Reflections from the Office of the Secondary School Process

Brookwood has always offered guidance to families while they seek secondary school placement for their children, and in recent years, this process has become increasingly more complex and competitive as more and more applicants compete for the same limited number of spots. This ever changing landscape requires us to be more nimble than ever to best inform, guide, and support families as they embark upon this exciting process. In July 2017, I assumed the role of Director of the Secondary School Process along with Cathy Marrero as Associate Director, in an effort to both streamline and bring a greater level of efficacy to this process for all of our students and families.

As we conclude our first year, we do so knowing that 136 applications have been completed and received by 38 schools ranging from Northern New England all the way to Southern Florida. Completing the final stages of the process for the Class of 2018 offers a moment for reflection on a busy but productive year in the world of the secondary school process.

One of our top priorities for the 2017-18 academic year was to establish an office that best serves the needs of families while providing helpful and much needed resources. To support these efforts, we launched our Secondary School Database to bring a greater level of transparency to the process while also facilitating two-way communication. Thanks to the database, families can now keep track of all correspondence, read timely, evaluative comments about SSAT and ISEE performance, learn more about various secondary schools, access various application forms, and enjoy a personalized resource dedicated to ensuring that everyone is always on the same page. As we move forward, we hope that more and more families will take advantage of this valuable resource. In addition to launching a new database, we were also able to best meet the needs of families by increasing our availability for meetings, offering more information sessions geared towards each juncture of the process, and having more up to date information about each of the schools. We added coffee and conversation events, and Evan met with far more families throughout the summer and fall to ensure that needs were being met throughout the process.

It seems as if elements of the secondary school process are in constant flux, ranging from changes in application processes to the SSAT itself.  In order to best support our students in their pursuit of secondary school placement, our office is in a constant state of refinement, evaluation, and analysis – we are committed to partnering with families to ensure that we maximize our students’ opportunities in this highly competitive market. We stand firmly behind our mantra that we know the students, we know the schools, and the schools know us. Staying abreast of all industry shifts is at the core of our work, and we look forward to continuing to serve families as they prepare for the next chapter beyond Brookwood.

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