For many, March Madness conjures up brackets, “the big dance”, and basketball. For our 9th graders and admission offices (including our own), March Madness brings nervousness and excitement for the March 10 decision date.
The journey after Bement is thought about long before the 9th grade year. Yet it is during the summer and fall and even early winter of 9th grade that our students and parents spend hours researching schools, touring and visiting campuses, and speaking with current students and families at schools they are drawn to. Applications are completed, essays revised, and students talk about their choices with teachers as they request letters of recommendations. Parents think about what to share about their child. How much is too much? Videos are developed showcasing athletic prowess, concert performances, and math competitions. Art portfolios are created. Interview prep, conversations, and thank you letters. It is a lot of work. In the end students have shared themselves with the schools they would be excited to attend. Then they wait. Will I be asked to the big dance?
In our office, we have spent the last several months (sometimes years) getting to know the students and families. Tours, interviews, reviewing applications, and watching performances fill our days. Whether it is questions from a parent of a kindergarten applicant understanding what Bement may offer their first child to parents from overseas contemplating boarding school for their twelve year old, each conversation is helpful as we get to know one another. Committees meet and discuss. Decisions are sent. Then we wait. We have chosen you and now we hope you will choose us.
The process is not over on March 10. Decisions will arrive. Some will be met with tears of joy, others feelings of disappointment. Some students will have great clarity about their next step in their educational journey. Others will have months of not knowing. So while families are saying “we are so excited, my child was accepted to school X,” also know that the school is saying “we are so excited to accept this student and we hope he or she chooses us.” There are a lot of great partners out there.
All decisions are made with the desire to make the right match between what the students and families need and want and what the school can provide. Strong schools are vibrant communities enriched by the members who join taking advantage of the opportunities to learn, grow, and flourish. Each school, including Bement, strives to build a diverse, balanced, and vibrant incoming class each school year.