You & Your Teen—Navigating Newport & Adolescence

The final years of adolescence bring dramatic changes in our teens. Their bodies continue to grow and change, but that pales compared to the intellectual and emotional growth.

This natural psychological development, and the demands of the fast-approaching adult world, mean that parents, teachers, coaches, and other adults must take a step back. Where we once led our toddlers around by the hand, we now need to walk beside and back a little to let our children learn, and most importantly, practice the skills they will need as young adults.

The broad categories where you can watch for opportunities to help your student graduate with young-adult skill levels

All the science and advice can overwhelm busy families. To help, we have separated the most important growth areas into categories and grouped age-appropriate targets by grade.

  • Lifelong Learning Habits: Learn, think, do, assess, and repeat to continue growth
  • Emotional Habits of Successful Teens & Adults: Building self-knowledge, self-management, and self-agency
  • Involvement that Matters: Experiences that will help shape the future and build a resilient mind and body
  • Relationships: Peer and adult connections that provide support and teach teamwork, communication, and problem solving
  • Course Selection: Actively plan depth, breadth, rigor and growth
  • Planning for Career: Finding a fit that suits your teen and the economy of tomorrow and then arranging college or training for that plan
  • Specific Tasks to Check Off Each Year

Breaking it down allows you to target one thing at a time & focus where your student needs the most support


  • Our grade levels provide broad categories for adolescent development. Use your knowledge of your teen to adjust targets to the maturity and capacity of your child.
  • Don’t tackle everything at once. Be generally familiar with what needs to be done and watch for the natural opportunities for growth that will present themselves during high school.


  • Remember, you are not alone. We are working on the same things at school. And every other parent you know is navigating the same challenges. Seek insight and perspective in your neighborhood, in your class, on your team, and everywhere you turn.
  • We have provided short videos and articles to help clarify steps you can take in each area below. No special expertise is necessary. You and your student can tackle these tasks together with the information we have provided here and the help available at school.

General Parent Guidance Blog Posts

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.