Grade 8 Tips for High School Survival

Grade 8 Tips For Survival

So, you are getting ready to leave behind elementary school.  It's exciting, for sure, but it can also feel a little frightening!  There are lots of people around to help you make the transition smoothly.  The following information is here to help you with any questions you may have about the leap to secondary school.

How Do I Register and Choose My Courses?

A registration package is available from the guidance department which includes a registration form and course request form.

  • If you are attending one of the elementary schools that sends most of their grade eight classes to Thornlea S.S., then you will receive a registration package when a guidance counsellor visits your class.  You will read course descriptions on line, but will still fill in the PAPER COURSE SELECTION FORM that will be given to you at your school.
  •  Be certain to have your course selection to your elementary school teacher by the due date!  We need to know what you are requesting so that we can make a space for you in those courses.
  • Choose levels for your courses wisely, and with the advice of parents and your teachers.
  • If you are in a York Region elementary school that sends their students to another High School and you wish to go to Thornlea S.S. then you must do the following:
  1. Fill out a Registration Form and Course Selection Form for your regular High School.
  2. Fill out a Transfer Request Form (available from your current elementary school) requesting a transfer to Thornlea S.S., and submit this to your principal with the other two forms.  You will be informed of the results of your request in May or June.
  3.  Please submit a Thornlea course selection form along with your transfer request; this makes it easier for us to try to give you the courses you are requesting.
  • If you are currently attending a private school, or are new to the area then please pick up a registration package from the Thornlea S.S. guidance department and book an appointment with a vice principal.


This course information is available on line at Thornlea Secondary School Course Calendar

  • Here you will see the descriptions and prerequisites for the courses offered at Thornlea.
  • Beside each identified course you will find an Add button. When hit, you will add that course to your Shopping Cart.
  • Go to Show Cart where you can add or delete courses. In this way you can build your entire program for the next year,
  • The course selection listed in your course cart can be printed, your name added and from grade ten on it is stapled to your hand-written course selection sheet.

What Should I Bring on First Day?    

Before you start your first class you will pick up your Agenda, and purchase your gym clothes.  Bring those on day one with a Dudley combination lock for your locker.

A backpack is the most commonly used container to carry around your belongings from class to class.  Most students use a binder  to carry extra blank and lined paper. Pens, pencils, erasers, pencil crayons, and a ruler are necessary in most classes.  Bring your address book to record the numbers of all the new people you will meet. Some of those new friends will be future partners in class projects, study partners or good friends.

Do not bring cell phones or, portable music devices (Ipods), laser pens or pointers and other electronic devices with you to class.  Do not leave valuables unattended in the gym change rooms. 

 Who Can Help Me?     

There are lots of people who can help you if you need it.  Each student has a Guidance counsellor assigned to them.  Find your way to the Guidance office.  If your counsellor is not busy, they will help you righ away.  Otherwise, you can book an appointment time.  Also, the Guidance secretary can answer many of your questions.  Each student is also assigned to a Vice-principal.  You can book a time to speak with them through the vice-principal secretary in the office.  Each of your teachers can sometimes also help you out if you need it.

What Can I Expect in Grade 9?

Entering high school is an amazing experience.  You are ready to move on and leave elementary school, but you also can be very nervous about entering a new place with other students who are older than you.  Many grade 8's spend the summer before grade 9 feeling very nervous.  Here are some points to consider:
* we don't have initiation at Thornlea...we really, really don't!!
*get your lock on your locker right away or another student will take it.
*if you are lost, ask a teacher for directions
*everyone else in grade 9 is going through the same thing you are
*you will get a phone call home for every class that you miss, so don't miss classes without a good reason
*smoking IS NOT allowed on school property.  You can be fined a large amount of money if you are caught!!  Besides, all the cool people aren't doing it!
*use your agenda and take ownership for your due dates.
*ask for help...don't wait until its too late.  With the semester system, there is not a whole school year to catch up if you fall behind.