The end of a year comes with numerous events. Whether it is the annual torch relay or thinking about moving on to a new school, the summer months bring along lots of changes. For the XIIIs, one of the most notable of these changes is the transition to high school. Some are leaving City and Country after many years here and moving onto another school. Regardless of how long one has been at C&C, the transition is an emotional one. Aside from leaving friends and teachers, one question arises in all students minds as they move into an alien environment: Are we prepared?
Readiness for high school can mean different things depending on who is asked. Some define it as having all the academic tools necessary to thrive in all subjects while others may define it as having the mindset to successfully navigate the social aspects of school. Regardless of personal definitions, it is a middle school’s job to prepare its students for high school.
Already being a trivial task, teachers and faculty must account for the fact that students of C&C attend a wide variety of high schools, whether it be public, private, specialized or boarding C&C must prepare its students for all schools.
More often than not children in City and Country choose to attend a DISC school (City and Country, Little Red Elizabeth Irwin, St. Lukes, Grace Church, Village Community School and Friends Seminary) or other private schools relatively similar to C&C to make the switch from C&C to another school as easy as possible. In an effort to aid as many students as possible classes such as APL tend to cater to the kids attending such schools. But what about Public school applicants and students? What about Specialized schools? While some classes and concepts are universal i.e. formulas, algorithms and study habits, others are used predominantly in the private school system which leaves the children attending public school next year in the dark.
The Fall of the XIIIs year is hectic as students are handling essays, interviews, auditions, forms and of course tests. In New York City alone there are 5 different general exams used for admission to several schools not to mention tests curated by the school itself i.e. the BHSEC. The Academic Performance Lab (APL) teaches the XIIIs valuable test-taking insight and tricks to successfully maneuver the ISEE in the Fall, but not every XIII takes the ISEE.
“The basic work of APL is teaching students to recognize and control their own thinking in academic performances, which are not just tests. While some of the information is specific to various tests (and every high school student will be taking various tests in classes and elsewhere, just as C&C students do all the time) much of the work applies to many different academic situations and also to many non-academic situations,” said Gino Crocetti.
Aside from academics, there’s a huge social aspect involved at school as well. The transition to a class of 22 to 70 is already a difficult switch but a transition to a class of 500 is an entirely different story. Aside from 500 new faces, a new school comes with less individual attention and puts new students into an environment where they are at the hands of 499 other teenagers.
“I feel more prepared more then other kids would from C&C because of my dance friends. I feel like if I didn’t go to dance I wouldn’t be prepared at all because the things I’ve heard about 8th grade alone is shocking and without my friends in dance I would be clueless. Plus coming from a small school like C&C into a big school like Laguardia and handling the homework load is going to be a stressful transition,” said Daisy Kenyon Bishop, XIIIs, Laguardia Class of 23’.
Overall the transition from C&C to another school can come as a culture shock to some. While C&C does a great job aiding students in the high school process to the best of their ability, there is a certain amount of preparation necessary that takes place after the process.