Thursday, May 28, 2015
Welcome to CTHEI class with Mrs. Pell & Mrs. Davidson
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8th Grade Counselor, Margaret Farquhar

After attending Ft. Worth public schools, Margaret Farquhar received a Bachelor of Arts in math from UTA, a Masters in Library Science and a Masters of Education in Counseling from UNT.  Beginning in the Arlington School District as a math teacher for 10 years, she has been a junior high counselor for 29 years of her 39 year career.

Mrs. Farquhar is married to a retired teacher from the Birdville school district and has two sons, one who attends Law School at UT Austin and one is a teacher with Arlington ISD.

If you have any questions or concerns about your 8th grade student, contact Mrs. Farquhar via email at; .


For 8th grade Parents and Students


8th grade is the time of transition into high school. It is a challenging and exciting time. There are more choices to be made and more responsibility is placed on the student. Study habits and taking responsibility for learning and choices are emphasized. Good study habits and responsibility are the foundation stones for success in high school and beyond.


8th graders must now pass the reading and math portions of the STAAR test to be promoted to high school. In addition, the students must pass all four of the core courses: English, math, science, and history. It is important to attend class each day, actively participate in class, organize and do a follow-up review each evening, and attend tutoring, if needed. Contact your child’s teacher if you have concerns about his/her progress.


For parents, it is still important to be involved in a supportive manner. A suggestion is to set aside some time each evening to discuss the day. Ask specific questions: such as, what went well today, what didn’t go well today, what was fun or interesting today. Discuss the things that didn’t go well and ask your child what he/she plans to do differently next time. Listen without judging. Encourage and empower your child to come up with solutions. A good way to stay up to date with your child’s grades and attendance is with the Parent Self Serve Portal system. To sign up, go to the Ferguson homepage and click on the link to parent portal. Then you will need to come to the school with your photo ID to get your authorization. For questions about Parent Self Serve contact Ms. Pensado. For questions about your child’s grade or progress, contact the teacher.


During the 8th grade year students take the CTHEI class (Career, Technical and Higher Education Investigations). Within this class students learn the technology skills that are needed for success, in addition to exploring classes and opportunities for high school, college, and career. The students utilize the website Career Cruising to explore and create their plans. The students are led to create their 4 year plan for graduation from high school. Speakers are invited in to share about careers. Also, there are several presentations for the benefit of the students. Internet safety, the dangers of sexting, and cyberbullying are discussed in presentations. A series of presentations, Promoting Health Among Teens, is offered.


Spring is especially busy as the students get involved in registration for high school. The 8th grade counselor presents Gear Up to explain promotion policies, graduation requirements and endorsements, earning credits, grade point average, and grants for college. The high school counselors come to meet the 8th graders and do the actual registration for high school 9th grade and answer questions. Parents will be invited to a meeting to hear the high school counselors explain the graduation requirements and endorsements. There are also opportunities to learn about IB, AVID, and other special high school programs. Please ask your child to be sure to bring home all the information they receive. All questions about the high school schedule should be directed to the appropriate high school counselor.

Helpful Links
About Links

Career Cruising offers a suite of online career guidance and planning tools designed for people of all ages. Using our tools, you can find the right career, explore education and training options, build your own portfolio, manage your school’s course selection process, or set up a career development network in your community.  Your student will login to Career Cruising with their AISD student ID as their user ID  and with a password consisting of the first 5 letters of the last name followed by the AISD student ID.


College For All Texans is designed to help you access everything you need to plan for college.  Pick a university that fits your needs and find ways to help finance your academic dreams.


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