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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien,WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

High School Success Tips

5 WAYS TO HELP YOUR STUDENT SUCCEED IN 9th GRADE & BEYOND

High school graduation is not the end of your students’ education; it is just the beginning. Success in 9th grade is an important step towards the many options after high school, technical training, two-year college or four-year university. Families play an important role in supporting students to meet their goals, and this document outlines how you can help.

1. Attendance Matters

Students cannot learn if they are not in class. Research shows students who miss two or more days each month are less likely to pass.

How Families Can Help:

  • Talk to your student about the importance of being in school every day.
  • Help your student get out the door on time each morning.
  • Set a regular schedule for your student with limits on bedtime.
  • Do not let your student stay home unless they are truly sick.

• Make appointments outside of school hours.

2. Grades Are Important

Students with higher grades have more opportunities after high school. A student who fails a required course in high school should retake it as early as possible to stay on track.

How Families Can Help:

  • Talk to your student about their grades and goals.
  • Encourage your student to ask for help or attend after school tutoring if needed.
  • Get to know your student’s teachers. Reach out to them if you have questions.
  • Learn how to check your student’s grades online.

3. Courses & Credits Count

Ninth graders must pass all of their classes and earn six credits to advance to tenth grade and be on track for graduation. Students who do this are 85% more likely to graduate than those who do not.

How Families Can Help:

  • Understand graduation requirements.
  • Get to know your student’s school counselor.
  • Make sure your student is passing all courses. Reach out to your school counselor to explore options to retake classes that are not passed.
  • Encourage your student to talk to their school counselor about taking advanced courses and using their electives to explore interests.

4. Proficiency Exams are Required

In order to graduate from any school in Washington State, your student must pass exams in reading, writing, math and science.

How Families Can Help:

  • Understand the state exam requirements for your student’s graduating class under graduation Requirements
  • Make sure your student understands state exams are required for graduation. They are not optional.
  • Review your student’s state test results when they arrive. Contact your school counselor to determine next steps if your student does not pass any state test.
  • Make sure your student attends school on testing days.

5. Family Involvement is Key

The transition to high school can be challenging for students and families. Stay involved, your student needs you now more than ever.

How Families Can Help:

  • Attend school open houses, meetings and conferences to get information on what students are learning and how learning is measured.
  • Review your student’s report cards and keep track of their progress toward graduation at with Grades Online
  • Get to know your student’s teachers and counselors. Encourage them to let you know if there is a problem, then work together to solve it.