Awards and recognition for College Prep are often met with equal parts pride and indifference within our community. Just this week, we were named the sixth best private school in the country, following similar accolades from Forbes and The Wall Street Journal in recent years. Though the news was greeted mostly with shoulder shrugs, it is always nice to be recognized for the fine work we are doing.
Earlier this week, we received an award that I am unabashedly proud of. Continue reading
Edutopia is a fantastic resource for educators. It is supported by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, whose mission is:
To improve the K-12 learning process by documenting, disseminating, and advocating innovative, replicable, and evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives.
College Prep was extremely honored when Edutopia approached us to help explore the topic of collaborative learning. Group work and collaboration have always been a big part of College Prep’s success. It’s not the only way we teach, but it is a core philosophy that teachers across all disciplines use. Among other benefits, collaborative learning focuses on process, builds accountability, and allows students to teach and be more in tune with one another. It leads to high levels of student engagement and creates the often-times electric atmosphere College Prep classes are known for.
For an in-depth examination of collaborative learning, I recommend you spend some time looking at the resources that Edutopia put together. To see College Prep’s unique brand of collaboration in action, please view the stunning video below!
We’ve got spirit, yes we do, we’ve got spirit, how bout you?
“How is the freshman class?” is a question I’m never sure how to respond to. Sometimes I answer with numbers, because I’m something of a data geek. In that case, I might say that this year’s ninth graders include 46 girls and 41 boys. They come from 38 different middle schools, including 20 students who are the only representatives from their middle schools. Sometimes I might describe the class by their shared passions. Before this school year began, I noted that the Class of 2016 had many very talented athletes, was super smart and curious (even by our standards), and was filled with kind, good-hearted young people. But the person behind the question “How is the freshman class?” is usually asking about their well-being. Now that they are here, I can say that this is a happy, joyous bunch. While it’s true that the novelty of starting high school hasn’t worn off, and there is much hard work yet to be done, I can practically feel the positive energy and excitement from this group. It all started off at the ninth-grade retreat in August. You can see for yourself what a good time they had!
Well, it certainly felt like admission season began in earnest last week, as I visited five middle schools over the course of four days. I spoke with eighth graders at Crowden, Julia Morgan, Pacific Boychoir Academy, Prospect Sierra, and St. Paul’s. I’ll be visiting many more schools in the coming weeks (and am always happy to add more!). These visits were energizing and inspiring. It is wonderful to see the eighth graders at their respective schools, on their own, comfortable turf. The students asked great questions about College Prep and the application process. They were so genuinely appreciative of my time, and the feeling was mutual.
What a delight to see the cyclical process of enrolling a quarter of our school begin anew. It marks a transition of sorts in the focus of my time, from our new ninth graders (Class of 2016) to all the students and families that might join the as-yet undetermined Class of 2017. Given the inspiration that the eighth graders provided me this last week, I thought I would share a video I made to help inspire our own new ninth graders. This was shown at New Student Orientation in August and much of it pertains to current eighth graders, whether they end up at College Prep or elsewhere. Enjoy.
One year of college data is interesting, but five years tells a deeper story. The College Prep graduating classes of 2008-2012 included 430 students (an average of 86 per year). 309 of those students (72%), matriculated to the following 34 schools. These schools had no fewer than 5 Prep students enroll (an average of one per year) and no more than 22 (Stanford, with an average of 4.4 per year). It speaks to both the incredible success Prep students have at earning admission to the nation’s finest colleges and universities as well as where Prep students feel comfortable continuing their education. Continue reading
Oh the places they’ll go! We will dearly miss the wonderful Class of 2012 as they head off to the following colleges (the number of students matriculating is in parentheses): Continue reading