What Students in 8th – 10th Grades Need to Know for Back-to-School

What Students in 8th – 10th Grades Need to Know for Back-to-School

The recent announcement about schools practicing virtual learning has us all wondering about quality instruction and mastering concepts. As a mother of two school-aged children, I am concerned about their ability to adapt to the requirements of a virtual classroom.
As parents with a strong desire to provide the best resources for our children, including access to the best education, we may start the school year by feeling lost with many concerns and many unknowns.
Here are some tips about how to successfully transition into the new, virtual school year, as well as how UCEazy’s comprehensive, online academy can help.

8th grade:

Issues: Decisions

  1. Maintaining strong academics
  2. a)Habits

  3. Do we consider our private school options for high school?
  4. b)Advantages vs. disadvantages in college admissions

  5. Course selection for 9th grade
  6. c)How do we get on the path desired for our future major?

UCEazy advice and what our Academy addresses:

Forming and maintaining study habits is essential for 8th-grade students to successfully transition to high school. While the rigor of 8th grade is lower than in 9th, setting up the work habits, study environment and soft skills in communication with teachers, virtual socialization with peers and transitioning to meaningful, virtual extracurricular activities is essential.

9th grade:

Issues: Navigating High School

  1. Successful transition into 9th grade
  2. a)Academics

  3. Successfully navigating the high school journey
  4. Maintaining competitive grades
  5. Confused about the entire process

UCEazy advice and what our Academy addresses:

Often the first year of high school is the most difficult year. Teachers’ expectations are different, so students’ mindsets need to change. During this transition, parents may need to increase their encouragement and support. Students will need to become self-motivated, so they develop in academic and personal/social areas. The virtual classroom adds a layer of difficulty when transitioning to 9th grade. With expectations higher and support and hand holding from the school site decreasing, it is a recipe for disaster.


It is essential for students to maintain a strict and consistent schedule. Procrastination is easier than ever with so many distractions and very little oversight at home. I am embarrassed to admit it, but as a mother of two school-aged children, there were days that I had no idea if my kids actually did what they were supposed to do for school.


Do not ignore the importance of your child connecting with their peers. Oftentimes, I used, “no more Zoom with your friends if you cannot finish math first,” for my daughter. Taking our children away from peer relationships is often more detrimental to their academic success.
Instead, help your child create schedules of when they will connect with friends. My favorite is when they can work on school projects together. They might not be as efficient, but they will be able to learn to work collaboratively while completing a portion of their work. Often times, my advice to students has been to work on a fun extracurricular project with a couple of best friends. Be creative in what you do, and think outside of the box. This has always benefited students personally and socially along with our community as a whole!

10th grade:

Issues: Engagement & Digging Deeper

  1. Meaningful Extracurricular Activities
  2. a)Balance

  3. Summer Planning
  4. SAT/ACT Post COVID Strategy
  5. Course Selection (AP/IB/Honors)

UCEazy advice and what our Academy addresses:

The goal during the second year of high school is to fine-tune some of the skills developed in the previous years, as well as pinpoint growth areas that need to be developed. Academic growth will always be a major focus, but developing the personal/social domains should not be ignored. The most relevant question we get from our UCEazy clients and potential clients is “what extracurricular activities are meaningful in COVID times and how do we balance it all?” Tenth grade is the year to dive deeper into meaningful course work that reflects your child’s interests, showcase proficiency in higher-level courses, as well as show leadership and initiative in activities.


Whether 9th grade was an absolute success or failure for your child, 10th grade is the time to redeem yourself and showcase their ability to persist despite obstacles. Persistence is actually a characteristic that I use when evaluating applications for UC Berkeley. We most definitely have obstacles coming up this fall, and now is your opportunity to shine and show grit academically. Do not overestimate the value of a schedule, consistency and self-advocating during this time. This will save heartache and a low GPA in the future.


When your child feels confident and aware of their direction, they perform at their best academically. Plan for a personal connection with peers, stay consistent in working on school projects together in order to increase those soft skills that top tier colleges love to see. Support your child in creative endeavors that may be risky but rewarding when it comes to personal growth and development. When this part of our children is nurtured, we see real change and impact in them and the community around us.