From The Head of School
March 1, 2023
Flint Hill Families,
While a well-deserved spring break is on the horizon, our divisional leadership, faculty and advisors are looking ahead to the weeks upon our return. Specifically, our older students will experience one of my favorite times in school: course selection for next year.
For most of our Lower School students, looking ahead is a simple progression from one grade to the next, each replete with growth, new friendships and learning. However, as students enter the upper elementary grades, specifically 5th and 6th grades, greater opportunities for voice and choice emerge.
Beginning in 5th grade, in consultation among teachers, our Lower School Math specialist and our JK-6 Math Department chair, students are recommended for math placement in specific classes, Math 5 or Accelerated Math 5 for 5th graders, or Math 6, Accelerated Math 6, or Pre-Algebra for 6th graders. To learn more on this thoughtful and student-centric process, families are invited to a special Virtual Meeting with JK-6 Math Department Chair, Jess Henry, on Wednesday, March 29 (a recording will be provided following the meeting, as well). Additionally, our rising 5th and 6th Graders will have opportunities for choice in their music placement for next year, as well; More details will be forthcoming in May.
In Middle School, the process of course selection for current 6th and 7th graders will begin in mid-April. Current teachers will make placement recommendations for each student and we will provide information about our Middle School Program Guide, options for students by grade level, guidance about selecting the appropriate courses and load, and Q&A sessions for students and parents. We work with students to balance both interest and challenge in their course selection, and also support the meaningful risk of taking a class beyond the recommended placement. For current 8th graders, we are following the Upper School process, which includes this morning's Academic Planning Coffee with the Upper School admin team and support from current advisors the week we return from Spring Break.
Our Upper School offers ample opportunities for students to be ambitious and inquisitive, to dive deeply into areas of passion, or explore a new or emerging interest. A quick perusal of our Upper School Program Guide demonstrates both the versatility and expertise of our outstanding faculty, as well as the range of dynamic and exciting course options for our students’ passions to flourish. Unique offerings like World Mythology (Classics Department), Civil Rights, Human Rights, & Civil Liberties (History Department), The Internet: Salvation or Destruction? (Innovation Department), and Advanced Biology: Modern Genetics (Science Department) are sure to challenge our students’ critical thinking skills, deepen their understanding of complex subject matter, as well as demonstrate to colleges and universities the unique lens through which Flint Hill wrestles with its Core Values on an academic level. In short: there’s nothing cookie-cutter about this experience, and we seek to honor each Husky’s conscientious approach through one-on-one support of a dedicated team of teachers, coaches, advisors, college counselors, Learning Center coaches and so much more. Together, we encourage our students to achieve great successes as individuals and a collective group.
For all we do as an amazing place of personal connections and support, I am beyond impressed by the deep commitment to robust and student-centered academic experiences available to our Huskies. I hope that, over the course of the coming weeks, you take a moment to speak to your child, their teacher/advisor, and engage in the thoughtful exercise of academic mapping– imagine what’s possible for your child, and how – together – we’ll blaze that trail for their best academic experience possible.
Enjoy the quick run to Spring Break, and I look forward to what’s to come.
Head of School