Three Notes for Parents of 8th Graders

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Dear Parents of 8th graders:

I hope you are staying warm on this cold, cold day.1) We are compiling the 2014-2015 yearbook and collecting baby photos of 8th graders.  Please send me a cute pic of your soon-to-be-graduate when s/he was a baby.  It can be sent to me electronically or as a hard copy.  I will return any hard copies to you later in the spring, as long as they are clearly labelled.

2) Please keep me informed of all high school notification letters (public and private) as they arrive in the next few weeks.  I rarely hear directly from the high schools; therefore, I depend on your information to help me keep track of all the places students get accepted.  If it applies to your child, point totals and test scores are very helpful for me to know, also.
Once the letters arrive, most students will know very quickly where they are going to high school and will be done with the process.  There may be a few who need some additional time to find the right school.  The information you provide helps me know which students I need to continue to work with this spring and who’s all set.
3) The teachers and I met with the 8th grade class Wednesday and discussed the upcoming notification letters and the stress or anxiety that sometimes comes along with the process.  A few points we tried to hammer home that we’d appreciate if you would reiterate:
  • All students will go to a high school that is a good fit for them.
  • All students should celebrate the end of the application process, regardless of the outcome.  Everyone should be proud of the labor they put in just to make it to the end of this process.
  • Where you go to high school does not determine the trajectory of the rest of your life.
  • If you are happy about your notification letters, by all means celebrate, shout and dance around your living room – but – be sensitive at school of those classmates who aren’t feeling as good.
  • Avoid using social media to share info on your high school news.  No matter how carefully it’s phrased, it almost always comes across as bragging.
  • In our experience, any student who initially feels disappointed in not getting a first or second choice eventually comes to realize that everything worked out for the best and they ended up in the right spot.
  • Resist the impulse to divide schools into “good” and “bad”.  What one person considers to be a “bad” school might actually be the perfect fit and a first choice for another child.  There are no “good” or “bad” schools.  A more accurate way to talk about schools would be that some schools are a “good fit for me” and some are “not a good fit for me”.
  • Opening notification letters is an activity for home, never at school.
Here’s to a great weekend, Chris
Posted in 12-14 - Chris Ambroso, Montessori in Action