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[students exploring the science garden]

Middle School Matriculation

Quick Matriculation Facts

73%

Over the past three years (2015–2017), 73% of PBS students were admitted to their “first choice” school.

90%

In the last three years, 90% of PBS students enrolled at one of their top-three choice schools.

100%

100% of PBS 5th-graders leave prepared to be outstanding members of their new communities.

When their time at Phillips Brooks School nears its end and middle school beckons, PBS students receive plenty of mentorship and guidance to help them navigate the competitive and complicated world of middle-school admission. Teachers and administrators work hard to prepare students for their shadow days, interviews, and application essays; to ensure that they are matched to schools that best suit their academic and extracurricular interests, their learning styles, and their personalities; and to advocate for them with the schools they’ve applied to.

Some of the ways we support students and families in this process are…

  • A dedicated middle-school consultant, former Associate Head of School Lisa Busby, oversees the matriculation process from start to finish, sharing with our families her years of experience on both sides of this process.
  • Individual admin–parent meetings are scheduled in the spring of 4th grade to customize support.
  • Parents are subscribed to a specialized PBS blog to escort them as a group through each step of the process.
  • Students are thoroughly prepared for shadow visits with practice interviews.
  • Administrators maintain an open dialog throughout admission season with middle school admission offices and advocate vociferously for PBS students.
  • Classroom time is devoted to personal narrative essays to help students gain confidence and comfort in writing application essays.
  • Throughout the process – from school selection and applications, to standardized testing, to final enrollment – parents and students are engaged in ongoing, personalized support.

As we send our 5th-graders on to their next adventures, our deep understanding of who they are as a learner and as a member of our community helps us find the perfect place to continue their growth.

The PBS program overall is designed to prepare students for challenging middle school learning environments; admission results bear out the excellence of our program and the high desirability of PBS students among schools throughout the region. So do standardized test scores and, most important, the successful educational and life experiences of PBS alumni.

What Middle Schools Say About PBS

“PBS students are thoughtful leaders on shadow visits.”

“We can always tell when PBS kids are here because they are excellent listeners and classroom participants.”

“Admissions offices see PBS kids as well prepared for middle school.”

“In the last five years, PBS 5th-graders have become more diverse and stronger creative problem solvers.”

In middle school, PBS graduates…

  • …demonstrate strong academic preparation
  • …are collaborative learners
  • …are effective communicators
  • …exhibit confidence
  • …are known for quality teamwork
  • …take on leadership roles
  • …are motivated learners
  • …are problem-solvers
  • …show high engagement in their learning

Enrollments 2011–2017

School (alphabetical) Total
Bullis Charter School 1
Castilleja School 34
Crystal Springs Uplands School 23
The Girls’ Middle School 2
The Harker School 3
Hillbrook School 1
Keys School 6
Khan Lab School 2
Los Altos Christian Schools 1
Menlo School 55
Nativity Catholic School 1
The Nueva School 13
Pinewood Schools 4
Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton 26
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School 1
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School 1
St. Raymond School 2
Synapse School 3
Woodland School 2
Woodside Priory School 34
Public Middle Schools 26
Home School 1
School (by PBS enrollment) Total
Menlo School 55
Castilleja School 34
Woodside Priory School 34
Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton 26
Public Middle Schools 26
Crystal Springs Uplands School 23
The Nueva School 13
Keys School 6
Pinewood Schools 4
The Harker School 3
Synapse School 3
The Girls’ Middle School 2
Khan Lab School 2
St. Raymond School 2
Woodland School 2
Bullis Charter School 1
Hillbrook School 1
Los Altos Christian Schools 1
Nativity Catholic School 1
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School 1
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School 1
Home School 1