Posted by: Alex Borders | January 20, 2011

High School Decisions

Thursday 20th January

What’s Happening in 8th Grade?

Written by Pat Fiorella, parent of Roman in 8th Grade and Sondra in 5th Grade

Have you ever met the 8th Grade students?  Perhaps you encounter them in the parking lot on pretzel day or maybe your first grader told you about their 8th grade buddy helping them learn to knit?  Maybe you heard about some of the 8th graders and other students going to Shriners Children’s Hospital for Christmas with orchestra teacher, Eliza Cho;  or did you see the 8th graders and their middle school friends at the winter concert performing a brief glimpse of their upcoming production of the Pirates of Penzance?  It may seem like the 8th grade is everywhere and they are.  Busy may be the one word that best describes this final year at WSP.

Besides the coffee houses and the big trip, this year to Costa Rica, one of the major aspects of 8th Grade is applying to high schools.  Starting in September with the Philadelphia High School Fair, students and parents spend lots of time looking, visiting, interviewing, auditioning, testing and writing essays for area high schools.  This years class has applied to many of the special admissions schools in Philadelphia including Central, Science and Leadership Academy (SLA), Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), Academy at Palumbo, Girard Academy Music Program (GAMP), and Saul Agricultural School.  Although each school has different requirements, all our students had test scores and grades to garner invitations to interview and audition.

Auditions in theater, visual arts and writing were held at CAPA.  Those mornings consisted of reciting monologues and singing a capella for theater,displaying  portfolios for visual arts and being prompted to write short fiction….for an hour and a half….for the creative writing program!  In addition, many students presented their work to teachers and seniors in private interviews at SLA.  Some have shadowed for full days with 9th graders at Central and SLA.  In the private school sector, applications and entrance exams have been completed for Germantown Friends School, Penn Charter and LaSalle.

We look forward to announcing high school selections in the spring.  Meanwhile get to know our current 8th grade by joining in the coffee houses, buying pretzels, having an 8th Grader babysit (yep, they’re really that nice!) or come to one of WSP’s Observation Mornings where you’ll get the chance to meet and chat with them.  Best of luck 8th Grade, may all your high school dreams come true!


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