Dear 8th Grade Families,
Please note important new information in GREEN and let me know if you have any questions. !
Erin Stoller, High School Placement Counselor
High School Info: Part 2 – Alumni Panel
Wednesday, October 7 – 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Hear from SDFAS alumni about their high school experiences now and in pre-Covid times. This Zoom Webinar will be recorded and shared afterwards. Parents and students should tune in! We will have plenty of time for Q & A, but feel free to submit questions ahead of time. Please find the link below to connect on Wednesday.
High School Info: Part 1 – Nuts & Bolts
In case you have missed it: Recording of our first High School Info event: HS Info Part 1 Nuts & Bolts, Passcode: nv4L&.jj (Heads up! You need to type in the passcode exactly – please cut/paste – the last two letters are small j’s)
Please also see the accompanying slide deck from the webinar for reference, data, and information: Slide Deck
The Choice application window for 2021-22 school year will open on October 5, 2020 and close on November 16, 2020. Find the application here: Choice Application.
The Choice Application is needed if you want to apply to a school that is NOT your assigned school in San Diego Unified School District. (SDUSD). No application is necessary to attend your assigned public high school, but you must show proof of residence to enroll there in the spring. Find your assigned school here: School Finder.
The application is short and simple but, if you need assistance I will organize a zoom help session during the week of Parent-Teacher Conferences – the week of October 12 — especially for non-anglophone families as the administrative English in the online form can be challenging. (Surtout pour nos familles françaises et/ou non-anglophones : vous serez confrontés par un anglais spécifique et administratif.)
If you live in the San Dieguito Unified School District …
You must live within the boundaries of the school and show proof of residence in order to enroll. Plus there is an annual residency verification requirement. Find your school here: http://apps.schoolsitelocator.com/index.html?districtCode=98324
If you live in the San Dieguito School District… San Dieguito Union High School District. You must live within the boundaries of the school and show proof of residence in order to enroll. Plus there is an annual residency verification requirement. Find your school: School Site Locator.
San Dieguito does not offer a Choice Application. But…there is a slim possibility that you might be able to request an INTRA-district transfer if you live within the San Dieguito district but you want a school that is not your assigned school in that district. I’m told it’s unlikely but could be worth a try. Contact the district office.
Requesting Recommendations – as soon as possible, please!
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 in to the online application system – most schools use Ravenna. Once you type in the email address in Ravenna and click the button, the teachers will receive the link to complete the recommendation.
Please be mindful of deadlines and the time it takes for teachers to write complete, thorough, and thoughtful recommendations by requesting all recommendations by November 13 at the very latest, so that we can submit them in a timely manner, ideally prior to our break in December.
HSPT required for applying to Catholic high schools Our US Math Teacher / Learning Support Coordinator, Suneeta Cohen, is familiar with both the ISEE and the HSPT and can answer questions, share strategies, etc. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contact her directly. It appears that Cathedral has students doing an additional 30-minute math supplement, in addition to the HSPT for “pacing differentiation” (which sounds like a fancy word for placement). Here is a link from Cathedral’s website with some good information about the HSPT, just in case you haven’t seen it yet: https://ststesting.com/hspt/
Most public and private schools are only doing virtual tours and open houses right now. This could change so be sure to check the admission page and do an “inquiry” sign up on the websites of schools you are interested in. Public schools are now closed, and will be slower to re-open so it is unlikely that there will be any in-person tours this fall.
Mission Bay — Tracy Borg, the International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Mission Bay, will be doing two zoom tours: October 15th and 29th at 9:00 am – 10:00 am (link to follow). Please let teacher/s know if your 8th grader will miss class/es in order to attend this event.
La Jolla High School — will not be doing tours in person but will have a video soon. Save the date for a Q & A Session just for SDFAS families with LJHS Parent Association on Tuesday, October 26th – 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. on Zoom (link to follow).
Pacific Ridge, Grauer, Bishop’s, Parker, La Jolla Country Day, OLP and Saints are all doing virtual tours for now. Please go to their websites to sign up.
Cathedral is offering in person tours. Please go to their website to sign up.
Fusion Academy: Fusion Academy offers one-on-one classes (open in a hybrid model now), with a very personalized, customized schedule for each individual student. Campus in Solana Beach and UTC, San Diego. https://www.fusionacademy.com/campuses/san-diego/ This is a private school.
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 College Admissions (video)
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 do 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…
–Most San Diego area private high schools will not require the ISEE exams as part of the application process this year. This includes Bishop’s, Parker, Pacific Ridge, and La Jolla Country Day, so far. Grauer continues to NOT require the ISEE.
–The Catholic high schools traditionally require the HSPT, a different test, but they are still coming to an agreement about whether or not to require it this year. Ask the school.
–Some private schools may ask for the CSS Character Snapshot. https://www.ssat.org/pages/character-skills-snapshot
Each school is taking its own approach, and we know that things can change rapidly, pending Covid-19 data and directives from the county and state, so please be proactive with the schools you are interested in.
Most application windows will open October 1. Please keep me informed of your plans, and consider having a Plan A, B and C, to cover all the bases.