When you decide to move to a new area, one of the first things to do is to explore schools for your children. Below are a few tips for how to tackle each stage of the school research and selection process so that your move to a new city will be complemented by a smooth transition to a new school!
High School is one of the most important influences on the lives of adolescents. It becomes a student’s world at an age when they are still developing their identities, growing into adults, and learning about life. The teachers, students, and learning material serve to influence how teenagers think and view society as they adopt more responsible roles in their own lives. Something that has such a large impact on students' lives should be chosen with careful consideration. A student’s school should be welcoming and tailored to their needs with many exciting opportunities to take risks, make connections and be creative. There are many factors in this monumental decision to consider in order to get the most out of the experience, including:
Whether big or small, this choice should be influenced by a student’s learning style. If they do well working in groups with more peer input, having many classmates may be best suited to them. If they do better in a calmer environment with more personal attention from the teacher, a small number of classmates may be the right choice.
While exciting and hopeful, beginnings can also be frightening and uncertain. A student’s freshman year of high school is one of those hopeful, yet undetermined beginnings. You can be anything and do anything which is as much daunting as it is exhilarating. The next four years will help prepare a student for whatever the future holds, so it is very important that it go as smoothly as possible. With awareness and foresight, all of the stress of beginning school can be replaced by the excitement and joy it deserves. To ease the transition from middle to upper school, incoming freshmen should try:
When selecting high schools, multiple factors weigh into a family’s decision: size, location, the strength of the program, and programmatic choice, to name a few. The presence of an Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum within a high school signals a respected level of educational excellence. AP courses offer rigorous college-level content within a secondary school setting.
A school with an AP program may provide many benefits to students and families:
- Students develop the habits of mind and skills required to be successful in college courses while still in high school.
- In-depth study of a particular field often leads to students discovering a passion and pursuing that field as a major in college.
- College admissions officers often view students who score well on AP exams as being more prepared than those who have not experienced AP to handle college-level academics thus predicting a higher rate of success in college.
- Students within the AP program are viewed by college admissions officers as hard-working, and self-motivated.
- AP provides a standard measure by which students applying to college can be compared. Students can distinguish themselves within an elite group of students.
- Students who score well on AP exams may receive college credit for their high school coursework.
- With enough credits accumulated through AP, some students are able to graduate a semester or a year early, decreasing college expenses for families.
- Earning introductory college credit through AP credits may open room in a student’s schedule that would allow the pursuit of elective courses in an area of interest or room for a minor study.
The AP designation offers a benchmark for academic excellence and teacher professional development. For a school to offer the AP designation, the teachers of the course must complete the audit process and be approved by the College Board. Schools must provide adequate resources to AP students and professional development to AP teachers. In addition, the teacher’s content must be approved by the College Board in order to be authorized to use the AP designation.
Writing is the foundation of much of what students will do in school and in their post-academic lives. As such, it is important to find a school that has a good writing program. A strong writing curriculum allows for flexibility so students can learn in multiple ways and encourages them to stretch and reach. We see the following as the key components of a successful writing program.