High school can be filled with a lot of uncertainty. Starting at a new campus with new students, new teachers, and a new curriculum can be a bit overwhelming. The old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” rings quite true in this situation as well. What should you know before you start high school? Heck, what should you know right now as a middle school student as you look forward to high school? Who is going to help you figure out what you don’t know and who will have your best interest in mind as you take that next step in your educational journey?
One of the great things about Fairmont is we have people who can help answer those questions for you and fill in the gaps of the things that you don’t know. Each winter, the high school counselors at both Fairmont Preparatory Academy and Fairmont San Juan Capistrano set aside the time to meet with 8th grade students and their families to develop a Four-Year Plan.
Whether you are currently at a Fairmont campus or are just thinking about joining the Fairmont family, meeting with a counselor to develop a plan can help you explore the multitude of options available. There is a lot to consider and counselors work individually with each student to craft a plan that is unique to their strengths and interests.
For example, maybe you are a student who excels in math and science — we can find ways to challenge you in those disciplines. Or perhaps you are engaged in an outside activity that requires a lot of time — we can help you find a way to balance your schoolwork with your other interests. Maybe you just want to explore the arts more and want to see how many classes you can fit into your schedule — we can do that too.
While we help you create a plan, we will ensure that you will not only graduate, but you’ll have the classes needed to apply to practically any college out there. We can help fill in the gaps of understanding, talk about balance, discuss how to make the most of your high school years, and address what colleges are really looking for in an applicant. There is a lot of noise and information out there about college admission and we can help you make sense of it all.
These Four-Year Plans are meant to be a guidepost for students and families to better understand the expectations of high school. They will provide you with a sense of the actual classes you will take and give you options for advancing further if you wish. At the same time, we can talk about academic options like our Advanced Science & Engineering Program or our International Business Program. We can even help you understand the differences between our college prep, honors, AP, and IB curriculums and see which might be the best fit for you.
The plans are meant to be living documents that can change as students develop interests and passions. We revisit them annually as we talk about classes for the coming year and reassess where the student is academically and social-emotionally. Understanding that situations change is a key component of what Fairmont provides and getting to know your counselor now, as an 8th grader, helps ease that transition to high school. Even if you are still debating your high school options, coming in with a Four-Year Plan can help you recognize the differences between schools and make an informed decision.
Fairmont’s counselors are here to advocate for you and help you develop the skills you will need to be successful — not only in high school but in college and beyond. We are eager to partner with students and their families to help them navigate the next steps in their academic journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After eight years working in college admission for two colleges in Southern California, Justin Voss moved to the other side and joined Fairmont Preparatory Academy in Anaheim, California as the Director of College Counseling. During that time he has helped thousands of students navigate the college admissions process. Justin is currently completing a doctorate degree at Creighton University in Interdisciplinary Leadership. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, playing music, and spending time with his family.