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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM 8TH GRADE PARENTS

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM 8TH GRADE PARENTS
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Q: How do we enroll a current 8th grader at Carlmont? What’s the timeline of registration and course selection?
A: The first step to enrolling at Carlmont is Address Verification with the Sequoia Union High School District, which takes place every year from November 1st through April 30th. You can complete that process by going to the District website

A: After address verification, your student will choose courses for their freshman year through their feeder middle school in March/April. If your student is not at a feeder school, your student will enroll with our District Registrar Irma Abelt. Irma can be reached at iabelt@seq.org. More information can be found on the District website

Q: How will my student know what courses to select? How do our students qualify for Honors courses
A: All feeder middle schools will host visiting Carlmont counselors and liaisons in the late Winter or early Spring. During these visits every 8th grader that will be attending Carlmont will fill out and submit their requests for core curriculum and electives. Confirmation of course requests will be emailed to all families for approval. Non feeder middle school students will register with our District Registrar Irma Abelt, who will review all courses and options with these families (see above).

A: Honors classes for freshmen are only available in the following subjects: Math, English and World Language. Students will be placed in core classes or Honors classes based on their current courses and/or test scores. English Placement is based on Lexile scores taken in the Spring of the 8th grade year (if those scores are not available, the most current scores will be used).  Math Placement is based on the student’s 8th grade math course, or could be based on the MIRA score, a District specific math assessment. World Languages only offer Honors level at year 3. The District Placement Chart can be found on the district webpage with more information. Students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade will have a registration meeting with their counselors to select the next year's classes and this is where the discussion takes place in regards to honors classes for subsequent years.

Q: How many classes will my freshman take? What courses do freshmen usually take?
A:  Carlmont offers a schedule for up to 7 classes. Freshman students need to be enrolled in 6 classes, including math, english, social studies/life skills, science, PE and an elective. A 9th grader will have a 7th class only if they are involved in one of the following classes or programs: support classes or Study Skills, Leadership (ASB), Yearbook, AVID, or a Performing Arts class (Chorale, Instrumental Music, Drama, Dance). Some of these classes may require a student to apply and/or try out. Note that freshmen can only audition for Intermediate or Advanced Dance (and cannot enroll in PE Dance) and if accepted into an intermediate or advanced dance class this will be their 7th class as they must also take PE as a 9th grader. For more information about enrolling in these programs please click the links or speak with your counselor or Registrar during registration.

A: For more detailed information on all available courses, typical schedules and average homework and study time per class, please take a look at our Program Planning Handbook

Q: Does my student have to take PE? Where do we get PE clothes? 
A: PE is REQUIRED of all Freshmen, regardless of their participation in school or club sports. After completing one year of PE, students must complete a 2nd year of PE, or the equivalent, in one of three ways during Grades 10, 11 or 12. Option 1: complete a second PE class at Carlmont (PE 2, Dance or Weightlifting) during any subsequent year on campus. Option 2: complete a PE course through an accredited institution, such as a community college or online program, which requires prior approval from the student’s counselor. Option 3: participate on any of our Carlmont Athletics teams for 3 seasons. Students cannot earn PE credits through participation in sports outside of Carlmont teams. NOTE: rostering on teams during freshman year does not count toward PE Credit.  

A: PE clothes must meet the requirements outlined on our department webpage. The web page includes a link to purchase Carlmont logo wear that is approved for PE.

Q: What is an AP class? How do students get placed into an AP class?
A: AP stands for Advanced Placement. These courses are college level courses and offer a 5 point grading scale (instead of 4 point). An AP Exam is held at the end of every year and a score high enough on the AP exam may qualify a student for college credit.

A: Students can choose to take any AP class, but there are no AP classes for Freshman. There are recommended classes that should be taken prior to enrolling in any AP class as a 10th, 11th or 12th grader. You can find more information on our Program Planning Handbook

Q: When do we get to find out what classes our students will be in? How will we know if they are assigned to AS English and an advanced Math class?
A: Student course selection will be emailed to all parents in the spring after your student chooses classes during the registration at their middle school in March (see question 2 above for more info). We don't post the period schedule for all students until the day before school starts. All freshmen will receive their schedule the day before school starts at the Freshman Orientation, when they will walk to all their classes according to their schedules.

A: Placement into Honors courses is based on the District Placement Chart which shows the necessary scores on placement exams in order to be placed in advanced classes. Students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade will have a registration meeting with their counselors to select the next year's classes and this is where the discussion takes place in regards to honors classes for subsequent years.

Q: What languages do you offer? Is Foreign Language required to graduate? What if my student is fluent in a language but it’s not offered at Carlmont?
A: We offer Spanish, French and Mandarin. For World Languages, two years at the middle school level usually equates to one year at the high school level.  More information on specific courses and contact information can be found on the World Languages webpage.  

A: Foreign language is not required to graduate from high school, but 2 years of secondary school coursework is required for most competitive college admissions, including all UC and CSU. 

A: Any world language credit desired for a language other than these 3 languages needs to be achieved through concurrent enrollment in an accredited institution. These courses need to be approved by the student's counselor. Not all courses will qualify, depending on the institution. A student fluent in another language may take an AP exam if offered for that language. This could give the student college course credit if the score on the exam is high enough. Any student can take an AP exam, even if you are not enrolled in the course at Carlmont. A student can not get any high school credit for foreign language by taking any kind of fluency exam.

Q: My child would like to participate in athletics. How do they try out or get involved? 
A: Carlmont offers approximately 20 different athletic teams in which students can participate. Some programs are year round, like cheerleading and dance, and the rest are seasonal. Some sports have tryouts and some are no-cut. All sports offer practices and games or meets after school and/or on weekends. Any student can participate in a sport regardless of their class schedule; this is an optional and additional activity that takes place after school. Students must be registered for athletics via sports net with a current physical in order to try out.  Athletic Clearance information, and all other details about tryouts and our sports calendar, can be found on the Carlmont Athletics website (www.carlmontathletics.org).

Q: How does Carlmont educate kids about diversity, equity and inclusion, and in particular antiracism?
A: These topics are embedded in our English and Social Studies classes. Additionally, the required Social Studies class for all 9th graders is Ethnic Studies, and we offer an Ethnic Studies elective for students to take junior or senior year.

Q: What are the course pathways available to my student during their 4 years at Carlmont?
A:  To learn more about the pathways in every core curriculum subject, please watch our VIDEOS that feature our Carlmont staff, teachers, and parent volunteers. 

Q: What is the process when students are struggling academically? 
A: We have an intervention team that consists of Administration, Counselors, and the intervention counselor. This team gathers information about the student and then makes recommendations to help support the student. Any staff can refer a student to this intervention team.

Q: What is the general homework load/expectation?
A: This can be different for every student and every course.  For an average weekly homework estimate per course offered, please take a look at our Program Planning Handbook

Q: How do you address bullying, drugs and alcohol, and health education? 
A:These are addressed in the Life Skills class that all 9th graders take within their first year of Social Studies. Life Skills is a quarter-long course that covers mental, emotional, social, personal, and community health, as well as substance abuse. This class meets state and district approved Health Education Standards and introduces freshmen to high school through discussions of success skills and goal setting. Our student peer support group SOS also presents to the freshman during life skills, teaching freshmen who can help them navigate all these areas, including their counselor, school therapist, intervention counselor, Assistant Vice Principals (AVPs), and teachers. 
 
The AVP's also present the school policies and rules to all students at the beginning of the year where students learn what is acceptable and what is not, including what happens when illegal substances are found on campus. Students also hear about the consequences that go along with making bad decisions. We take these topics very seriously and work with the student and the families to avoid future infractions.

Q: Will there be summer transition classes? 
A: We offer two summer classes for incoming 9th graders. 
  • Compass: This is for students who may struggle with the transition to high school. Students who are placed into an English Support class can also take this summer course to bolster their reading and comprehension skills and have an opportunity to test out of the support class. 
  • Elevate: This is for students testing below grade level in math. Students will gain essential skills to be prepared for Algebra I as a 9th grader.

Q: What is the Compass summer program? 
A: The goal of the Online Compass program is to provide some academic acclimation to the coursework incoming freshman will deal with, as well as the necessary mental/social preparation they will need to juggle the coursework, new social dynamics, and overall mindsets to reach their full potential. Students who attend Compass not only understand the type of workload that is expected during freshman year, but will also know the campus very well, have connections with teachers, and either strengthen or make new friendships to start the school year.

Information on extracurriculars like clubs can be found on our ASB page