High School Process

eighth grade science

Although there are many benefits to attending a pre-k through eighth grade school, the reality is that when your child is about 14 years old, he or she will be ready to leave St. Johnís. That milestone in a childís development is bittersweet Ė for teachers and parents.

In the 10 years students attend St. Johnís, they begin to grow into themselves. They discover their likes and dislikes; they form friendships, change friendships and reform them (daily!); and we come to understand the students as learners. Parents of our graduates marvel at how they slowly realized their eighth graders were ready for new adventures. Each year, we find that parents begin to see these teens in a different light Ė as maturing young men and women who are ready to be active participants in the high school application process.

Our Philosophy

At St. Johnís, we emphasize best fit in selecting a high school. We believe many factors go into determining where a student will be most successful after St. John's. Our role is to help students prepare for the experience and to guide students and parents through a structured process to help identify and evaluate prospective schools.

Speech Class

In the first trimester of eighth grade, students take speech in addition to their core classes and P.E. The speech class focuses on life skills as they apply to the high school process and is separated into three rotating sections taught by three different teachers. Students have each teacher for one-third of the trimester. Section topics are interviewing, application essays and high school research.

The High School Process

Two precepts are key in our management of the high school process:
  • We want the high school process to be a part of the eighth grade year, but we donít want it to overshadow the experience of being an eighth grader at St. Johnís.
  • We want families to enjoy the process Ė to take time to appreciate how much their children have grown and to make decisions based on what is best for their individual children.

A Bird's-Eye View

Late spring of seventh grade Middle School Headís meeting with rising eighth grade parents to set the stage for the eighth grade year
Summer before eighth grade Relax, read and volunteer!
August of eighth grade Eighth grade student and advisor team-building
  • Eighth graders begin speech class
  • We distribute fall high school process calendar and Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) registration information
  • Families attend the ISAAD Private School Preview
  • Admission directors begin visiting St. Johnís eighth graders
  • Eighth graders visit select high schools as a class
  • Middle School Head's meeting with eighth grade parents and students about fall/winter and the March eighth grade trip
  • Families begin visiting high school Open Houses
  • All visits continue
  • Speech class ends
December Students begin narrowing their school selections and applying to schools
  • Students finalize their application lists and complete applications
  • We prepare and submit to high schools the student dossiers, which include sixth through eighth grade transcripts, eighth grade English and math teacher recommendations, and sixth through eighth grade standardized test scores
  • Students take the ISEE
  • Students schedule individual high school shadow visits (these may begin earlier, depending on the school)
February Students interview and shadow at the schools to which they are applying
  • Eighth grade trip to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia
  • Students receive admission decisions
  • Spring Break
  • Third-trimester eighth grade service learning begins
  • High school acceptance decisions due

Where Do They Go?

Our students graduate to attend top private and public high schools, including:
  • Bishop Lynch High School
  • Booker T. Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts
  • Covenant School
  • DISD Talented and Gifted Academy
  • The Episcopal School of Dallas
  • Greenhill School
  • Highland Park High School
  • The Hockaday School
  • Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas
  • Lake Highlands Freshman Center
  • Lakehill Preparatory School
  • Parish Episcopal School
  • St. Markís School of Texas
  • Ursuline Academy
  • Woodrow Wilson Academies