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Renton School District

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Transitioning Grade Levels

Transitioning Grade Levels

We made it! We are in the final weeks of school! What a wild ride this year put us all on, and the GEAR UP Team hopes that you and your students take time this summer to recognize the amazing work you all did to make it through such a challenging year. Your student(s) is preparing to enter the world of high school (actually being in the building) and we are here to tell you, you are in for yet, another wild ride! These next three to four years, your student will grow exponentially, both mentally and emotionally. They will be gaining skillsets that will prepare them for adulthood! GEAR UP is here to support you and your child as they better learn their passions, values, and goals.

Ninth grade is critical to students' success in high school and after a weird distance learning year, tenth grade will prove to be just as crucial. As young adolescents move into high school, many students experience a drop in grades. High school can feel like a larger, sometimes seemingly less caring environment than grade school or junior high. Peers have a stronger influence (both positive and negative). The potential of developing bad habits such as skipping class also increases especially when a student is struggling.

But research confirms that when teens are asked who has the most influence over their actions, they overwhelmingly reply: our parents. Despite the eye-rolling and often-demonstrated (and totally natural) push for independence, middle and high school teens need caring adults. Who better can provide the guidance, direction, care, love and sacrifice to guide them to adulthood? It is important that families stay involved throughout the high school years.

Discuss with your teen what worries you, as the parent, most about the high school years. Ask your teen what are his or her biggest concerns? Think about what kind of high school experience you had. How have the challenges changed? How are they the same? How much did you talk with your parents?

Did You Know?

What is the hottest job skill? The Army, NYPD, and State Department can't get enough workers with this job skill. Neither can Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, local courts and schools. What is it? Fluency in a foreign language. Being bi/multi-lingual not only makes you a stronger candidate for four year universities, but is also a marketable skill in most places of employment!

Families! We need your help! Please fill out our Family Survey and give us some feedback on our college and career readiness services!


  1. Washington Business Week
    WBW is back and it is all virtual. This is an incredible summer opportunity for your student to gain TWO (2) college credits while in high school. In partnership with WBW and Renton Technical College, you can sign your student up for a week-long summer excursion where they will take the lead as their team races against the clock to develop a world-changing idea and pitch it to potential investors at the end-of-week competition. Guided by a mentor from a local business, students learn to work as a team, explore careers, build a network with professionals and future leaders. This is a free event for GEAR UP Students. If you are interested, please email your GEAR UP Site Coordinator and they will guide through the registration process. You can go to WBW’s website for more information.