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High School Guidance

August 25, 2022 | Shakeh Tashjian

As eighth grade students begin the high school application process in earnest, they have already been engaged in our high school guidance process. It starts in fourth grade when we walk families through the high school guidance process in detail and make sure families know there is nothing to actively do for a couple of years. 

As students enter sixth grade we remind families that attendance matters when it comes to high school applications. And we have found that high schools look as far back as 6th grade. So we remind, encourage, and expect students to attend school on time and consistently.  And in the spring we review the high school guidance process. Mustard Seed School will provide information about summer programs offered at local high schools as students might want to explore a school by attending their summer program. 

As students enter seventh grade, Mustard Seed School invites admissions officers from local high schools to come share about their schools. This gives seventh grade students knowledge of other schools and practice interacting- although casually- with admissions officers. During the fall or spring of seventh grade, students and families start to make their list of schools they would like to further explore. Families spend the seventh grade year or seventh grade summer getting to know schools of interest and shortening their initial list of high schools to 3-5 application schools. 

When students enter eighth grade, they start the year with a listening conference with Mr. Martino regarding high school hopes and plans. During the early fall, families narrow their lists and make sure that the family and student are ready to meet all student- to-high school application deadlines. Mustard Seed School will take care of meeting all school-to-school deadlines.

We are enthusiastic about a team approach that will allow for the collaboration of three people who work with your children in different roles, each critical to the high school guidance process.

  • Sam Martino is the social studies teacher for grades 6 – 8, cultivating a relationship with each family over three years before he is their 8th grade homeroom teacher. Mr. Martino will support families with spring (7th grade)  and fall (8th grade)  listening conferences, providing information about schools, deadlines, and opportunities. The goal of these conferences is for families to discuss hopes and dreams for high schools and to develop a list of high schools to explore (spring) and then a shorter list of high schools to apply to.  
  • Brent Harris is the English teacher for grades 7 – 8 and 7th grade homeroom teacher. His deep knowledge of the students as they embark on the application process will complement the work Mr. Martino is doing.  Mr.  Harris will work with students during language arts class to help craft and refine their admissions essays. He will also help make sure that students connect with teachers when asking them to submit recommendation forms on their behalf.
  • Shakeh Tashjian is the Program Director for Grades 2 – 8 and will be in direct contact with schools. In addition to arranging school visits and cultivating relationships with Admissions Directors, she will schedule and teach math test preparation during school and optional after-school sessions.

As we redesign a collaborative model, we are keeping the needs of our families at the center. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Shakeh Tashjian

Director of Grades Two-Eight

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