Tips for Preparing Your Student for Success in High School

Ridgefield Academy's Graduation ceremony

As parents, we all want the best for our children and to help prepare them for success as they begin their journey as young adults. Our children’s level of success in adulthood is greatly influenced by their experience in school, which includes not only academics, but also extracurriculars, creative arts, athletics, enrichment opportunities, social-emotional learning, community engagement, and much more.

As our kids approach their teenage years, middle school is a critical time to prepare them for future success in high school and beyond. We are pleased to partner with Ridgefield Academy to share tips on how best to prepare your children for success in high school:

Encouragement to Explore Interests

A child’s experience in school is about so much more than just what they are learning from their textbooks. A well-rounded curriculum starting at the elementary and middle school levels is key to helping students discover their interests, strengths, and passions. Students who are exposed to a broad selection of electives, extracurricular activities, and interactive learning opportunities will be able to explore and learn about their interests in a way that will guide their academic choices at the high school and college levels.

“As students navigate their own identities in the middle school years, their learning is guided by year-long themes that mirror the questions they are facing at each age. Ridgefield Academy’s comprehensive curriculum includes academics, athletics, the arts, leadership, service learning, and public speaking.”

A well-rounded curriculum is key to helping students discover their interests
Ridgefield Academy's Buddy Program helps to build confidence and leadership skills

Ridgefield Academy encourages its students to explore their interests and express their creativity through a curriculum that includes creative arts, learning another language, building a foundation in technology, experiencing service-learning opportunities, and much more.

Additionally, Ridgefield Academy integrates health and wellness, public speaking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills into its curriculum. Focusing on these principles helps students build confidence, explore and nurture their interests, and establish long-term life skills that they will take with them through high school and beyond. Learn more about Ridgefield Academy’s comprehensive curriculum

Take a look at what middle school students have to say about their experience at Ridgefield Academy and how it prepares them for high school and beyond:

Students can also greatly benefit from extracurricular activities that are unique to their interests at many local after-school programs and weekend activities at local organizations. Encouraging your child to explore their interests both in and out of school will allow them the opportunity to continue expanding their knowledge in the interest areas that they are most passionate about. Learn more in “Extracurricular Programs for All Ages in Ridgefield”

“RA provides a joyous and caring learning environment where every child is respected, heard and encouraged. The teachers are wonderful and responsive. The curriculum is tailored to each child’s level and interest and along with academic excellence, much care and thought is given to a child’s emotional and social development.” – Current RA Parent

Getting Support from School Staff

Middle school teachers and counselors are great resources when it comes to preparing for the high-school selection process. Your children’s teachers will know their strengths and interests in and outside of the classroom, while school counselors can provide guidance on different high-school options, finding the right fit, and navigating the admission process.

Ridgefield Academy offers comprehensive secondary-school admissions counseling to help students and their families make an informed decision about their future schooling. Every 8th Grade student takes a “High School Bound” Class, led by Head of Middle and Upper School Clinton Howarth, which focuses on choosing a high school, preparing for the application and interview process, exploring study techniques, planning what classes and extracurriculars a student might want to take in high school, and more.

Students and their families are also provided with a step-by-step calendar guide, a directory of schools and selection criteria, assistance with school visits, and more. Learn more about Ridgefield Academy’s Secondary School Placement

Public speaking provides opportunities to practice confidence and leadership
Ridgefield Academy's Grade 8 Graduates

“It is Ridgefield Academy’s commitment to help every eighth grader find a high school that is the right ‘fit’. Families partner with the Head of Middle and Upper School and admissions directors at high schools to find the next place where their child will grow and thrive.”

For parents, Ridgefield Academy also offers a Guide To Secondary School Admissions, a comprehensive guide with things to know about entering high school and tips for parents about choosing the right school, the interview process, and how parents can let their children take the lead while still staying involved and providing support when needed.

In addition, Ridgefield Academy hosts a High School Admissions Fair each fall, bringing together admissions staff from more than 50 schools in the area. The admissions fair is open to any students, whether they attend Ridgefield Academy or not, and their families.

Choosing the Right High School

Every student and their family deserve to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right high school for their unique needs and interests. We encourage you to help your child explore their interests and seek support from school staff when it comes to making this important decision! Here are some of the most important factors to consider when evaluating school options:

  1. Academic offerings (including AP and college-level courses)
  2. Extracurricular opportunities
  3. School size and campus life
  4. Cost and financial aid options
  5. Private versus public schools
  6. School culture, mission, and values
  7. Post-graduation trends of their alumni
  8. Scheduling a campus tour to meet admissions staff and teachers and explore the campus


Learn more

To learn more about Ridgefield Academy, visit their website or schedule a private tour today with the Admissions Team.

Ridgefield Academy Summer Camp CT 2022

We’d like to thank Ridgefield Academy for sponsoring this story and supporting the Ridgefield community!

Learn more at: ridgefieldacademy.org