer Sciences, Art, Music & World Languages) is your student planning to take? What combination of elective, on-level/ college prep and accelerated courses feels right for my student? Which course should they focus on because it is an area of interest or connects to their post high school goals?
  • Advanced Classes & Level: What level of academic rigor is the student prepared for? Are they ready for advanced classes? Which accelerated courses would you consider as a "good stretch"? Which accelerated course would you consider a "stretch too far"? How many accelerated courses (honors, Advanced Placement, capstone or dual credit) should your student take, if any? How much is it OK to struggle?
  • While a level change request process does exist, several factors impact the decision to level or up down once the semester has started. The family, school counselor, department chair, and school administration are all included in this process and each student's individual needs and circumstances are factors in the decision. 

Course Selection & Optional Counselor Appointments

All 8th graders will electronically receive their course placements in December and will be mailed their pink course selection/request form in Mid-January. Families are encouraged to read the instructions, review the support resources and select their classes for 9th grade following 8th grade orientation on January 18th and prior to February 9th. 

 If a family has questions about course selection or transitioning to high school, counselors will be available for OPTIONAL appointments. You may or may not not have an opportunity to meet with your assigned counselor as not all counselors will be available. The process to request an optional counselor meeting will be shared in January. 

Optional 8th grade counselor dates and times are listed below:

Wednesday, January 31st: 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm (In-person appointments at VHHS)

Wednesday, February 7th: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm (virtual appointments)

Contact Information for Support

STaff role phone number email
Debbie Lehman Data Processing Specialist 847-932-2030
Jennifer Sheppard Data Processing Specialist 847-932-2088
Andrew Young Assistant Principal 847-932-2214