Middle School Placement Process
The middle school placement process at The Phillips Brooks School is a significant component of our school’s program. The school works to bridge the transition to middle school through a thoughtful reflection process for both fifth graders and their parents. Our process can be outlined in three main categories: Identity Project, Academic Integration, and PBS Support.
Identity Project – We view the process of finding the right school as an identity project for each student and their family. It is developmentally appropriate for 10-11 year old children to discuss with their parents questions such as:
- What are areas in which I feel confident and areas that I find challenging as a person and a learner?
- In what types of places do I feel I can best thrive?
- What kinds of qualities are most important to me to find in the students and teachers in a school community?
- How do I want to spend my time during and after the school day?
Through these meaningful conversations, students often come to discover that they would be successful in a wide range of learning environments.
Academic Integration – The middle school application process is an integral part of the fifth grade experience. In the fall, the program is designed to allow students to shadow at middle schools while still maintaining pace with the class curriculum. In the spring, the program incorporates skills and experiences that anticipate the transition to middle school. PBS graduates are ready to excel in their middle schools and beyond.
PBS Support – Beginning in the 4th grade year, the PBS administration and faculty support the students and families in the application process. The Head and Associate Head of School meet with families as a group at strategic moments in the application timeline. Moreover, they meet each family individually to discuss the identity process for each child. The school is committed to providing accurate information about middle school options by hosting a fair for families to meet admissions directors from a wide range of schools. PBS teachers and the administration advocate for each student at his or her schools of choice. The school maintains strong relationships with independent, parochial and public middle schools throughout the Peninsula and Bay Area.
Our close personal connections to each student and family and to the Bay Area schools help us to realize the ultimate goal of finding the best school fit for each child.