What to Do After Middle School: Exploring High School Options.


Kent School is located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown. We serve students in preschool through Grade Eight. Therefore, all of our students will be choosing a new school when they matriculate to high school. Kent School provides secondary school guidance to our Seventh and Eighth Grade students. To guide our families through this process, we created this Secondary School Guide. While a few of the points are Kent School specific, the  consideration factors, timeline and suggestions are true for any middle school student who is planning. We hope this helps you with the next step toward  finding the right school.

Secondary School Guide

Considerations When Choosing a High School

Many factors determine where students should apply to high school. Each family will need to decide which factors are most important for their family. The chart below is a guide to help you prioritize.  There is no need to establish a ranking. These features are meant to help students and parents begin or continue a dialog about secondary school choices.

Academic Atmosphere
Student Diversity
Daily Class Schedule
Campus Facilities
Colleges that Graduates Attend
How Competitive Is It?
Boarding School
Day School
Course Offerings
Advisory Program
Cultural Offerings
Distance from Home
Extracurricular Offerings
Financial Assistance
Honor System
Independent Study
Methods of Instruction
Student/Teacher Ratio
Religious Affiliation
Grade Size
Class Size
Student Government
Technology Integration
Urban or Rural Setting
School Values & Priorities

Secondary School Application Timeline – The following steps should be completed by the dates listed below. Individual schedules and steps may vary but this is a good reference.

Over the Summer – Read, Read, Read. Secondary school admissions officers will be much more interested in a well-read candidate than one who is skilled at video games.

Spend some time on secondary school websites. Formulate questions about the schools you might like.

August 2020 – Schedule tours and interviews for your list of prospective secondary schools. Your list should include at least three schools.

August – September 2020 – Register for SSAT (https://ssat.org/) .

An ‘at home’ test option for the Fall 2020 SSAT will be offered.

At registration, select the schools’ codes that should receive your scores.

Your child may have taken a practice middle level test last December. They should be registered for the upper level test in December 2020. If you wish, you can register them for another upper level practice test in October or November. Fall/Winter testing dates have not been announced by SSAT.

October 2020 – Attend Kent School’s Secondary School Fair on Monday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m. where up to twenty secondary schools will be represented including Kent and Queen Anne’s County Public Schools

To prepare for secondary school visits, schedule a 30-minute mock interview with an a teacher, administrator or an adult outside of your family.

Complete secondary school visits.

November 2020 – Select the schools to which you will be applying and begin the application process.

Students should apply to at least three schools making sure you have selected at least one school that you feel confident about your chances for acceptance.

Determine your timeline for completing all applications including supplemental essays. We think it is a good idea to have all applications complete and submitted by December 15. Make sure you are aware of individual school deadlines.

Submit all referral and recommendation forms to your advisor our school administrator by November 30. 

December 2020 – Complete and submit all applications.

Most independent school application deadlines are in early January. Please avoid any last-minute scramble by completing yours ahead of time and by giving your teachers and advisors ample time to complete their letters of recommendation.

Admission decisions are mailed or emailed in early March.

February – March 2021

For students applying to Public School STEM Academies should request and complete the application.



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