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Jimflip

High School, USA

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Probably something which could be "sticky'd" once the "checklist" is compiled.

 

I've gleaned so far I need:

 

All Reports from the SA Highschool

Exam papers from the Highschool

Medical Inoculation certificates

Standard equivalence (who would do this for High School ?)

 

Now for other things:

The kids won't be in uniforms, but what clothes should we be getting so that they don't stick out like sore thumbs on Day 1 ? Jeans ?

 

Thanks

J.

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They will stick out regardless of what they wear. The moment they open their mouths it will be apparent. Poor things, I know what its like.

 

As far as clothing: Jeans, t-shirt or sweater. Nothing with slogans on it (most schools dont allow it).

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Hi Jimflip.

 

The following information applies to a school district in Portland, Oregon. I'm pretty sure all schools (nationwide) will follow similar procedures.

 

According to the Beaverton School District's Consistent Discipline Handbook 2005-2006:

 

Dress and grooming are primary responsibilities of students and parents/guardians. However, students may be directed to change dress or grooming if it interferes with the learning process or school climate, is unclean or threatens the health or safety of the student or others. Clothing, jewelry, or wording/graphics on clothing which is sexually suggestive, drug related, vulgar, which depicts violence, insulting, gang membership related, or ridicules a particular person or group is prohibited.

 

Here is a link to the complete handbook in PDF format. :)

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Tokolosi, you are exactly right. Optimistically they may be a curiosity, but there is a "dark side" to high school life ...

 

Jimflip, jeans / street-casual clothes are just fine ... Any person with common sense should be able to figure out how to dress appropriately in an American high school.

 

Some general comments related to high school dress codes:

 

Most schools use the guideline that clothes should be clean, safe and not create a distraction ... but in some schools, there are issues with gangs ... and they want to discourage kids from displaying affiliations. As for slogans, it depends on the school but, generally slogans per se are not the issue, it is particular slogans that are inappropriate.

 

Girls get picked on the most with dress-code because unfortunately the popular media and fashions tend to influence the girls to flaunt their sexuality. Things like skirt /shorts length, spaghetti straps, midriffs, low-riding jeans with thongs, low cut blouses are discouraged. They will probably get asked to cover up but at worst parents are called by the administration, and asked to remove their child from the school.

 

As I said, just have your kids use common sense, and they will be fine.

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For standard equivalence, you could try a credential evaluation service like www.wes.org ... however the school may do their own equivalence and in general they make them repeat the current year ... at least for social studies (American history) ... Don't despair though as the schools here provide a wide range of options that are simply not available in an SA school, so with good subject selections they could still graduate at the same time ... or even earlier.

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If you do want them to go to a school that wear uniforms, you can find out at your church or a church in the local community that gives school as well, but I have noticed that here by us there is some schools in the suburbs that is trying to change their dress codes to uniforms.

Edited by liewe_lulu

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Liewe Lulu, you raise an interesting point in that there are a range of choices as far as schools are concerned. Public schools are funded through real-estate taxes, and as such are free, public education. There are also private schools, which include parochial schools (schools affiliated with a religion / church), and alternate schools among others. Private schools often have uniforms, but this is not always the case. There is also the option to home-school ...

 

Private schools are funded through tuition ... and home schooling is completely your own endeavour, with varying degrees of state oversight ... so you have to weigh up whether paying real-estate tax and tuition is worth it in terms of the educational value to your children.

 

Public schools can be as good as any private school ... there are unfortunate socio-economic implications caused by using property tax, to fund the schools. This is why, when buying a house, if you have kids, you always check out the schools in the target area.

Edited by Creature

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I am not 110% sure on what the current fees were at the Church but I faguely remember it really wasn't bad if you were a member of the church.

Edited by liewe_lulu

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Thank you all,

 

Is there anything specific that needs to be done on the SA end ? And by that I mean with the school they are currently in or anything else that will ease the transition.

 

Is there a "best time" for the move ?

 

And also how does one cope with a transitioning from a mainly academic environment to one with so many subject choices at a Grade 7 & 5 level respectively ? Are there any "close fits" ?

 

Thanks

J.

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Nothing you can do for them in SA. The systems are too different in almost all aspects. They will be fine!

 

I think the best time is to get them in school here would be when the new school year start in fall. That way everybody is somewhat confuzzed, there may be other new kids, everyone has new teachers and classes etc. And your kids can mingle into the confusion. Otherwise they will have to fall in halfway when a lot of kids have sorted themselves into clicks and groups. They will be the new kid in class etc. That happened to me and it was horrible. It may even be that this will give them a few weeks or months to get used to the US before school starts, depending of course on when you arrive.

 

I dont know about the specifics of subjects at their level. My kids are pre-school and 3rd grade and when I went to school here I was going into 8th grade - besides that was eons ago!

 

Good luck!

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Jimflip, your kids will do just fine. As Toks said, best to let them start off the new school year (around August). Remember when you make the move that if you're sending them to a public school they have to attend the school which falls in your school district. So, check out the schools before you buy or rent a place to live.

 

Make the move in June / July and that will give the kids time to check out the fashions the kids their age are wearing. There's the Prepie look....button down shirt and casual pants.....I'm told that's not so cool.... :)

 

I have an 8th Grader and 5th Grader. My daughter (8th Grader) is in a uniform currently (public school) so has no issues with what clothes to wear, but we'll soon experience that when she starts High School in August. My 5th Grader (son) is into wearing long-shorts for summer (anything above the knee is considered booty-shorts and totally not in) and lose tops and lose jeans (no tight stuff).....almost skateboard fashion, but not with the chains and logos etc.

 

High School is always difficult no matter where you come from and how many people you know. It's a tuff few years. I'd tell your kids that they need to walk in there with their heads held high and with a lot of confidence.......don't look down at the floor.....look people in their eyes, smile and say Hi.....nothing does it better than having a lot of confidence.

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I work in a high school environment - and this runs from grades 9-12. Grade 7 and grade 5 are generally considered middle school. I can only advise generally ... not speak specifically for or about any particular school or situation ...

 

Tokolosi is absolutely right. There is really not much you can do on the SA end to prepare for the transition. The systems and approach to education are completely different. I also agree that it is best to get them started with a new school year, for a number of reasons that essentially boil down to it being easier for both the kids and the school.

 

Cazz is also right ... first check out the public schools in the various suburbs you plan to move to ... and base your decision on where to live around that.

 

Regarding your other question on subject choices ... yes, the schools in the USA offer you an overwhelming array of choice ... like everything else in the USA. However, there are basic graduation requirements i.e. a certain number of credits that must be obtained, along with a level of proficiency in English, Math and Science. The electives allow you to accumulate credits beyond the basic proficiencies, and enrich your school experience, things like foreign languages (French / Spanish etc), art, technology and so forth. Your best first step would be to talk to a guidance counsellor at the prospective school, as they can advise you on your options.

 

When you do make subject choices, you want to keep some kind of future goal in mind, like College, along with their interests.

 

They will have opportunities here that are mindblowing ... and can benefit from a richer school experience than is available in SA ... in my opinion. As Cazz said, it's all about having confidence, and common sense ... so ... I think they will do just fine ... and if they are encouraged to appreciate the opportunities they have here, they may even thrive.

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Thanks all for your most informative comments ~ I just realized that I got the grades wrong ~ it happens when I was used to "forms" and had to figure "standards" and now "grades" ! Our eldest has just started Std 7 (Form 2) or Grade 9 and the youngest is in the last year of prep school in Std 5 which I guess is Grade 7.

 

Guess this means that the guys aren't going to be in the same school :(

 

Next "obvious" question to those in the know ~ textbooks and things ? Do we have to get them ? And I've seen ads for laptop computers for high school kids ~ is that a requirement ?

 

Thanks

J.

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Once again I can only speak generally ... not about any particular school or situation.

 

Textbooks should be free.

A laptop computer is not a requirement ... and may in fact not be allowed. Several states have laws against using any personal electronic equipment in the schools.

 

Grade 9 is the first year of what is considered high school.

Grade 7 is the second last year of middle school.

 

Public Education in the US is highly decentralized. Just to give you a rough idea:

 

A school district and a school are not the same thing. A school district is a business entity that may support one or more schools. The school includes a faculty and administration. A school, or multiple schools will belong to a district. The school district is accountable to the state and the school board who represent the tax-payers for the community that support the school (through their property taxes).

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