Tag: COVID-19

“Kids Need Social Practice”: An Interview with Phyllis Fagell

As we near the end of another COVID-impacted school year, I sat down with Phyllis Fagell, school counselor and author of Middle School Matters. I wanted to know what she is seeing in the halls of her school and in her work with parents, students, and teachers, as we all search for ways to recover […]

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In-Person School: A Return to Normalcy?

Students, families, and teachers alike were looking forward to returning to the school building this year, hoping to regain semblances of their normal routines. After last year’s virtual school and hybrid schedules, many students were eager to return to the building full-time, longing for the opportunity to socialize in person and engage in extracurricular activities […]

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Test-Optional Private School Admissions

One truism that we often see in education is a policy trickle-down effect. Often, something gets enacted at the higher education level, and a few years later, we start to see that policy gain momentum at the secondary school level. The latest version of this pattern is Test-Optional Admissions. The Washington, DC area is disproportionately […]

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Math in the Time of COVID

If you’re like many of my students, I suspect you’re really happy to see the inside of a school building this fall. For many of you, the best parts of school are back: spending time with your friends, sports and extracurriculars, and just getting out of the house you’ve spent way too much time in […]

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Cracking the Private School Admissions Code (2021-22 ed.)

Watching this mom walk out of my office, less anxious than when she arrived, I thought about our conversation — a frequent one I have with 8th grade parents as the fall application season starts to take shape. All of them have started to recognize that the private school admissions process in the DMV (and […]

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Does It Spark Joy? Gratitude on the Common App Essay

Almost nothing sparks fear in the heart of high school juniors as much as the words “College Essay.” But perhaps there is hope on the horizon. The last couple of college admissions seasons have, without question, been tense, as students and parents negotiated unprecedented circumstances. Now, though, the Common Application and the Coalition Application, two […]

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What to Make of the Test-Optional Movement

What to Make of the Test-Optional Movement (2022 edition) One of the biggest question marks in college admissions has become, “What does ‘test-optional’ really mean?” And the answer, like many things in the higher education landscape, seems to be rapidly evolving as we get further from the pandemic-linked rush towards test-optional pilot programs. In this […]

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Talk Amongst Yourselves

Missing those friends, right? With February being the month of Valentine’s Day, it may be time to recognize that absence really does make the heart grow fonder, and that, when separated from those we care about, we can reach out to them in new ways, taking advantage of the opportunity to strengthen our bonds. We’ve […]

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Five Tips for Wooing Your Colleges

So, Valentine’s Day isn’t far off, and that prompts the eternal question: does absence make the heart grow fonder? I must respond with a wholehearted yes — at least with regard to those colleges and universities that track demonstrated interest, or DI. When separated from those we care about, we often reach out to them […]

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Preparing for College Interviews, Whether Remote or In-Person

Prepare with practice and research. Relax and reveal yourself. Remember to express yourself in writing: write a thank-you note. The college interview rarely makes or breaks an admission decision, but it can be an important component of your application. Before you even begin to get nervous, however, check to see if the interview is a […]

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