Remember the Keyboarding Class?
When I was a high school student, we had “Introduction to Keyboarding”. It was not uncommon for students to take this course during the summer before starting high school. The course was a full condensed semester, 6 hours every day on learning how to type on a typewriter correctly. It was a loud room and a bit of a boring course but it taught you the skill of quick typing. Typing class was also the prerequisite to a new course called:“Introduction to computers”.
Taking this course in the summer before grade 9 was considered a smart move because it could alleviate the eventual workload of 5 years of secondary school (when there was still grade 13).
Well, Grade 13 and keyboarding class are long gone, but the idea of Reaching Ahead in preparation for high school is still a possibility for many. I say possibility in that, it is not something that is for everyone.
What is a Reach Ahead Credit?
The Ontario Schools (2016) states in section 126.96.36.199 that
Under exceptional circumstances, an individual student in Grade 8, with parental consent, may be given permission by the principal of a secondary school to “reach ahead” to take secondary school courses, either during the school year or in the summer prior to entering Grade 9.
Who Might Benefit from Reaching Ahead?
- Students who have continuously demonstrated an exceptional academic performance during their elementary years or those who have been identified as a gifted or enriched learner in their Individual Education Plan (IEP) might benefit from reaching ahead. Such students might want to accelerate their secondary studies and graduate from high school at an earlier age.
- Students who are professionally pursuing a career in sports, music or arts parallel to their high school studies. Reaching ahead over summer can give these students more time during the main academic year to focus on their practice and games, rehearsals and shows.
- Students with learning disabilities might benefit from completing an easier Grade 9 credit course such as Geography as a reach ahead credit. This allows them to have more time to focus on the remaining Grade 9 courses such as mathematics, English, and science during the main academic year. With more time, students and parents can squeeze in more review, practice or tutoring time to support the student’s learning and success.
The transition from Grade 8 to 9 can be challenging for students and parents. Reaching ahead might alleviate some of the anxiety associated with the process but as I mentioned earlier, reaching ahead is not for everyone. Some students benefit from taking the summer between their Grade 8 and 9 off to recharge and reset and prepare for their first year as a high school student.
BrightMinds Online School welcomes your queries about Reach Ahead for your education needs. By being a completely online Secondary school, it is possible to still spend your summer at the cottage or on holidays and still set aside time to earn a high school credit. Just like a regular high school, you will participate in class discussions, create presentations and complete assignments. You can get a feel for what high school is like and get going on the next chapter of your learning.