The High School Transition: What You Need to Know


Ezra Brauner, Staff Writer

If you’re making the transition into high school this fall, don’t panic. It’s a big change, but a positive one, and it’s important to ensure everything goes smoothly upon entering The Castle on the Hill, the nickname for the Teaneck High building.

To start, it’s helpful to understand how the day is structured here: you will have a total of eight classes, but they’re divided into two days of four courses each. These “A days” and “B days” alternate, so you will only have four classes on any given day (each class is nearly an hour and a half long, though). This provides more time to complete homework assignments, as the span of time between two of the same class is always at least two days long, but it can’t hurt to stay on top of assignments to avoid being overwhelmed.

Upon becoming a full-time member of Teaneck High, it’s crucial to get to know your assigned guidance counselor. This is a dedicated staff member whose job is to help to ensure your success in high school and beyond, so familiarizing yourself with him or her early on will be critical as your high school career continues.

Teaneck High tends to be pretty strict about timeliness and attendance. If you arrive late to classes often, it can be damaging: being late to a class four times, for example, counts as an absence, and 12 absences from a year-long course leads to loss of credit. Still, the five-minute warning period between classes should be more than enough time to make it, and you can always ask a staff member in the hallways if confused about the location of a class. The same goes for daily attendance: you must attend school daily or risk losing credit for a class.

It can also be important to find a friend or two, one you can rely on and confide in throughout high school. If you come from one of Teaneck’s middle schools, then, odds are, you’ll already have some friends who are transitioning along with you. Even if you come from another school, making a few friends early can’t hurt. Try attending a club meeting — you can meet other students with similar interests.

Some of this advice may seem obvious to incoming freshmen, but it’s still helpful to understand it early in order to be successful from your first step through the school doors. Following this advice will give you a strong footing from day one, which is never a bad thing.