Ninth Through Twelfth Grade

The Pivotal Years:  Ninth through Twelfth Grade   

High school is the final transition into adulthood and the world of work as students begin separating from parents and exploring and defining their independence. Students are deciding who they are, what they do well, and what they will do when they graduate. During these adolescent years, students are evaluating their strengths, skills and abilities. The biggest influence is their peer group. They are searching for a place to belong and rely on peer acceptance and feedback. They face increased pressures regarding risk behaviors involving sex, alcohol and drugs while exploring the boundaries of more acceptable behavior and mature, meaningful relationships. They need guidance in making concrete and compounded decisions. They must deal with academic pressures as they face high-stakes testing, the challenges of college admissions, the scholarship and financial aid application process and entrance into a competitive job market.  American School Counselors Association  

Below we list many resources by the topics you may be interested in. There is no need to be afraid of dreaming - Spartanburg is rich in resources to help you and your child achieve more than you may have ever dreamed possible. All it takes is reaching out and making connections. Navigating the path from thoughts of what the future may hold, to dreaming about it, and then getting on the path to achieving those dreams is one that parents and students can travel together. 

ConnectSpartanburg is an initiative of the Mary Black Foundation that helps link teens and their families to local resources supporting their educational goals, health, and well-being. . 


Did you know?

  • Your teens baffling behaviors may not be due to hormones but due to typical brain development. Studies have shown that brains continue to mature and develop throughout childhood and adolescence and well into early adulthood.

  • Only 25 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds would qualify to serve in the military.  The rest cannot meet physical, mental or behavioral standards for service—standards that are similar to those many businesses use in hiring. 

  • In 2006, teens spent an average of 6 ½ hours a day plugged in to technology, whereas in 2011, that number almost doubled, to 11 ½ hours a day. 

  • Students at the high school level are in the career preparedness phase. Students are taking courses that will lead to either college entry or a career. Students and parents can learn more about the 16 career clusters at South Carolina ETV.

  • South Carolina High School Graduation Requirements - A student must earn 24 units of credit in various fields of study in order to graduate from high school in the state of South Carolina.

  • College admissions requirements will vary from what is required to graduate from a public South Carolina high school. At a minimum, College Preparatory Coursework is required for four-year institutions in South Carolina. However, you MUST refer to your college of choice to review the admissions requirements.

Spartanburg County School Districts

Spartanburg School District One – (864) 472-4117
Inman/Landrum/Campobello and Northwest County

Spartanburg School District Two – (864) 578-0128  
Boiling Springs/Chesnee and Northeast County

Spartanburg School District Three – (864) 279-6000
Cowpens/Pacolet and East Central County

Spartanburg School District Four – (864) 476-3186
Woodruff and Southwest County 

Spartanburg School District Five – (864) 949-2350
Lyman/Duncan/Wellford and Central West County

Spartanburg School District Six – (864) 576-4212
Westside Spartanburg City and Central County

Spartanburg School District Seven – (864) 594-4400
 Central and Eastside Spartanburg City


Locally, the Citizen Scholars program works to support youth  over a seven year period - from 5th grade through college graduation, providing mentors and coaching to help them develop and reach their academic and personal goals. 

How to obtain information and/or assistance

  • Teachers are in contact with students for at least 7 hours of the day. Your collaboration and partnership in the education of your child is paramount to your child reaching their full potential in the classroom. Keeping the lines of communication open will assist parents in supplementing what is being taught in the classroom or identifying problems a student may encounter. Your child’s teacher can assist in making sure the accelerated student is challenged or provide remedial help for the student who struggles.
  • Who to contact if problems exist:
    • Your child’s teacher. Many teachers will provide their contact information at the beginning of the year. Please keep that information handy. You can always call the school directly should you need to speak with a teacher or set up a conference.
    • The school counselor is a great resource for parents. Counselors are knowledgeable about resources in the community that can assist with academic, social, or familial concerns. Counselors are also trained to do school related one-on-one or group counseling.
    • Your healthcare provider is another great resource if problems arise in the school setting. Physiological or psychological problems that are best diagnosed by a physician may be the cause of difficulty in a classroom setting.
    • At most high schools, there are a wealth of clubs and activities to become involved with. Encourage your teen to get involved with volunteerism or an extracurricular activity that explores an interest, career goal, or talent. It is a great way to meet friends and to build their resume!

Out of School Time

Today, most parents work outside the home, many because of economic necessity.  They struggle with the constant pressure of being valuable employees and responsible parents.  Experts estimate that at least 8 million “latchkey” children come home to empty houses.  Potentially children are left unsupervised before/after school and during days out of school.

The hours from 2 to 8 p.m. are the peak time for juvenile crime and victimization, and the time period when teens ages 16-17 are most likely to be involved in a car crash. Also, youth left unsupervised for a certain number of hours per week are more likely to be sexually active, and at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Participation in after school programs gets children and youth off the streets, under supervision, and potentially prevents some risky behaviors. But beyond offering a safe haven, research and evaluation studies have demonstrated that the programs can have a positive effect on a range of prevention outcomes, such as avoidance of drug and alcohol use, decreases in delinquency and violent behavior, increased knowledge of safe sex, avoidance of sexual activity, and reduction in juvenile crime. Visit the National Dropout Prevention Center for resources related to positive after school hours activities.

Please also consult your child’s high school for clubs, sports and activities outside of school hours.

Additional Links: