All students should have an expectation of what grade they hope to achieve in any given class — before the class starts! Not all students may aim for an A. However, based on preceding years’ grades and the level of rigor of the course, sit down before school starts and be realistic with grades. Why? If students are under or overperforming a certain benchmark, parents can implement a plan that would already be in place. Low grade? See the teacher. Low grade again? See the teacher and dive a little deeper. A third low grade, get expert help. Do not wait until the first quarter grades are in and you are in despair wondering what happened. Act early before stress builds. Start where you are, and build up from there.