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Old 01-27-2014, 11:54 AM
 
4 posts, read 9,488 times
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Hello! I'd like to ask for some opinions to help us choose the right school for my daughter. She went to parochial school for elementary, on her 5th grade. Her strong subjects are reading, writing, science, and music. She is a diligent student, with great grades. She is responsible and likes to do well, but we are still working on being a self-starter and independence. She's an introvert and not particularly interested in sports. We're Japanese-Americans. Going through all possible schools, including Summit, Cincy Country Day, Ursuline and Indian Hill, we have narrowed the choices between Seven Hills and Walnut. We know Seven Hills is a private school but we're fine with the tuition. We also know Walnut Hills has great reputation, but I'm unsure about the "fit" for her.

We'll appreciate your ideas especially from those who have had direct experience with Seven Hills and Walnut Hills.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, OH
400 posts, read 397,221 times
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You have narrowed it down to two excellent choices.

At this point my reccomendation to you is to have your child do a shadow day at both schools and for you to sit down with an admission rep as well.

Does her current teacher have an opinion about which school might suit her better?
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:13 PM
 
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Thank you mimi in cinci! No, we have not asked her current teachers yet. Current school offers middle school as well. BUt that's a good point and we might do that later. Walnut Hills does not allow shadowing, at least until you are registered for entrance exam which will be at end of the year at least (when she is at 6th grade). Middle school in Seven Hills starts at 6th grade.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
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You have two excellent options in mind. How has her experience in parochial school been? If she fits in well with the other students I wouldn't leave Ursuline out of the mix. Over the years they have a great reputation. And perhaps they can get her more interested in sports. My girls were always grateful for their Volleyball games with the girls from Ursuline, made for some great competition.

I know Walnut Hills has a solid reputation. But if she is a introvert just guard against her getting lost there. Being the best HS in CPS can also bring peer pressure she does not need. Whether it is Seven Hills or other, I would recommend other.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, OH
400 posts, read 397,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlieCincy View Post
Thank you mimi in cinci! No, we have not asked her current teachers yet. Current school offers middle school as well. BUt that's a good point and we might do that later. Walnut Hills does not allow shadowing, at least until you are registered for entrance exam which will be at end of the year at least (when she is at 6th grade). Middle school in Seven Hills starts at 6th grade.

You can & should register to shadow early in the school year next year. Walnut Hills actually closed their shadow days applications for this school year last week. They were already completely full through May with prospective students who wanted to visit.

I am curious why your daughter wants to switch before high school. Aside from going to Walnut Hills , the majority of parochial or private school students transition after grade 8. Most grade schools actually provide assistance with high school entrance tests & guidance toward placement.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:57 PM
 
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This is a difficult question. Walnut Hills is very much a sink-or-swim environment with not much hand holding or support for "transitioning". On one hand that could be a very toxic environment for her, on the other it could really allow her enough space and room to find a niche and blossom. Perhaps there are entrance counselors that she could meet with to see if Walnut would be a good fit? Are there other students from your parochial school that have gone on to Walnut that your current school might put you in touch with?
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:44 PM
 
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Thanks for all your helpful advice! I truly appreciate them.

kjbrill: I've heard that Ursuline is great. A co-ed set up is a better fit for my daughter. That's what she wants as well.

Mimi in cinci: We are thinking about switching because we felt a Grade 6-12 experience might be good for her academically. We are not sold on this completely as we also see the advantages of a K-8 experience for her.

SoFresh99: You are quite correct. I am beginning to think that she might not be ready for Walnut at 7th grade, but will likely be at 9th.

Two questions I'd like to raise:

1. Does anyone have any experience or ideas about entering Walnut Hills at 9th grade, rather than 7th?
2. Any ideas about strong science high schools?

Thanks so much again for all the great ideas!
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:26 PM
 
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Either school will more than prepare her for college, I am biased, but I have to wonder if the small community at Seven Hills would be better for someone who is somewhat introverted.

Sixth grade is a great time to start at Seven Hills. Students from the two very small elementary schools combine in middle school. Kids are excited to see new faces, and are very open to new friendships.

At Seven Hills (at least the Middle School), over 80% of the kids play on at least one sports team. Not because the majority of their students are great athletes, but because there is a "no cut" policy, and kids are encouraged to try new things. At least a third of the kids at the Middle School participate in a musical ensemble. Some are admittedly very talented, but if a child wants to play any instrument, the music director will find a spot for them. The same holds true for theatre.

Kids are expected to take on more responsibility in 6th grade, but the teachers provide considerable support. The teaching teams meet frequently and make a real effort to get to know the students. Faculty and staff understand the social and emotional pressures of being an adolescent.

We are extraordinarily pleased with Seven Hills, but every family's experience is different. Only you will be able to determine if it's worth the expense.

Have you seen the Gerber Analytics reports? Both Seven Hills and Walnut fared very well. The significance of the rating is up for interpretation.



http://www.gerberanalytics.com/ogt/ogt.php

Last edited by laughlines; 01-29-2014 at 06:28 PM.. Reason: added gerber analytics link
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:49 AM
 
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I wouldn't recommend entering Walnut Hills until 9th grade. There are certain academic advantages of entering as a freshman that advisors will not tell you. As a 9th grader you have a choice to take 2 years of foreign language studies that includes German, Spanish, French, Chinese, or Latin. Entering as a 7th grader, you are required to take three years of Latin in grades 7-9 (Walnut Hills best kept secret). It's a huge flunk out class and even bright students end up in summer school during those years. Also plan on spending big bucks for private tutoring. The help available at school for struggling students is limited to non existent & consists of "help nights" where every student the teacher has during the day can come for group help after school. Also, if your student rides a school bus home, they won't be able to work on Latin projects that require time at the school library after school in order to checkout specific reserved books (we ended up buying the books online & searching for them at the public library). Overall, Walnut Hills is like sending your 7th grader off to college. There are 3000 students in total & the campus is huge. It's not only overwhelming for students, it's stressful for parents.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:13 AM
 
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It is stressful for 7th Graders to be tossed in with upperclassmen, but thousands of WHHS students have been making it work for a very long time.

As for Latin, the previous poster could not be more wrong. Latin was the easiest course I took there in the 7th grade and my son had the same experience. Any 7th grader can learn Latin. The only trick is that the homework has to be done every night. All it is is memorization. And it is extremely valuable in higher education whether it be medical, law school etc. No one should be without it.

If the 7th grader is a delicate flower, OK, send him to Seven Hills. But, for most kids WHHS works just fine.
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