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Welcome to Julie Billiart Schools, a family of K-8 coeducational, independent day schools for children with learning differences.

Overview

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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Preparing for high school is such an exciting time, but it’s one that requires a lot of dedication, research, and patience. As K-8 schools for children with learning and social differences, one of the biggest questions parents ask us is “where do students go for high school?”

At JB, we build executive functioning, self-regulation, and self-advocacy into everything we do so that our students are ready to transition into a more typical high school setting for grade 9. But even with the best preparation, the high school exploration process for families of children with learning differences can feel daunting.

We wanted to share some of the key takeaways we’ve found successful for our middle school families!

5th and 6th Grade Families

You might think, “is this a little early to start planning for high school?” The answer is, no! It’s never too early to start doing research and having conversations about your child’s future. The best thing you can do right now is gather general information on the high schools in your area.

Create a list of potential schools you might be interested in learning more about. Visit their websites and request some information or admissions brochures.

Some helpful questions to ask are:

  • What is working well right now in my child’s middle school? What isn’t working well? (Asking this helps you identify what you’re looking for out of a high school.)
  • Do I want my child to attend a public or private high school?
  • If a private school, does that school accept the Jon Peterson or the Autism Scholarship?
  • Does the high school follow or provide the services on my child’s IEP?
  • What other therapies, services, or tutoring might my child need outside of the high school environment?

When making your list of schools, the biggest advice we give parents in this early stage is never to “count a school out” just because of something you’ve heard. It’s important to see the school for yourself and make your own decisions about what is best for your child.

We also challenge all parents to ask their child “have you thought about high school?” As we have learned, most children will say no. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t considered it; it just gives you the opportunity to continue the conversation in a positive direction.

7th Grade Families

This is where your information gathering turns into action. Check with your current school if they host high school information night or sign up to participate in high school events and activities like open houses or tours.

In addition, you’ll want to work with your child and his or her teacher to start setting goals and really making sure your child has the foundations set to prepare for high school. Throughout their time in middle school, your child will practice skills like:

  • Balancing a schedule
  • Being involved in after school activities
  • Staying organized and up to date with their planners
  • Having a clean and tidy workspace
  • Meeting and staying on top of deadlines

It’s important to have conversations with your child and their middle school teachers about their strengths and weaknesses, to reflect on where they have improved over the past year and where they have room to grow before they graduate.

8th Grade Families

It’s the home stretch! The past couple of years should have given you the opportunity to sharpen your skills, set and reach goals, and really narrow down the list of schools that might be the right fit for you - now it’s time to explore. In the early part of 8th-grade, we encourage all students to shadow and tour their top schools. It’s important to really see what it feels like to be a student at that school for a day.

For parents, it’s important to have honest conversations with their child’s current school about what future school may or may not be a good fit. The goal is to find a school that not only provides the services that your child needs to be successful, but that also provides a comfortable place for them to thrive.

Don’t be afraid to have conversations with your current school, future school, and your child. Every conversation you have now is one step closer to finding the right fit!

open-quote I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words how grateful I am that you saw my daughter for all that she is today and all that she is yet to become. close-quote

Tammie Sommer

open-quote All of the teachers and staff at JB are patient and willing to take the extra time to make sure we, as parents, understand and are comfortable. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools has helped my child become a better version of himself. The teachers and therapists at JB really know and understand how to reach children who learn differently. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools gave us hope after our daughter was diagnosed with a learning disability. At JB, she thrived in the small classes, received necessary therapies, and developed the self-confidence to ask for help when she needed it. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote My kids love everything about JB and look forward to going to school every day and seeing their friends and teachers. JB is truly a one of a kind school enriching young lives everyday. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote They have all the resources necessary, specialized to the individual learning of each child, and the heart that goes with it. I don't think we would have stayed in Ohio if it wasn't for JB! close-quote

JB Parent

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