Secondary School process


What can you do to help your child be a strong candidate for secondary school?

Fifth Grade:
• READ, READ, READ! Encourage your child’s independent reading habit.
• Begin a resume (list activities, memberships, community service).
• Read progress reports carefully. Work with your child on any weak areas, such as organization and time management.
• Provide the time and the place for successful completion of homework.
• Avoid over scheduling your child. It is best to do one or two things well. A good rule of thumb is to schedule no more than one activity after school each day and no more than a total of three per week. 
• Help him/her learn to be independent and responsible. Encourage him/her to solve problems and be responsible. Resist the urge to phone, fax or drive to school to collect forgotten books, assignments, deliver lunch, etc. Encourage your child to talk directly to a teacher or advisor when there are questions about grades or if help is needed.

Sixth Grade:
• Pay attention to areas where teachers note need for improvement. If necessary, work with the teacher or advisor to develop a plan.
• Encourage independence with time management and problem solving.
• Attend the meetings with the secondary school admission representatives when they visit Kent School.
• Talk, as a family, about different types of schools (public, private, day, boarding, co-ed, single gender, etc.)
• Talk with other families about the schools their children attend. Keep in mind experiences vary with each student, so try to get as many different views as possible.

Seventh Grade:
• Continue to pay attention to your child’s strengths and weaknesses as noted by teachers. Support your child in setting and reaching goals for improvement.
• Research schools. Send for information, visit web sites ( and, and talk to other families about the schools their children attend.
• Begin visiting schools. Do not limit yourself; visit a wide range of schools. Leave 8th grade visits for your narrowed list of schools. Time away from school in 8th grade should be minimal as fall term grades should reflect a solid effort.
• Register your child to take the SSAT in December. We will review test taking strategies and have students do practice tests in November.
• Narrow your list of schools to three or four that you feel would be a good match for your child and your family by the end of this year. Remember to include a “safety” school where you are confident of acceptance.
• Ask to see student profiles (average SSAT score and grades of admitted students) and ask about the acceptance rate. Try to get a real sense of your child’s chance of acceptance as well as his/her chance for success if admitted.
• Your goal is to find a school where your child can be successful and happy.

Eighth Grade:
• Visit and interview at the schools on your “short list.” Be sure to acquire applications from these schools.
• Register your child to take the SSAT in December. We will review test taking strategies and have students do practice tests in November.
• Pay attention to application deadlines! Submit recommendation forms to Debbie Williams by early December. These will be completed and sent by the school.
• Mail your application and fee at least two weeks before the due date. We recommend Certified Mail.
• Keep a sense of humor and try to minimize stress!

Secondary Schools consider the following in the admission process:
• character
• teacher recommendations
• interview
• what the candidate would contribute to the school community
• grades
• SSAT scores
• student application and essay

Click here to download a pdf copy of "Preparation for Secondary School"