• Tips for the First Weeks of High School 
    (Created by Zoé, an ESL student, with input from other international students)



    A warm welcome to all new ESL and International Students at Upper St. Clair High School!
    Moving to a new place is an exciting as well as intimidating experience. The ESL program at our school was not only established to help new students with the English language, but also to teach the American culture and to build a safe and friendly environment. An already existing mix of international students is eager to meet new people, like you, and share their experiences.
    1. Do not be embarrassed to ask as many questions as you need. Teachers and other students will always be willing to answer.

    2. Ask your teacher for clarification and extra help during class. Some teachers might not have a lot of time during the day, but before and after school are as also good opportunities.

    3. Use the Resource Center, next to the library. You will see six tables labeled with the different subjects, and most of the time at each table should be a teacher who is there to answer your questions. Do not hesitate to ask for help. The teachers are very friendly and helpful.

    4. Try out various clubs that interest you. This is a great way to meet a lot of different people and do some interesting activities after school, but you will need to ask your family to pick you up. There will be a time early in the year when all the clubs will set up tables to explain their activities. It is called “Freshman Rush” and there will be an announcement about it.

    5. Do not forget to get to your homeroom every morning by 7:30 and remain there until 7:40. Important announcements will be made during homeroom. If you need to talk to another teacher during that time or have to finish some work in the library, you need to ask your homeroom teacher for permission and a hall pass.

    6. Download a word-to-word dictionary on your phone. Ask each teacher for permission, because some teachers let you use it during class to make readings and worksheets easier to understand.

    7. At the beginning of the year you will receive quite a lot of passwords, combinations, and important numbers that you will need for the rest of the school year. Take the time to make yourself a note in your phone or in a notebook so you have all of these things in one place.

    8. It is always better to talk to your teachers directly. Emails are certainly ok, but sometimes it is easier to understand each other in a conversation. 

    9. You will have the same counselor for all of your high school years. He or she will help you with your schedule and educational issues, but also will listen and try to help you with other problems. No problem is too small, so get to know your counselor! 

    10. Here some important rooms and places:


    The Main Office:
    • first floor
    • across from the flag wall
    • ask questions if you need help
    The Attendance Office:
    • next to the Main Office
    • if you missed school you need to bring in a note to this office
    The Assistant Principals Office:
    • second floor
    • might call you for important messages
    The Athletic Office:
    • near the big gym
    • you can get information about sports programs there
    The Nurse’s Office:
    • first floor just around the corner from the entrance hall
    • if you feel sick or need anything medical just go there and ask one of the school nurses
    • they will call your parents if you need to leave school
    The Resource Center and Testing Center:
    • first floor, behind library
    • In the Resource Center you can ask different teachers for help during your free mods. There are some computers available for academic work. It is a quiet study place.
    • If you missed a test or quiz, your teachers might put it in the testing Center. You can go there during your free mods or after school to take the test or quiz.
    The Planning Rooms:
    • Every section (Social Studies, Mathematics, Foreign Languages, English and Sciences) has its own planning room where teachers spent their lunch and prepare their lessons. 
    • If you need to talk to a teacher during the day, ask at the planning room if the person is available.
    The LGI and the Theater:
    • second floor, near the upper entrance, across from the cafeteria/lunch room
    • most assemblies are in the theater
    • during picture days go to the LGI to get your picture taken