At Higher Achievement, we know that middle school isn’t the last stop. We work with scholars to identify, apply, and enroll in college preparatory high school programs, and our staff and mentors provide ongoing support to make sure they succeed once they get there.
The high school placement process is highly competitive, and applications include a variety of requirements, including grade transcripts, writing prompts, interviews, and auditions. Higher Achievement’s 146 active 8th-grade scholars rose up to the challenge, submitting over 450 high school applications this year.
These applications are the culmination of a year of hard work and dedication. Scholars, families, and staff met individually during the summer to discuss options and map out a plan for scholars’ success. Throughout the fall and spring, mentors and staff provided scholars with guidance, encouragement, and support throughout the entire process.
The dedication of our scholars pays off. 82% of our 8th graders are on track to take Algebra 1 or higher in 9th grade – a key indicator for on-time high school graduation and postsecondary success.
The high school placement process keeps scholars feeling confident, engaged, and encouraged emotionally as well as academically, helping them to identify their strengths and advocate for themselves.
“All our 8th graders were very engaged during the winter showcase,” says a Higher Achievement program staff member. “You could really see the [social-emotional learning] benefits of the high school placement process. They were able to reflect on what went well and what they would have done differently. I could see increased confidence in all my scholars.”
As high school acceptance notifications come in this spring, staff and mentors continue to support scholars in the selection and enrollment process.
Scholars have the opportunity to reflect on their middle school experience and share their ambitions for the future in the coming weeks as they prepare to graduate from our program. In May, scholars will participate in a “signing day” alongside their peers, mentors, and families to celebrate their accomplishments.
Join us in congratulating 8th-grade scholars as they prepare for this exciting next chapter!