Middle School

Secondary School Placement

As difficult as it is to say goodbye to our eighth graders, we know that our faculty fostered in these students an enduring thirst for learning that will serve them as they pursue their education in secondary school and beyond. IDS students achieve great success in their next step because they have been prepared to think critically, to work independently and in collaboration and to understand the connections across disciplines. Most importantly, our graduates have a core set of values and principles that guide them in the right direction.
IDS is focused on Fearless Learning, but what about the next school? Thinking about secondary school can be a time for the fears to creep back in along with the what-ifs . . . What if I don’t know where I want to go? What if I get anxious in interviews? What if I can’t make up my mind? What if I don’t do well on the entrance test? What if I do? What if my friends are all going somewhere else?

Like everything else at IDS, the goal of the Secondary School Placement Office is to reduce the fear from the process. Finding the next school should be exciting, enlightening and enjoyable. While there is sure to be stress and anxiety in the process, we focus on treating this part of our life just like all the others: a chance to learn, explore, reflect, design, challenge, work, grow and celebrate. Our program is designed to support and advise the students and families as they navigate the variety of options and the processes for entrance to the schools.
Every IDS student is an individual and each one must find the right school, no two will move forward on exactly the same path. Whether the next school is private, parochial or public, boarding or day, co-ed or single-gender, we believe that our process allows all students the opportunity to make decisions that are intentional, thoughtful and careful.

Please find, to the left, some valuable resources to better understand our program and the resources available to our students, and never hesitate to contact Charlie Mitchell, Secondary School Placement Director, if you have questions or would like to talk more.

Contact Us

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Placement Process

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  • Seventh Grade

    • Annual Secondary School Fair “Preliminary Look” for those families interested in joining the afternoon’s event.
    • Conversations individually with the Director for those families interested.

    Early Spring:
    • Secondary School Panels - these are special evening launching the process which include a panel of representatives from the admission offices of a variety of local high schools to talk about the process and answer questions.
    Late Spring:
    • Families are welcome to meet with the Director as they would like to begin talking about various options.
  • Eighth Grade

    • Family Welcome Evening with the Director and others to discuss the process in more depth, go over detailed logistics and answer general questions and answers.
    • Secondary School Panel – representatives from a variety of schools are on campus to talk more and answer questions with students and parents.
    • Students and families meet individually and in small groups with the Director to talk about the process, get started on initial lists, discuss and plan visits, prepare for admissions tests, practice interviews and begin applications.
    • Annual Secondary School Fair – IDS hosts one of the oldest and largest Fairs in the region with over 60 schools from around Connecticut and the country on campus.
    October – November:
    • Early November: SSAT offered on campus at IDS.
    • Individual meetings and work on applications continue.
    • Families continue to visit schools.
    • Students contact faculty to write recommendations.
    December – January:
    • Early December: High School Placement Test for those applying to Parochial schools
    • SSAT offered at local schools if needed / wanted.
    • Applications due to Director.
    • Final visits and contacts with schools.
    • Families applying for Financial Aid complete the NAIS/SSS “Parent Financial Statement”
    • February:
    • All elements of independent school applications due to schools.
    • Public school visit and registration process begins if appropriate.
    • 10th – Independent School “notification day.”
    • “Revisit” days and opportunities to talk further with schools.
    • Individual family meetings with Director to discuss options and plan.
    • 10th – Families notify schools (and the Director) of final decisions
    • Students and families celebrate their decisions!