High School Placement – September 25

Dear 8th Grade Families,

Thank you to the many of you who attended our High School Info: Part 1 – Nuts & Bolts webinar on Wednesday.

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

Coming soon…save the date for Part 2 for our

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! Link to follow. We will have plenty of time for Q & A, but feel free to submit questions ahead of time.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions – en anglais ou en français!

Erin Stoller, High School Placement Counselor



Choice Application

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.

If you need assistance completing the application — the language is a little tricky — I will organize a zoom help session during 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.)

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.

If you live in the San Dieguito School District …They do not offer a Choice Application. Find more information here: San Dieguito Union High School District. You must live within the boundaries of the school and show proof of residence in order to enroll. Find your school: School Site Locator.

Tours and Open Houses

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 let me know that she will be doing at least two virtual tours via zoom before the Choice Deadline. As soon as I have the times and dates I will let you know.

La Jolla High School — will not be doing tours in person but will have a video soon and are planning a Zoom Q and A Session. I’ll keep you posted as I have more information.

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.

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 (video)

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 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.