High School Placement – January 22nd


Greetings! Please let me know if you have any remaining questions regarding the high school application process and/or if you would like to set up a time to discuss the public and/or private options you are considering. I have a few updates to share with you this week:

La Jolla High School
If you are considering attending La Jolla High School, please attend this Zoom meeting:

Event: LJHS 8th Grade Parent Night / Orientation

Topic: Course selection, graduation requirements, transition to LJHS
Time: Feb 9, 2021 06:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 889 6202 2290

Dial by your location
+1 669 219 2599 US (San Jose)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 889 6202 2290

Link: https://lajollahigh.sandiegounified.org/counseling/8th_grade_parent_night

Guidance Counselor Contact Info: https://lajollahigh.sandiegounified.org/counseling/counselor_contact_information_

We have been informed that New Enrollments to LJHS should be starting by March 1.
Final details not yet available but we expect updates in the next week or two.

Mission Bay:

We have just learned from MBHS that the Choice lottery is scheduled to be run in February, and the district plans to release the list in the first week of March. No details yet for the enrollment process, but the administration is meeting to discuss so we should have more info by February 1.

April 15:  there will be another IB Information night presented by Tracy Borg, the IB Coordinator.
Zoom link to follow.

Update on Cathedral’s placement test: 

“The Placement Assessment originally scheduled for February 20, 2021, has been postponed until further notice. We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution for the sake of our future Dons’ safety and well-being. Please stay tuned to these Admissions Newsletters for updates regarding the placement assessment and possible future test dates.”


Mid to late February, usually – we are waiting for more details from LJHS and MBHS and others…

If you will, or if you might attend your assigned/neighborhood public school, make contact with your assigned guidance counselor or counseling secretary to make an enrollment appointment.

Heads up for people hoping for private school admissions:
I do recommend enrolling at your assigned public school to have a solid back up /  the chance to choose 9th grade classes earlier rather than later.

You will find contact info on the school’s website. Students are usually assigned to counselors in alphabetical order.
SDUSD requires the following documents for enrollment. (Usually just #2 – #6 for private schools.)

1) Proof of Residency – One of the following:

  • Current utility bill (SDG & E, water, cable)
  • A rental agreement or rent payment receipts
  • Mortgage documents / Property tax payment receipts
  • Military housing orders

2) Immunization Records (Shot records)

3) Birth Certificate or Passport

4) Copy of most recent report card  – you can access these on FACTS.

5) Copy of Transcript – Stephanie will mail this to your home.

6) 8th Grade Course Information Form (SDFAS will prepare one for each family; they help the high school guidance counselor place our students in appropriate 9th grade classes. Stephanie will mail this to your home.

 Friday, March 12
Private high school admission decisions will be posted by end of day – usually emailed to parents.

(They usually tell me, too, but not always, so please let me know your news – I keep track of all the results.) If you receive multiple offers of admission, please make your decision, respecting the school’s deadline, and please let the schools you do not wish to attend know as soon as possible, so that your spot can be opened up to a wait list candidate. The school will let you know next steps for enrollment.

We anticipate that in addition to many of our students being Accepted, there will be a number of Waitlist results this year.  If you are serious about the school, please let them know right away that you want to stay on the wait list. (It’s impossible to know when the waitlist movement will be all done – shifts can happen into the month of August…)

 End of March – Hopefully, Choice decisions will have all been announced before the end of March; in some years results have been delayed. You should receive an email from the district and/or the school offering you a spot.Please respond quickly. If you do not want the spot, please let them know so it can go to another candidate. Then, your next step will be to make an enrollment appointment.

Here is a collection of High School Resources and Reminders:

Please consider:
Whether you are applying to private schools, and/or if you are waiting for Choice decisions, or just anticipating life in 9th grade, the waiting period can be stressful in its own way, so please be mindful of your own and your 8th graders’ possible ups and downs during the not-knowing period between now and spring, and perhaps consider focusing on the adventures to come: new freedoms, opportunities, and responsibilities, and, above all, reassurance that it is possible to get a good education at any of the high schools in the area. It may help to be reminded of some important dates / timeline estimates between now and then:

A quick clarification about transcripts:

What is a transcript?
A transcript is an official document, sent from one school to another, which captures and summarizes all report card grades onto one simple document. In our case, from SDFAS to American schools, the French grades are also “translated” into the American-style A, B, C, D grades so they will be easily understood and recognized by the high schools to which our students apply and eventually attend.

As our acting registrar (keeper of official academic records) Stéphanie Humbert, in the front office, prepares the transcripts and sends them to other schools. Students and parents are given copies of transcripts. Usually “official” transcripts are sent directly from school to school – especially from high schools to colleges, as you will see down the road in a few years.

If you are applying to any private high school/s…
You will need to provide each school with an official transcript.

Each school you apply to will have a form on their website or will ask you to type in an email address for the person who handles transcripts at our school. That person is Stéphanie, and the email address to use is admin@sdfrenchschool.org
You may also use our Transcript Request Form (attached) and drop it off to Stéphanie in the front office or send it to her by email. Stéphanie will not be able to release records to a school without this form, but a signed pdf or photo, actual paper, or via the link from the high school admission portal – are all ok.

If you are planning to attend a public high school…
You will not need a transcript until you know for sure which school you are going to and you have a scheduled enrollment appointment with a guidance counselor at that school, which will be in late February / early March at the earliest. A reminder that choice application decisions can take longer, even until August. Once you know for sure and have your appointment, ask Stéphanie for a copy of the transcript and bring with you to the appointment (if in person) or provide it digitally, along with other required documents – birth certificate, immunization record, proof of address, etc. + see below.

For both private and public schools…
In June, Stéphanie will prepare a final transcript, with final report card grades included, to be sent to your high school. This is one of the reasons we ask that you please keep us informed of your high school results and decisions as soon as you know.

One suggestion:
No matter what your high school pathway might be, I would like to encourage you to take intentional time over the next several months to create opportunities for your 8th graders to take baby steps toward becoming more independent. It’s important for them to feel CAPABLE of managing some aspects of their life and making some of their own decisions, but they need to PRACTICE these skills and have your confidence in their ability to do so as a foundation. In high school there will new freedoms and responsibilities, the need for more self-advocacy, weighing options, making good decisions and mistakes, prioritizing, balancing homework/fun/health/friends/family, etc. I encourage you to practice letting go in tiny ways now, allowing your 8th graders to have a voice and take responsibility, for example, setting own alarm and getting up, learning how to do laundry, budgeting, groceries, basic cooking and cleaning…perhaps consider having a family meeting to discuss these shifts? Fair and reasonable boundaries and logical consequences are still important, too, but perhaps reached by discussion, collaboration, negotiation. We as parents need to stay involved and engaged, as we also, sometimes heartbreakingly, loosen the reins.

As you finalize where to apply, and where to attend if you have multiple offers of admission, please consider attending a school’s virtual college info night or other events via zoom. (Check their website!) This will give you a bird’s eye view on some of the students, staff members (and probably alumni) and tone of the conversation around student and parent support, in addition to giving you a sneak-peek into the college application process and campus life.

Mission Bay High School Virtual Tours
Tracy Borg, the International Baccalaureate Coordinator’s Future Tour Dates:
February 11, March 11, April 8, May TBD. Attendees please turn on camera while in the waiting room and provide a full name on the zoom. For more info: tborg@sandi.net

La Jolla High School Q & A Session
Thanks to the many of you who attended the LJHS Q & A Session.
Here’s a link to the recording in case you missed it:

Passcode: FZ%s@7aV

Here is a link to the Academic Handbook to see more details about courses at LJHS.


In case you missed High School Info: Part 1 – Nuts & Bolts
Thank you to the many of you who attended our webinar. If you missed it, you can find the recording here: Recording HS Info Part 1 Nuts & Bolts

Passcode: nv4L&.jj

(The passcode must be exact. Please cut/paste. The last two letters are small j’s)

In case you missed High School Info: Part 2 – Alumni Panel

Thank you for the many who attended last week’s event.

Here is the link to watch the recording if you missed it:

2020 Alumni Panel Recording

Access Passcode: q9T0F.jw

If you are applying to private schools
Please request recommendations as soon as possible, if you have not already done so.
If the school you are applying to requires samples of work (writing and math) please be aware that your teachers will receive one link for the recommendation and a different one to upload the work after report cards come out.
If you are applying to any private schools you will need to request recommendations in addition to completing the student/family portion of your application. Usually high schools ask for a Math, English, and Administrator recommendation. Whenever possible, we advise that the students ask their teachers/administrators for this directly, by email, on zoom, or in person, depending on the student. Here are the email addresses to type into the online application system – most schools use Ravenna. Once you type in the email address in the online admission portal and click the button, the teachers will receive the link to complete the recommendation.

English: cmitchell@sdfrenchschool.org

Math: scohen@sdfrenchschool.org

Admin: estoller@sdfrenchschool.org
Please note:

Suneeta Cohen and Nicolas Giot will collaborate on Math Recommendations.
Cara Mitchell and Marion Addo will collaborate on English recommendations.

Erin Stoller, Marion Addo, Tom Faure, Mark Rosenblum, and advisors will collaborate on Admin recommendations.

Discover Grauer Days:
Will be in-person and online (hybrid). The number of in-person participants at these events is limited to 12 and once that limit is reached for that specific date, registration will only be open for an online experience.

January 22; January 28; February 10; February 25. For more info: oliviakleinrath@grauerschool.com

Factors to consider when Choosing and / or Applying to High School:

Academic Fit and Style; Public/Private/Religious; Location/Commute; Cost; Community; Diversity in all its forms; Athletics; Arts; Co-Curricular opportunities; Class Size; Size of School; Availability of individual support; College admission results; Mission and Philosophy; Programs – AP, IB, etc.; Classes available…and the intangible – how might you feel on campus? Can you imagine “living” here for the next four years? Even more difficult this year to know, as visits may not be possible.

Know that completing the SDFAS Middle School program will prepare you for any high school program you end up choosing.    Know that you are making a 4-year commitment and the way things look right now is not the way they will look a year from now…

 International Baccalaureate

The I.B. is offered at San Diego High School, Mission Bay High School in San Diego, and further north at La Costa Canyon, Vista, and San Guajome. It is a very robust academic, college preparatory curriculum for free at these public schools. Many colleges give credit for IB classes / passing IB exams. Doing the IB looks good on college applications because it is a known, rigorous curriculum. It is not for everybody – it is very challenging, writing intensive, and has cumulative exams at the end of 12th (and sometimes 11th) Grade. The program is complex – please let me know if you wish to talk about it in detail. Learn more about the IB here:
IB General
IB College Admissions