High School Placement – September 11

Dear 8th Grade Families,

Please save the date for two Zoom webinars.

  • High School Info: The Nuts and Bolts
    Wednesday, September 23 – 5:30 – 6:30 pm

With me, Mme Addo, and Mr. Rosenblum. Will be recorded and shared afterwards.

Parents and students should tune in! Link to follow.

    • Part 1 – Public High School Information + Q/A
    • Part 2 – French in High School + Q/A (Mme Addo)
    • Part 3 – Private School + Q/A (no obligation to stay for Part 3 if not relevant for your family)
  • Alumni Pannel
    Wednesday, October 7 – 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Zoom Webinar. Will be recorded and shared afterwards.
Parents and students should tune in! Link to follow.
Hear from SDFAS alumni about their high school experiences now and in pre-Covid times.
Plenty of time for Q and A.

While we will have ample time for Q and A during both webinars, if you would like to submit questions ahead of time, please do! estoller@sdfrenchschool.org

  • Resources

Please see the document “2020 All High School Resources” with a useful collection of information all in one place to help guide you and answer many questions.

Please try to look it over before the September 23 webinar.

  • Tips for a Successful Journey from Middle School to High School …
    • Work hard. Always do your best. Be a good citizen, inside & outside of school.
    • Become meaningfully involved: participate in community activities, cultivate your interests.
    • Talk to people: high school students and their parents, people who work at high schools, etc.
    • Inform yourself: start to become familiar with the high schools in the area.
    • Know your assigned high school. Look it up: https://www.sandiegounified.org/schoolfinder
  • Factors to consider when Choosing / Applying:

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? Even more difficult this year to know, as visits may not be possible.
Can you imagine “living” here for the next four years?

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…

  • Reminders for Private School Applications:
    If you are thinking about applying to private high schools, I encourage you to visit their websites regularly, and fill out an inquiry form which should allow you to receive updates to their admission procedures, deadlines, and events. Most are planning virtual tours and open houses, some may be asking for spontaneous writing samples, and/or graded writing or math samples, in addition to the usual letters of recommendation required for applications. For the moment, most are planning on using Zoom to interview students and their families but some (Cathedral, I learned this morning) are allowing for in-person tours and their application portal is already live. Most schools are still figuring things out…

–Most San Diego area private high schools will not require the ISEE exams as part of the application process this year. I can confirm that 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.

–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.

  • Reminders for Public School Applications / Enrollment:
    All San Diego Unified Schools are doing distance learning only right now, and there is no scheduled reopening date. Therefore, as of today, no in-person tours are planned, but this may change. The district is also switching over its website structure and hosting so some links may not be working, but they will be forwarding the “old links” so I will go ahead and mention these for future reference for enrollment and choice application procedures:


https://www.sandiegounified.org/school-choice-application (not yet update)

Usually the online Choice Application opens at the beginning of October. The site has not yet been updated for the next academic year. A reminder that you must do the Choice Application in order to attend a public high school that is not your assigned school.

No application is necessary to attend your assigned school. You must show proof of residence to enroll at your assigned school. Find out which is your assigned school here: https://www.sandiegounified.org/schoolfinder

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

Erin Stoller

High School Placement Counselor