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.
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Updated January 25, 2016 |
10 Things To Do Before You Graduate
This is a very practical list of things you must do before you graduate. The items on this list will enhance your college applications.

Have you seen some of those lists with titles like 50 Things You Must Do Before You Graduate From College? I like the idea of lists. It keeps me focused. But honestly a couple of those lists I read made me wonder what on earth were they thinking. With tuition and fees running $50,000 and more at a private college, I thought that most of the items were a total waste of time and effort. Consequently I offer the following worthwhile things to do before you graduate from private school.

Get strong SAT scores.

This assumes that you are attending a school which prepares you for the SAT which is one of the standardized tests you take as part of getting admitted to college. The SAT just like the LSAT or GMAT tests your knowledge gained over several years. While you can certainly take a couple of practice tests to get a feel for the test and working to the clock, really the best preparation for the SAT is your day by day conscientious learning. You cannot cram SAT preparation.

Offer at least 5 AP's.

If you are in a high school which teaches Advanced Placement courses, then try your very hardest to take 5 AP courses. They are a lot of work. Some are very difficult. The upside is that colleges recognize the AP standard and may give you credit for introductory courses in the subjects you took APs in depending on your score. 

Here is what

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Updated June 14, 2016 |
Getting Involved With Your Child's School
Getting involved with your child's school benefits both you and the school. It's a win-win for all concerned.
A couple of years ago I wrote 5 Ways to Support Your School in which I examined the ways you can support your school financially. That article was aimed at private school graduates and discussed how they could support the school which had given them such a good start. Now let's look at how parents can get involved with their child's school.
 
The old standbys still exist. Helping chaperone a field trip and bringing in a plate of cookies or cupcakes are still welcomed. Mind you, these days you have to make sure that you have liability insurance for the trips and must take care to avoid ingredients which might cause an allergic reaction, such as peanuts. Once those matters have been dealt with trips and cookies are always popular.
 
Why get involved?
 
Aren't you busy enough? You have a full time career. Your wife's job requires her to travel frequently. How on earth are you going to find time to be involved with your child's school? Practical excuses aside, you want to be involved with your child's school to show your support for the school and its programs.

This event at The Hockaday School, Dallas Texas, was made very memorable because of all the parents who attended.
I served on my youngest daughter's class parents committee. If I remember correctly, we met once a month. We were charged with raising money to buy something for the classroom. I remember baking cookies and muffins. Now,
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Updated May 26, 2016 |
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
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Updated May 28, 2016 |
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.

 

Andrew Litton, Conductor. New York City Ballet, Fieldston School, New York NY

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

Betty White, Actress, Horace Mann School, New York, NY

Bill Gates, Microsoft, Lakeside School, Seattle, WA

Britt Hume, Journalist, St. Albans School,

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Updated August 16, 2015 |
The Safety Factor
There are several reasons why private schools are safe places for children. More here.
As you well know, there are several reasons why you are considering private school for your child. Her safety is on your list, albeit, somewhere below other considerations such as the academics, athletics and extracurricular activities when you first start thinking about schools. Safety is not usually an issue in private schools. Indeed school violence is not often found in private schools. In fact the only examples of which I am aware in recent years consist of a few scattered incidents of hazing and cyber-bullying. I won't scare you with examples of school violence in public schools. You see and read about these incidents every day both at home and abroad. Instead let's explore some of the reasons and factors which make private schools safe places for your child. Then you can check that box on your list of questions about private schools.
 
Discipline Codes
 
One of the most important reasons why private schools tend to be safe places for your children is because they all have discipline codes. These discipline codes are enforceable and indeed are enforced simply because you and your child entered into a legal contract with the school when you agreed to send your child to the school. As a result, when a student violates the code, there will be consequences up to and including expulsion. In a public school students have constitutional rights. In a public school due process normally must be followed before any serious disciplinary consequences can occur. That due process can . . .read more
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