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Secondary Schools

Secondary Schools

One of the goals of any good independent elementary school is to provide an excellent foundation upon which future learning can build. Our students have several options for their ongoing education. Some students choose to go on to independent secondary schools, others to nearby parochial schools or the public high schools in their districts. We take pride in the fact that they are well prepared to learn in a variety of settings, that they are independent thinkers and competent writers, and that they have the confidence to thrive wherever their roads lead.

We encourage our students and their families to look at all the options available to them, both public and private, and to make informed choices. Visiting your local high school is a good place to start. Look at independent schools near your home that might be options. Decide if boarding is something your family is willing to consider, and if so, at what age? How far away?

No matter where you are headed, Dutchess Day School is with you every step of the way. This process starts near the end of 7th grade when parents meet with the head of school to discuss the broad range of options, requirements, and the process and timing of secondary school visits, applications, and decisions. The families and head of school put together a preliminary list of possible schools. Next, Dutchess Day School hosts a secondary school fair the spring, at which 7th grade students and their families can “tour” a variety of schools without leaving the building.

For those considering independent schools, 8th grade homeroom teachers and advisors keep students on track with reminders about deadlines and coaching about how to ask for recommendations. The head of school offers mock interviews to help students prepare for admissions visits. The 8th grade writing teachers guide students through one of their secondary school essays in writing lab.

Our students are already juggling school, sports, community service, family, and social life. In 8th grade, many of them choose to apply to independent secondary schools, thus beginning a process that most young people don’t face until they are seniors in high school. We urge families to be patient with their students, let them take charge of the process as much as is reasonable, and refrain from letting stress tangle up the very special final year at DDS. There are numerous people at Dutchess Day, from faculty to staff, who can help make the search for the right high school a rewarding one.

Secondary Schools Recently Attended: