High School Issues

Learn more about high school academics, discipline policies and other issues relevant to private schools. Here we cover dress codes, explain the difference between AP and IB courses and discuss teen suicide. You’ll also find information on study abroad programs, codes of conduct and the best graduation gifts.
View the most popular articles in High School Issues:
Pulished |
 The 21 Secrets of A+ Students
Ever wish you could pick the brain of A+ students? Well, we did it for you — we spoke with dozens of students and educators to find out their secrets for success.
Ever wish you could pick the brain of A+ students?  Well, we did it for you — we spoke with dozens of students and educators to find out their secrets for success.

Everything they had to say is compiled here.  There’s short term techniques to get you started on your way as well as long term tips to maintain your achievements.

Happy studying!  And remember — grades aren’t everything.  Use them as a tool to measure your learning, not as a goal in and of themselves. 

1. Know your learning style.

Learning
 
Different study strategies work better for different people, and knowing your learning style will help you understand which study methods work best for you. Take this 20 question quiz to find out your learning style!

- Aaron Harris, Harvard alum and CEO of Tutorspree

2. Color code your notes.

If you write notes by hand, have a black pen, red pen, blue pen, and green pen handy. If you take notes on the computer be prepared to change the color of the text. When the teacher gets to a number or date you need to remember, write the numbers in red. If your professor throws out an important term or definition, put the term in blue. And if you need to remember places or famous names, put them in green. Everything else, keep in black.

When you study, memorize the important colored words...
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Pulished |
Ever Wonder....?
Have you ever wondered why some private schools are so competitive? Some answers to that and other questions.
Have you ever wondered...

Why a private school doesn't have to tell you why it refused your child admission?
Private schools do not have to accept applicants who do not meet their specific admissions criteria. Each private school has its own unique admissions criteria. Each school reviews its own applicant pool. Each school makes its own decisions completely independent of what any other school may decide. There is no appeal process once that decision is made. Neither does the school have to tell you why it made the decision it did. One way of 'reading the tea leaves' as it were is to hire an educational consultant. Her long experience with and knowledge of schools and their admissions process will generally be most helpful.

What happens if your kid gets caught breaking the rules?
This question is important. Unlike public schools where there is due process and something called student rights, private schools are governed by contract law. You and the school signed a contract covering the various terms and conditions of your child's stay at the school. While it may seem like a lot of fine print and legal language, it is there for a purpose: to protect the school. Read your contract carefully and understand that the school may discipline your child for breaking school rules. Depending on how serious the infraction is, the punishment could include expulsion. 
 
Most private schools have a student handbook which explains all the rules and their infractions in great detail. The handbook is covered and explained...
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Pulished |
Distinguished Graduates of Private Schools
Graduates of private schools end up doing all sorts of things. Many of them become distinguished leaders in their chosen fields.
Graduates of private schools end up doing all sorts of things. Many of them become distinguished leaders in their chosen fields. Almost all of the alumnae and alumni selected below have also chosen to return time, talent and treasure to the schools which gave such a solid start to their careers. They serve on boards of trustees, raise money for their schools and act as stalwart supporters of these institutions.

That's really the point of this little piece: dream of being something when you are a young person. Attend a school which will help you realize those dreams by giving you the skills, the confidence and the belief that you can accomplish whatever you set out to do. That is the essence of a private school education.

But aren't all the people on this list fabulously rich? Indeed some are. But many were not quite so well off when they were just starting out. All of these graduates share one thing in common. They had families which valued the sound, balanced approach to education which the schools they attended afforded them.

Audrey McNiff, Goldman Sachs (retired),  Lawrence Academy, Groton, MA

Arthur Bunn, Bunn-O-Matic Corp., The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ

Betsy Licht Turner, Northern Trust Investments, The Madeira School, McLean, VA

Bill Gates, Microsoft, Lakeside School, Seattle, WA

Dan Barber, Restaurateur, The Dalton School, New York, NY

Douglas Druick, Chicago Art Institute, Lower Canada College, Montreal, Quebec

Henry Dupont IV, Investments, Trinity Pawling School, Pawling,...
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Pulished |
College Advising in Private High Schools
Private high schools offer strong college advising programs.
There are several advantages a private school can offer over most public schools. For example, small class sizes and individual attention. Sports programs and extracurricular activities also make the list. But how about college advising? In the first place getting a solid college preparation is probably one of the reasons you are thinking of sending your child to private school. You have read the course catalog and approve of the breadth and depth of the school's academic offerings. But what about the skilled guidance and expertise a high school guidance counselor can offer? That's part of the package too. Let's explore how private high schools approach college advising.

Dedicated Resources for College Advising
Take The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, for example. I quote their College Advising page so you can see how many resources are available to you and your child in an average sized private high school with grades 9 through 12. Five staffers have about 160 12th graders to handle. Contrast that with some public high schools where the ratio of guidance counselor to students is 1 professional to 700+ students. 

The George Berman Center for College Advising 

The George Berman Center for College Advising is located on the first floor of the Academic Center. It offers an inviting, spacious research room, an extensive college resource library, and a large conference room.

Hill's College Advising Office consists of Director of College Advising Craig Allen; Associate Director of College Advising Christina Cerenzia; Associate Director of College...
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Pulished |
Some schools offer trips abroad, even semesters abroad. Think Global School students live abroad. Joann McPike explains the concept and workings of the school she founded.
Joann McPike, the founder of THINK Global School, graciously answered some questions which I posed about the school. ~ Rob Kennedy

Explain why you took the reins rather than find some institution which you could guide and shape according to your ideals and goals?

My husband and I love to travel, we have always taken our son Alexander with us whenever we went anywhere. We took his school work with us. It was Alexander's never ending questions and comments that started showing us the benefit of travel to opening the minds of youngsters.

We started looking at boarding schools all over the world for when he had to go to high school and although there are some amazing schools out there, we couldn't find one that would provide the different points of view that we felt were necessary to have a truly open mind.

As to why I didn't find an institution that we could guide and shape... I assume you mean an existing school? I guess I thought it would be more difficult to try to convince a school board to do something so out of the ordinary than to start a school from scratch. Most people feel safe in the status quo, then there are a few risk takers who want to shake things up a little. I guess I am one of those people who want to shake things up a little... as are the courageous parents who took a leap of faith and sent their children get...
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High School Issues

Academics

A comprehensive look at high school academics. We cover grades, AP and IB courses, and the post graduate year. Learn the secrets of A+ students. Explore summer abroad programs, read interviews with experts and get valuable tips on excelling academically.

Discipline

A brief look into high school discipline policies. From codes of conduct to uniforms and dress code, we’ll provide information on the latest practices in private schools.

Other Issues

From graduation gifts to preventing teen suicide, this section provides information on a variety of topics affecting high school students. Learn what to do when your child is expelled, you need financial aid or you’re looking for a teaching job. Get expert advice on protecting your teen from substance abuse, finding the right high school and handling personal technology on campus.