8th Grade Transition to High School

 

Welcome to the St. Mary's Academy Middle School high school placement site. We are committed to supporting our 8th grade Middle School families throughout the high school transition process. 

8th Grade Boys

Timeline & Events

Sept. 1 Valor application and shadow sign up opens

Sept. 14 Mullen HS Placement Test

Sept. 21 Kent Denver Open House

Sept. 23 Colorado Academy application opens

Sept. 24 Regis Jesuit Shadow Program begins

Oct. 8 Explore Valor event

Oct. 20 Regis Jesuit Open House

Oct. 23 Explore Valor event

Oct. 25 Colorado Academy HS Parent Preview Day

Oct. 28 Mullen HS Placement Test

Oct. 30 Colorado Academy HS Parent Preview Day

Nov. 2 Kent Denver Athletic Open House

Nov. 2 Kent Denver ISEE Test

Nov. 7 Kent Denver Athletic Open House

Nov. 9 Colorado Academy ISEE Test

Nov. 16 Kent Denver ISEE Test

Dec. 3 Valor Early Admission application deadline

Dec. 7 Colorado Academy ISEE Test

Dec. 7 Regis Jesuit Entrance Exam

Dec. 7 Mullen HS Placement Test

Dec. 15 Colorado Academy initial application and parent statement due

Dec. 17 Regis Jesuit Admission application and Financial Aid deadline

Dec. 19 Mullen application deadline

Jan. 6 Valor Early Admission Notification

Jan. 11 Colorado Academy ISEE Test

Jan. 11 Kent Denver ISEE Test

Jan. 11 Mullen Interview Date

Jan. 25 Mullen Interview Date

Jan. 25 Colorado Academy ISEE Test

Jan. 31 Colorado Academy complete application deadline

Jan. 31 Kent Denver complete application deadline

Feb. 13 Regis Jesuit Admissions decisions mailed

Feb. 19 Valor regular admissions deadline

Feb. 21 Kent Denver HS acceptance notification

March 3 Valor regular admissions notification

Placement Process

CONNECT WITH SIGNIFICANT ADULTS AND MENTORS

Each student has his/her own unique profile and each school offers a different set of strengths and its own unique environment. Take time to discuss high school choices within the immediate family and with coaches, mentors, principal, and teachers. Set a high school family meeting with Martha Ashley (parents and student) to gather insight and to ensure the Middle School and family are working together during the application and admission process.

VISIT HIGH SCHOOLS OF INTEREST

High school open house events provide student and parents with a sense of the school not otherwise available through print or the experiences of other students and their families. Open house dates can be found with a phone call or a visit to the prospective school’s web site and on the Calendar tab. Cross-check to ensure accuracy.

SCHEDULE SHADOW DAYS AND RECORD IMPRESSIONS

Schedule shadow days strategically any time you can to avoid missing key school days. Take into account that not all schools allow shadow visits. Begin shadow visits in mid October. Be sure to jot down impressions directly after a shadow before it fades and is replaced with impressions from the next shadow. Keep in mind, your shadow is in fact a day-long interview of you as you observe and try on the school.

COMPLETE APPLICATIONS FULLY AND ON TIME

While this sounds obvious, it warrants recording here. Late or incomplete applications can cost acceptance of even the most viable of student candidates. The number of openings in private schools is far fewer than the number of applicants. Application timetables are available on prospective high school web sites, and whenever known, on the Timeline tab above.

REQUEST A TRANSCRIPT RELEASE

Be sure to submit a signed transcript release form to Ellen Hertzman in the MS Office for each school to which a student is applying. Before a transcript is released, business office approval is required. Please provide plenty of lead time.

UNDERSTAND WHO SHOULD COMPLETE THE STANDARD RECOMMENDATION FORMS

Grade 8 language arts and math teachers are expected to complete the English and Math Recommendations. These teachers will complete the forms close to the due date to ensure they know you well as a student. The Middle School Principal should be the one to complete the Administrator/Counselor recommendation form rather than the CAT teacher, school counselor, or other administrator. Some schools provide a form for another type of recommendation. A coach, CAT, or elective teacher would be a good choice for this form.

WHO TO ASK FOR SHORT LETTER RECOMMENDATIONS?

 In addition to completing a high school's standard recommendation forms, you may want to ask a someone outside of the Middle School faculty or even outside of the SMA school community to write a short letter of recommendation. They may scan those letters to Ellen Hertzman who will then ensure they are sent to the high schools you have designated as recipients. When you make a request for a letter of recommendation, please provide the writer with a due date and indicate where the letter should be sent.

Important Note: Before handing or sending a recommendation form via email to anyone, the student is strongly encouraged to directly engage the teacher and ask if he/she would be willing to write a good recommendation for him/her. This courtesy supports a more positive recommendation.

REGISTER FOR THE PROSPECTIVE HIGH SCHOOL'S REQUIRED ENTRANCE EXAM

As part of the application process, independent private schools require students take the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) or the High School Placement Test (HSPT). The ISEE is given at several different schools, including SMA, throughout the fall and into January. The HSPT is given the first Saturday of December. Boys take HSPT at Machebeuf, Mullen, or Regis. When taking the test, students record their first, second, and third-choice Catholic schools. This is so that the scores are sent to those schools. Do not list public schools or non-Catholic independent schools.

Note: Students are encouraged to register for and take the Catholic High School Placement Test even if there is only a small chance of applying for admission to a Catholic High School. The preparation and experience provide valuable practice and review.

Note: Students with identified learning disabilities or special needs that are noted in current professional testing may qualify to take the HSPT with time and a half. This accommodation is provided at SMA for girls and Regis Jesuit and Machebeuf for boys. There is no penalty in the scoring process. 

ASK FOR HELP!

Ask for help in the MS Office if you run into a question about a school’s specific process. Be sure to submit a signed transcript release form to Ellen Hertzman for each school to which a student is applying.

Guidance and Support

Set Up a Practice Interview

Please contact Martha Ashley to set up a practice student interview at least a week before you are scheduled to interview as part of the high school application process. There are a number of teachers and staff at SMA who will prepare you to speak about yourself, your experience, and why you would be a valuable addition to the interviewing school. 

Meet with Ms. Ashley

Parents and their 8th grade student are invited, welcomed, and encouraged to set a meeting with Martha Ashley, Middle School Principal, to share plans and goals for the next step in the educational journey - high school. The meetings are typically 40 minutes in length and tend to be valuable to both school and family. The goals of the meeting are:

1. To answer questions about the application process to area high schools - shadows, recommendations, and essays among other aspects of the process.

2. To share insights about student-school match.

3. To ensure family and school are sending consistent messages to high school admissions officers.

A great time for families to meet with the principal is during the summer leading into the eighth-grade year and during the months of September, October, and November during students' fourth, eighth, or ninth periods.

8th Grade Girls

Our Philosophy

St. Mary’s Academy High School excels at preparing young women for leadership in a global society. As a rigorous college-preparatory school, our seminar-style classes encourage inquiry, debate, and cooperative learning. Our unique block system schedule consists of four ninety-minute class periods.

There are so many reasons for our SMA 8th grade girls to continue their educational journey at an all-girls high school including:

  • Girls take center stage in all-girls learning environments
  • All-girls learning environments create a culture of achievement
  • A girl occupies every role in all-girls learning environments
  • All-girls learning environments empower students to become bold leaders
  • All-girls learning environments capitalize on girls' unique learning styles
  • All-girls learning environments engage students in activities that prepare them for life beyond the classroom
  • In all-girls learning environments there are no stereotypes about what girls like or where they excel
  • In all-girls learning environments girls are free to find and use their voice and speak without interruption

Although we would love to have each SMA 8th grade girl continue her journey here at SMA, we do not take this next step for granted. 

We are here for you!  Ms. Ashley (MS Principal), Ms. Iswari (HS Principal), and Ms. Greenberg (Director of HS Admissions) would love to guide and help you with your next step.

 

 

Timeline and Transition Process

Sept. 11 8th grade girls visit HS

Sept. 12  HS Info Night

Oct. 19 HS Open House

Nov. 9 ISEE Test

Nov. 12 HS Information Night

Dec. 7 HS Placement Test

Dec. 18 HS application deadline

Jan. 17 8th grade girls visit HS

Jan. 25 ISEE Test

Feb. 3 Re-enrollment deadline

Guidance and Support

Parents and their 8th grade student are invited, welcomed, and encouraged to set a meeting with Ms. Ashley, Middle School Principal, to share plans and goals for the next step in the educational journey - high school. The meetings are typically 40 minutes in length and tend to be valuable to both school and family. The goals of the meeting are:

1. To answer questions about the application process to area high schools - shadows, recommendations, and essays among other aspects of the process.

2. To share insights about student-school match.

3. To ensure family and school are sending consistent messages to high school admissions officers.

A great time for families to meet with the principal is during the summer leading into the eighth-grade year and during the months of September, October, and November during students' fourth, eighth, or ninth periods.

Admissions Process for You!

Student Visit, arranged via Admissions Office.

Student Essay, Due December 18. Write a powerfully supportive letter to yourself four years from now. Drop-off, email, or scan directly to Admissions.

Student Interview with Ms. Iswari (High School Principal) *Arranged during the school day.

High School Placement Test, December 7.

Paul Muller, Director of Admissions, Regis Jesuit Boys Division:

St. Mary's Academy has been a longtime partner with Regis Jesuit, we have seen scores of their graduates join our community over the past several decades. As I think about many of their graduates I find it remarkable that they represent some of our strongest students and finest people.  We deeply value the work being done to educate such wonderful young people.