“Many parents also find it helpful to talk to other families currently involved in the programs that might interest your son or daughter.”

By Karen Maginn, Director of Admission, St. James Academy

I’m often asked by Junior High parents, “Where do I start?” when discerning high school opportunities. My best response at this point is, “thank you” for committing to the importance of Catholic high school. But then, consider that in your school choice there is so much at stake for your student: intellect, character, soul. So take your time, and collect as much information that both the parent and the student deems helpful.

St. James Academy’s Admissions Department offers a variety of events so families can experience the community in ways that address individual interests since each family’s selection criteria is unique. The best advice is to attend as many admissions events as possible because with each exposure to the community comes a variety of impressions and ways to envision your student excelling. Sometimes you’ll learn something that you hadn’t previously considered, and that consideration may rise to the top of your priority list.

It’s also recommended to spend time in the halls and at the events in each high school to better understand the culture. What should you look for?
• Observe teacher/coach and student interactions;
• Are all students engaged whether it’s focused classwork or social time?
• How is the Catholic faith present, outside the religion classes?
• How do teachers or facilities foster collaboration?
• Is the school building well cared for, up to date?

Many parents also find it helpful to talk to other families currently involved in the programs that might interest your son or daughter. Those perspectives can clarify whether your expectations are realistic and how to be prepared for the rigor of high school academics combined with extra-curricular activities.

If there is something specific that your family expects of the high school, but it’s not immediately visible in the admissions events, please communicate with the Admissions Office so we can address that item.

By better understanding the school’s culture, families can better envision their student being part of it. The Admissions Office will work to provide excellent experiences with your needs in mind.

As parents and students consider the high school that provides the opportunities you expect, we appreciate you lending St. James your time and attention.

By Karen Maginn, Director of Admission, St. James Academy
kmaginn@sjakeepingfaith.org (913)254-4228

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