December 5, 2022
The Transition from Clanmore Middle School To High School Through The Eyes of Our Parents and Graduates
How well do you feel Clanmore Middle School prepared your child/prepared you for high school?
- (parent) My child left with strong essay writing skills and the ability to use a rubric. In high school “a rubric was handed out and classmates paid no attention to it and some lost it.” My child on the other hand saw it as a tool, a gift. There is a maturity there.
- (parent) “A lot of children excel due to fear and pressure from parents. They are fearful of consequences if they do not do well. Montessori kids want to succeed for their own personal goals, leading to a higher work ethic.”
- (parent) Clanmore “was a social experience, a social lesson…this is not taught in public school….and this is where it is needed as it is expected in high school.”
- (student) “I think it really prepared me as I find I’m ahead in a lot of things. Some things are new, but it’s mostly review, for example, in English we are learning how to write paragraphs while at Clanmore we learned that in grade 4. I think Clanmore really helped my work ethic. Middle School taught me time management…In high school the teachers don’t check it you’ve done the work. The standards are higher at Clanmore. “
Do you feel the social curriculum at Clanmore helped the transition or gave your child the foundation needed for high school?
- (parent) “It goes back to confidence, starting with the elementary years where she stood up for herself…where she learned to ‘fix it’. Clanmore was the safest environment to learn to deal with conflict. When entering high school there were girls who played games and she decided she did not want to be a part of that. She walked away and found friends with like minds. And that’s the confidence.”
- (parent) “Yes. Absolutely. Not just for high school but for life in general. [My child] is able to pick who is not genuine. No difficulty making friends [coming] from a small class to a large high school.” “The Middle School students are able to talk to people. They go out into the community to the historical society, for example, and conduct interviews.” “When I hear ‘welcome to the real world’ directed at Clanmore graduates I feel that Clanmore prepares them for the real world and is a microcosm of it because this is how the real world works”.
- (parent) “… her ability to self-advocate for her learning disability [dysgraphia/dyslexia]. She introduced herself to all the teachers and spoke of it. It goes back to the ability to speak up for yourself.”
- (student) “I think it helped in general. People can be mean, judgmental. It helped me understand where people are coming from, their norm. My goal was not to be the most popular, it was just to be liked. Not to give people a reason to dislike me.” It “helped me understand what people are looking for. It made me know the qualities that I want in friends. The fab 5, no blame. A lot of people don’t get that. Listening to people, so much blame is laid. People have ‘beefs’ without talking first. There are a lot of misunderstandings.”
Is there anything from your Middle School experience that, in hindsight, you would have wished your child had experienced or been taught?
- (parent) Some may focus on the relatively small class size but for us “Cons? No cons. It was about a healthy environment to grow and develop. The teachers were her friends, they were close and there was no hierarchy. There was trust.”
- (parent) Cost is a consideration but “where are you going to invest the money. They need it when they need it to acquire the skills. The teachers are always available. There was no concern if they were going to be available for anything he wanted or needed.”
- (parent) “I can’t really think of anything. She has everything she has needed. Her geography teacher said to me she just seems to know a lot about the world.”
What has been the hardest part of grade 9 so far?
- (parent) The high school facility is much larger. “She got lost but it became routine after 2 weeks. There’s an adjustment period.”
- (parent) Making friends. “Kids will make it what they want. My advice is to get involved and they’ll figure it out. It takes time to adapt and I try to be there to help find the goodness in situations.”
- (parent) “Not very academically challenging, she challenges herself. She satisfies herself through sports and after-school clubs. She doesn’t spend a lot of time on homework.”
- (student) “Getting around and communicating with teachers. I’m used to a different relationship with my teachers, getting through to teachers, taking to them about my disability. They have been accommodating but it is something they are not used to [student self-advocacy].”
How do you feel Clanmore prepared your child academically?
- “The academics were covered. He’s ahead in the game.”
- “It over-prepared her. The maturity they have; it’s the work ethic….Kids have such a different view of learning. She doesn’t feel it’s work. In high school she has to seek out challenges. They don’t just give them to you. She sought out challenges physically through sports and academically through applying to specialty programs.”
- “In grade 9 English, the class was asked how many of you have read Romeo and Juliet? She was the only one, and she read it twice. It comes easy, they have the creativity and the confidence.”
- One parent commented on a school assignment in which her child drew upon many of her experiences at Clanmore from art to humanities to reading comprehension. Her finished project stood out from all others. All her experiences, all the components of Clanmore were accessed. “Everything came together.”
- “She wants more from her teachers because there are lower standards. The teachers don’t see the potential. They see adolescence in a different way. There is no insight to find potential and creativity…She came from such a rich environment.”
What advice would you give a student in grade 6, 7, or 8?
- “Don’t be shy on the first day…Be yourself. Just smile. Be open to say hi to people and try to be outgoing. Talk to people. If you see someone you think is nice, talk to them. It’s the first week when you make friends. People don’t come to you. “