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• The authors were featured speakers at the 2010 National School Boards Association Conference in Chicago in April.

• China Youth Press has purchased Chinese language rights to The Insider’s Guide to High School for release in China in late 2010.

Essential for parents…

The Insider’s Guide to High School
A Parent’s Handbook for the Ninth Grade Year

by Tim Healey and Alex Carter

| ISBN 978-0-918339-73-7 | Trade Paper | 160 pages, 6x9 |Acid Free Paper | Index | $19.95

 …a great read the spring or summer before a student enters high school as well as a good reference throughout the four years. Highly recommended  -  Library Journal

Experts agree that the ninth grade year, typically a student’s first in high school, is the most important year of high school. Many call this the “make-it or break-it year.” Research shows that if a student completes his or her ninth grade year in good standing, he or she is twenty times more likely reach graduation than someone who fails to advance to tenth grade the first time.

This statistic has led educators to search for programs that will help students transition from middle school to high school successfully. In fact, many groups have quietly focused on this issue for years. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pushed the “smaller schools movement,” an effort to transform huge “mega-schools” to smaller, more personalized educational environments. Some school districts have created “Ninth Grade Academies” and “Freshman Transition Programs” to try to better support students. Research regarding the effectiveness of these programs is not strong, however, and these programs are not nearly affecting the large-scale change of the graduation rates in our country that we need. Furthermore, with a major budget crises looming over nearly every educational system in every state, these costly and intensive programs are sure to be among the first to face the budget “chopping block”.

The ninth grade year is also a critical and difficult period for parents, as they must learn to approach their “children” as teenagers – while still maintaining the necessary control and guidance to ensure their teenagers directed growth and success. In The Insider’s Guide to High School, two veteran principals, Tim Healey and Alex Carter, with almost 40 years of combined experience as secondary educators, provide parents with an insider’s view on how to best prepare, support, and coach their rising ninth graders. In this very approachable and honest book, the authors lay out the basic steps parents should take to prepare their ninth grade student for success in today’s high school classroom. Using these steps, the book helps parents and their teenager develop a plan for success, improve communication, and learn to work together for a common goal.

As an added bonus, these successful school leaders offer insider’s advice on how parents can best support their child should they encounter some of the more difficult challenges of high school, such as poor grades, a “bad” teacher, and even a trip to the principal’s office. Designed to provide real-world advice and support to those who are preparing to enter the world of high school, The Insider’s Guide to High School is a must read for all new high school parents.

About the authors…

Tim Healey has worked with high school students for 21 years. He has been an English teacher, a coach, an assistant principal, and for the last 11 years, the principal of one of the largest high schools in Virginia. Tim has been published in Principal Leadership magazine, and has been a presenter at state and national education conferences. He is a member of the 2006 – 2007 Vincent E. Reed Principals Leadership Institute sponsored by The Washington Post.

Alex Carter has enjoyed many successes during his 15 years as a high school educator. In 2003, he was recognized as one of the top educators in the United States with his selection to receive a National Milken Educator Award. In 2007, he was a contributor to the highly successful education book, Be A Teacher: You Can Make a Difference. He has also written for Principal Leadership magazine. Alex transitioned to administration in 2004, serving as principal in a large suburban high school in Northern Virginia. He is now the principal of a small, rural high school in southwestern Colorado. During his time as a teacher, and as an administrator, Alex has made numerous presentations to audiences at the regional, state, and national level. Together, these educators possess a wealth of real, practical, and firsthand knowledge regarding teenagers and the “high school experience.” Both have firsthand knowledge and experience dealing with the real life situations of countless ninth grade students and their parents. Alex and Tim have tapped this wealth of expertise for the content of this book.


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