In Philadelphia, at the high school level there are neighborhood schools, which as the term implies serve kids in a particular neighborhood, and then there are different kinds and tiers of "magnet"schools, which draw from all over the city and usually have some sort of academic performance criteria. Our neighborhood elementary school goes to 8th grade, so our kids can go straight from there to high school. And with Jada now in 7th grade, research (mostly on her part) has intensified as to where to apply and how to get in.
Fifth and sixth grades were hard for Jada, for a variety of reasons, and while her grades those years were good they weren't great. Amy and I know she can do better, and so far this school year she has marshaled far more of her own motivation in this direction too. She wants to get into a good high school, and she knows that 7th grade grades count towards that, so she is putting in the work and maintaining her focus. She has made good choices to eliminate both distractions as well as productive activities that she would otherwise like to pursue but realizes she needs to say no to in order to have time to do well in school.
So impressed with how she is approaching this whole thing. We are of course very active in her pursuits, and yet on another level we are intentionally giving her space to own her own goals and take her own steps to achieve them. I'm proud of her for stepping up so far this year.