If you or your child is thinking about applying to secondary schools this fall and winter, here are a few easy, hopefully pain and stress free things that you can do this summer to familiarize yourself with the application process and with schools.
Visit virtually. It’s fun and simple to get to know schools initially through their websites. Online, you can request admission information, of course, but you can also learn a lot about what schools are about. Check out the school’s mission statement first to see if there might be something there that resonates with you.
You can also take a look at academic and extracurricular offerings. Although many offerings will be the same from school to school, there will be important differences. For example, if you love art, where does art fit into a given school’s curriculum and what is available in the extracurricular realm? Love theater? See what schools have to offer in that area. If cross country is your thing, and you know that you want to run in high school, check out the athletic section of the website and explore the cross country program in more depth.
Although virtual visits will not provide you with all of the information that you will need to make a fully informed decision, they are a great place to start to get to know schools and to discern what type of school might be ideal for you. Many also have video libraries and photo galleries – these are fun to peruse and will help you begin to develop a sense for school culture.
Drive by. If you find yourself in a town where there is a secondary school that might be a possibility for you, drive to it and take a look. Many campuses will be quiet in the summer (or perhaps busy with summer programs such as camps and conferences), but you will be able to get a sense for the campus and the surroundings. You can see the athletic fields and other outdoor facilities, develop a feel for the size and location of a given school and imagine yourself there without even leaving the car.
Daydream. Summer is a great time to get away from the daily demands of the school year and enjoy some downtime. This slower time of year offers an opportunity to do some thinking – and not the hard kind! Spend a little time thinking about you and your interests and goals.
What do you hope to get out of your secondary school experience? What do you know that you want to do and what do you think you might like to try?
You will change a lot over the course of your middle and high school years, but you also know yourself better than anyone else, and your own hopes and dreams should play a large role in the school search. It will make the school search more enjoyable if you think of it as an opportunity rather than a drag.
Have a great summer, and please contact us here in the Nobles Admission Office if we can be helpful at any time.