How do I know if my student is ready for an advanced class?
There are many factors to consider when deciding on advanced classes, but you should start with the recommendation of the 7th-grade teachers. They may not be able to give you a definitive answer, but they can help you weigh your options.
Students should also ask themselves why they want to take an advanced class. Students who want to take advanced classes in a particular subject area throughout all 4 years of high school will want to start in 8th grade. Students looking to “get a course out of the way,” or who don’t plan in taking 4 years in that subject will often regret taking the advanced course. If the student really enjoys the course and wants to take on a challenge to learn more about the subject matter, then an advanced class might be a great opportunity. It is important to note that students can still take many of the same advanced or AP courses in high school, even if they don’t take advanced classes in 8th grade.
Another important tool that can help with this decision is the form titled Characteristics of Effective Learners. It is required for students and parents to return a completed copy of this along with the registration form. Honest answers on this document and help guide the decision-making process.