5 Tips for Middle School Students and Parents for Selecting High Schools

  • Academics
Corey Sampson

As with many transitions, the shift from Middle School to high school comes with questions, curiosity, and concerns. For Aspen Academy families, Middle School Director Corey Sampson recently shared these recommendations (and more) as part of an overview for 7th and 8th Grade families. Here are some of the takeaways he shared:

  1. Create a rubric of 3-5 things that you want in a high school. Measure all the choices against that rubric. Schools are great in different ways. You want to match what you want to what they do.  
  2. Pick 3-4 schools to learn more about. Doing so gives you a sense of what is out there and you may find a pleasant surprise in a school that previously wasn't on your list. You might include some of the following: 
    1. A school that is hard to get into (not because it is better, it many just be smaller with fewer openings in 9th grade).
    2. A bigger private school they have more openings and can more easily accept you.  
    3. A public school outside your district or home school
  3. Study for the entrance exams. Take a practice test, know what you need to work on, buy the study books or hire a tutor. 
  4. Take care of your business: academically, behaviorally, extracurricularly. References from you teachers matter and you want to have a positive recommendation. Lots of little behaviors and actions lead up to creating what will go in your recommendations from references. 
  5. Breathe and have fun! 100% of our kids go to high school. Last year 100% of our kids got into their top 2 choices. So enjoy the ride, you will find the right school for you. 


About the Author

Corey Sampson, Middle School Director

Corey Sampson taught Social Sciences at international and private schools for 13 years prior to becoming our Director and earned his principal license from Fort Hays State University. Before teaching, he was involved with a variety of nonprofits working on social and political issues. He loves Aspen because of the community: the families, the students, and the teachers here make this school unlike any other school he has worked at.

Corey loves to travel with his wife and experience the world. He has been to 6 continents and has lived and worked in 4 of them. If anyone has a trip planned to Antarctica, let him know.