Alexandra Pannoni
U.S. News & World Report
Freshman year of high school is a big deal for students, socially and academically.

Parents should pay attention to this big transition in their student's life, says Janice K. Jackson, chief education officer of Chicago Public Schools.

Many parents believe their teens need more freedom in high school, says Jackson, a former high school teacher and principal. But she says parents should aim to give their teen increased independence while still providing social and academic support to help students succeed.

How well students perform academically in ninth grade can predict their future success, according to a 2017 study from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. The group looked at the freshman-year grades of about 187,000 Chicago public school students from 2006 to 2013.