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Choosing A High School

Learn the basics about High Schools, what the learning focus is, and questions to consider when choosing a school.


High School presents the last stage of the primary school experience. Your child will hit many new milestones during this time including possibly getting their first job, learning to drive a car, becoming increasingly independent and most importantly, developing a vision for what they want to do after they graduate high school. In high school, students earn credits when they pass classes each semester that build up on their transcript and signal they have met the state’s graduation requirements by their senior year. Their counselor will be the staff member responsible for ensuring they meet the graduation requirements set by the state and will work with you on their plans for after high school.

The college application process begins during 9th grade as the credits students earn are part of their grade point average (GPA) that will be sent to colleges when they complete an application. Additionally, students will take an assessment, typically the ACT, which will indicate to a college how ready they are for college-level classes. Traditionally, the ACT is taken in a student’s junior year, although some schools may have students take it earlier than that. Getting to know your child’s counselor is a key relationship for you to build throughout high school. Some schools may have an additional counselor just to help with the college application process.

Questions To Consider When Choosing A High School

  • What sports programs are there?
  • What career and technical education pathways are available to students?
  • How does the school approach ACT preparation?
  • How does the school approach supporting students in applying to college?
  • What does the school do for students who are behind in math or reading?
  • What college visits does the school offer? When do they start and how often are they?
  • What career and college planning occurs for students? What staff handle it? How many students does that individual work with (ratio of staff: student)?
  • What are the typical classes taken at each grade?
    • When are certain graduation requirements taken?
  • How do you approach your course planning?
    • How much choice does my child get in each specialty area?
  • Do you offer dual enrollment or AP classes? How are students chosen for these opportunities?
  • How do you work with students searching for college scholarships?

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