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Costa Mesa High School Middle School Principal's Message
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Middle School Principal's Message

10 General Rules to Help You Succeed


1. Use your Planner!!  (If you don't have one, get one or use your phone)

  • Your planner is your lifeline!  Take it everywhere (success = organization)

  • If no homework:  write “none” or “0”.

  • Keep it neat (you may need to refer back to it)

  • Mark important dates (highlighters are helpful)

  • Great communication tool between students and parents.


2. Follow Directions – It’s at least half of your grade!!

  • Follow directions, it shows the teacher you’re listening.

  • If given no guidelines, ask specific questions!

  • Bottom line: If you don’t follow direction your grade will suffer.


3. First Impressions

  • Neat, legible and organized.  Can you imagine reading 140 papers a day?

  • Attitude and behavior influence your grade!  (No matter how smart you are)

  • Body language is just as important as words.

  • Impress your teachers (they’ve got the power) not your classmates.


4. Homework

  • Always submit something (even if late) or your guaranteed a zero!

  • Neat, legible and organized.  Typed papers are preferred.

  • Late Homework: points are deducted.  (But better late than not at all)

  • If absent: homework must be made up or it will be a zero. (student’s responsibility)

  • Follow directions: give the teacher what they asked for.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand.

  • Homework buddy: exchange phone numbers with a classmate.

  • If behind or overwhelmed: use your weekends to lighten your work week.

5. Participation

  • Part of your grade, so speak up!

  • Can make the difference between an A/B, B/C, and C/D.


6. Absences

  • Make up missed homework, tests, labs, class notes etc...the sooner the better.

    (The # of days absent is usually the # of days you have to make up work)

  • It’s your responsibility to get class notes from a classmate.


​​​​​​​7.Study Guides

  • Be grateful if your teacher gives a study guide, since not all do.

  • Helpful for test prep, so answer completely and accurately.

  • When possible, copy blank study guides before you fill in. Good for reviewing.

  • Usually count as homework points – but do the even if they don’t for review.



​​​​​​​8. Extra Credit

  • Rarely given, so definitely do it! (Even if you don’t think you need it)

  • Could mean the difference if you have a borderline grade.

  • Every point counts!!

  • If your grade is in jeopardy ask what you can do to raise it.


9. CYA (Cover your Assets)

  • If in doubt – don’t throw it out!

  • Don’t throw out anything until you get your report card!!

  • Teacher sometimes misplace papers or forget to record grades.

  • The burden is on you to 1) produce your work, 2) redo it, or 3) get a zero.

  • Make copies before you submit your final paper (copy anything you’ve spent substantial time on.) Remember: computers crash and freeze at the worst time, so save often, burn to a disc or print a hard copy. 

10. End of Quarter Clean-up

  • Each quarter lasts about 9 weeks. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Quarters end: 10/31, 1/29, 4/17 and 6/18. Know when the quarter ends!

  • In 7th & 8th grade a new quarter means a clean slate. Grades start over.

  • Turn in missing assignments, maintain existing grades or pull up low grades.

  • Clean out binders, replace broken ones, save papers, and get ready for next quarter.