Dear Parents of 8th Graders:
Last Wednesday afternoon, our School Psychologist Caroline Adelman, the Junior High teachers and I met with all of the 8th graders to discuss the high school notification letters. Our main messages were:
- Be proud of all of the hard work you put into the process
- Make plans to celebrate the end of the process, not matter what the results are
- Celebrate and share your success graciously
- We are all in this together; be sensitive and supportive to all of your classmates
Sharing your personal news and asking about your friends’ news can be a delicate and tricky conversation to navigate. We want the students to be able to share their news and talk about it in a gracious manner.
We ran through multiple scenarios where one person received some exciting news and their close friend shared some disappointing news. In that situation, Dr. Adelman laid out the following steps to keep in mind:
Validate their feelings (“Sorry to hear you’re bummed out about that” or “Congratulations! That’s exciting for you”)
Say something encouraging (“I’ve heard really good things about that school” or “Whatever school you decide to attend will be lucky to have you” or “No matter what the results are, I know you worked really hard”)
- Keep the conversation about them (do not “one-up” or start comparing yourself to them out loud)
We also discussed the importance of not making assumptions. Your friend might get into a school that you would not have chosen for yourself. You might assume that they’re disappointed, but it might actually be their first choice. It’s always a good idea to ask, “And how are you feeling about that?”
Many students will soon receive their notification letters and know immediately where they are going to high school. Some students may have to wait a bit longer to see how it all plays out. Either way, all of our graduates will go to a high school that suits their needs.
Because I receive very little information directly from CPS or the schools, I count on you to pass along your child’s information so I can track each student. Please let me know what information you receive, as it comes in. I appreciate your help.