High School Counseling
The high school counseling process is an important element of the Grade 8 year and a culminating part of the Hamlin journey. At Hamlin, we want our students to develop a keen self-awareness of their strengths and areas of growth in all areas of their academic and personal development!
Working with our students and their families as they consider their next academic home is an important journey filled with discovery and invaluable self-reflection. As a team with almost 30 years of combined experience in education – in the classroom, admissions, and secondary school counseling – we are aware of both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for you and your students. The high school admission process is a very personal one for each student and each family. As such, we are committed to knowing you and your child, as individuals and as community members, so that we may best support and advocate for you throughout this process.
We will guide families by helping students with time management skills, providing valuable insights and perspectives about boarding and day schools, and giving personalized, one-on-one attention to students and their families throughout the entire process. We aim to emphasize the excitement of exploring high schools, the importance of self-reflection, and the joy of the final year together at Hamlin.
An Overview of the Process
The counseling process begins in the spring semester of Grade 7 when students begin to meet in small groups to jump start the self-reflection piece of the high school process and parents attend individual meetings to speak about the ‘brass tacks’ of the process and to begin identifying schools that may be a great match for their daughters. During the early months of Grade 8, students begin to learn about individual high schools as they explore websites, visit open houses and classes at local schools during High School Visit Days, attend high school fairs, travel to boarding school campuses, and reach out to current high school students. Students also have the opportunity to meet with secondary school admissions officers who visit Hamlin’s campus for information sessions throughout the fall. They also spend time working on personal essays and interview skills, which are an important part of most applications.
The counseling team aims to support every student to, among other things, refine self-reflection skills, manage time, brainstorm essay topics, and prepare for interviews. Our work with students helps them develop skills in organization, self-advocacy, reflective thinking and writing, empathy, self-awareness and acceptance, decision making, and problem solving. These skills prepare Hamlin students to thrive long after they’ve left our halls.
Grade 8 students continue to be deeply engaged in life and leadership at Hamlin during the admission season; their commitment to academic work and extracurricular activities at school and beyond provides much of the qualitative information provided in the school and teacher recommendations. Application due dates vary by school, but most applications are due in mid-January. When schools send out decision letters in mid-March, families evaluate their options and decide which high school will be the best fit for their child.
Hamlin students attend a range of outstanding high schools, from local independent day schools, to public high schools, to boarding schools on both the west and east coasts. Just as every Hamlin student is unique, so too is her/their high school search. We work closely with each student and her/their family to reach an understanding about which types of high schools will be best suited for each individual’s personality, learning style, unique talents, current interests, and future aspirations. Then, we support each student to find the right-fit high school. As the Hamlin mission states, individuals graduating from Hamlin each June must be ready “to meet the challenges of their time.”