Class of 2024 - Incoming DGS Freshman Class

Even though you are currently in 8th grade, starting to think about high school now will help in making the most out of your 8th grade school year. We look forward to welcoming you to DGS in the Fall of 2020! In order to ensure a successful transition, several activities will occur this year to help each student have as smooth of a transition to high school as possible. Keep visiting this site througout the school year to gather information about your transition to high school.

Calendar of activities for 8th grade students

November & December 2019 (Dates TBA) - 8th grade Honors English writing assessments
Monday, January 27th, 2020 - Class of 2024 Freshman Orientation night at DGS
Saturday, February 1st, 2020 - Class of 2024 Freshman Course Selection
August 8, 2020 - Freshman Mad Dash

Frequently Asked Questions

It is essential to have students and a parent/guardian attend the scheduled course selection appointment on February 2nd found in the registration packet.  You will meet with a South High Counselor to go over recommendations made by 8th grade teachers, select electives and to briefly discuss any transition issues.  The appointment with the counselor is only 7-8 minutes, but feel free to contact the counselor after registration to discuss issues further.  Students will also take their ID picture and have a chance to purchase DGS spirit wear.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to have 750 8th graders shadow or visit classes at South High School.  We do have an extensive transition program for incoming freshmen which begins with the Class of 2023 Orientation Night held on January 28th at South High School and culminates with the Mad Dash held  Saturday, August 10th. A South High School student leader will contact your new freshmen in the summer to answer any questions they may have.  Please contact your student’s South High Counselor to answer other questions.

There are 3 honors level courses available to freshmen including English I Honors, Biology 400 and either Math II Honors or Math III Honors depending on a student’s math level.  Students having advanced ability in these subject areas will be recommended by 8th grade teachers.  South High Department Chairs also review recommendations.  Students being recommended for Honors courses need to seriously consider enrolling in these courses as they will match their academic ability.  Students should expect increased homework in these classes.  So, it is also important to take a look at all other activities a student may be involved in and out of high school day to make sure the correct amount of time is dedicated for the entire homework load. 

About 50% of the freshmen class will take 6 courses both semesters.  25% will take an elective one semester and a study hall the other semester while the remaining 25% will take 7 classes for the whole school year.  If a student has a full period study hall they will be able to access the library and academic resource centers to get assistance if needed.  All students will need to dedicate time to homework outside of the school day.  Those students taking 7 courses will need to be very organized outside of the school in order to meet homework expectations and balance the time needed for extra-curricular activities.  Some students may be recommended to only take 6 classes for this reason.

Yes! Yes! Yes!  We know that students who get involved in the life of South High School have more fun, do better in classes and develop as leaders.  There are many different activities to be involved in at South and there is place for every student.  Often times, new clubs emerge when students show interest. 

We have found that the work habits a student has in 8th grade often are the same ones we see when students are freshmen.  Take full advantage of the 8th grade experience.  If you need to improve your grades, start making changes now.  Create a homework schedule, talk to your teachers, and let someone know at your school if you are having a problem.  All of these issues are sometimes bigger at high school so now is the time to make some changes if needed.

A list of courses will be mailed home in July with registration information.  Final schedules will be released to students once fees have been accounted for, a completed physical and up-to-date- immunization record have been reviewed and approved by the Nurse's Office and any other concerns have been addressed.  If you have any questions or concerns with the courses selected, please contact your school counselor as early as possible. After February 1st, you will be able to view the courses you have chosen by logging onto Home Access Center.

11 important ideas for incoming freshman and parents/guardians

Make sure that your student is challenged and taking courses now that will help meet future goals.

Research says that students who are involved in an activity, club, sport, music, etc...are much more likely to have a positive high school experience and get better grades than students who are not involved.

Research says that when a teenager is faced with a critical decision, the influence of peers (positive and negative) and parent/families make the difference.

Having a Home Access Center (HAC) account enables you to track your student’s attendance and grades right from your computer.  HAC will also allow you to track your student’s assignment, projects, and tests.  Always be sure to have a current e-mail address on file at Downers Grove South HS. 

Starting off in the right direction is essential in getting to where you want to go!

Mad Dash will be Saturday, August 8th at Downers Grove South HS. Almost every freshman attends this awesome event. About 200 high school student leaders run this event to help freshman feel comfortable starting high school. 

Usually held during the first few weeks of school. 

Research says that when a student makes positive connections with adults (teachers, school counselors, coaches, etc.), students experience higher levels of resiliency and inclusion.

This supervision includes online supervision and supervision of technology.  Remember, good kids make mistakes too.  Your child should always know that you love him/her, but make sure he/she know your expectations.  Know where your child is and who they are with all the time.

Stay in positive contact with the teachers and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Remember that e-mail is a great tool for quick information, but it’s not such a great tool for dealing with more-difficult issues.  Don’t fight the small battles for your child… keep things in perspective.

The most successful students I have seen tend to be the ones whose parents are at the school, attend functions, join the PTA or athletic boosters, or serve on the advisory council or some other group.  In a sense, these parents are the ones who are in the know, and they use this information to support their children and the school.