Making the right high school decision

New Beginnings helps guide eighth graders through selection process

BRIDGEPORT — It is that special time of the year when New Beginnings Family Academy eighth graders are finalizing their high school decision.   

In 2018, 94 percent of NBFA’s graduating class was accepted into a competitive admissions high school.  The path to a student’s chosen school is often quite unique.  

As a 13 or 14-year-old eighth grader, life-altering decisions like choosing a high school can be a daunting task. That’s why at NBFA, teachers and administrators walk students through the process and take them to onsite visits to make sure the interests and needs of the student are being addressed.   

Yearly, NBFA students are accepted to some of the highest-level local schools such as Fairfield College Preparatory School, Notre Dame Fairfield, the Center for Global Studies and Kolbe Cathedral.  

A few students each year are drawn in unique directions. The staff at NBFA follows through to explore different options with students, to not shut off any path to success.  

At a recent visit to Bridgeport Military Academy (BMA), which offers a challenging academic environment with a focus on exploring careers in public safety, NBFA Middle School Principal Valore Turner escorted two students who were interested in seeing what BMA had to offer.   

“This is a path that assures students will focus in on something specific and be career ready once they leave high school,” she said. “Some parents and students want that, but it also gives them a great leg up if they want to go on to college.”   

The two students KJ and Caiden were wowed by BMA’s forensic labs and flight simulators but left wanting more time to review their options.   

“I want to be a surgeon,” said KJ. “This place could help me get there.”   

Valore explains that visiting a school allows students the opportunity to see and feel the energy of their prospective schools prior to graduation and/or completing the enrollment process. 

“Tours are most times given by students or staff members who have a wealth of knowledge about the school and are therefore capable of answering prospective students burning questions,” she said. “Seeing and learning about the school firsthand can impact the student’s final decision.” 

NBFA wants students to enter the high school that is right for them. The emotional and academic skills put in place at NBFA opens many doors for our students. The goal of a four-year college program is always in the big picture.  

The majority of NBFA students that go on to untraditional schools such as the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering in Stamford or Platt Technical High School in Milford go on to pursue a four-year college degree at schools like Sacred Heart and Southern Connecticut State University. 

“The process of choosing the right school comes down to a few factors–personality, aspirations, learning style and parental support,” says Turner. 

At the start of the year, NBFA’s middle school held a conversation with each 8th grader asking them to share a little bit about themselves as a student, their goals for the school year and the career/profession they would like to pursue after high school. 

This information was recorded and acted a “student profile” which was used during the application process to help steer students to apply to certain schools. 

Student profiles also included information regarding preferred school size, extracurricular activities, dress code, type of school and cost. 

If you need assistance helping find the right school for you contact Middle School Principal Valore Turner at 203-610-6267. 

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