"We want our students to be balanced and well-rounded and this starts at an early age" - Mellesia Nelson
Weston, Florida (PRWEB) August 08, 2013
At The Sagemont School, students start preparing for college before they even start high school. The private, college preparatory school has found that early planning, especially in middle school, helps build a solid foundation for long term success.
“We want our students to be balanced and well-rounded and this starts at an early age,” explains Sagemont College Counselor Mellesia Nelson. “Our goal is to build a solid foundation for our students and this includes balance, organization, focus, etc., which will lead to stronger grades.”
Mrs. Nelson acknowledges that the college admissions process is quite competitive and she encourages students to challenge themselves academically, this can include taking high school level courses in middle school. “For students who can handle the rigor, this allows them to then take more challenging courses in high school.”
Taking some core courses in middle school also opens the opportunity to concentrate in areas of interest. “If a student finds an area that they love, they should excel and go beyond the expectation to graduate,” recommends Mrs. Nelson. “When many colleges view a student’s grades there is a focus on the core classes (math, science, social studies, English and foreign language), so I love to see students go above in these areas. With that being said, students must have a balance that includes the arts as well.”
Extracurricular involvement is also important. “I remember recently a college admissions representative saying, ‘We do not want walking textbooks, we want students who are well-rounded,’” shares Mrs. Nelson.
She believes middle school is a great time for students to explore areas of interest. “We love for our students to take advantage of every opportunity around them. Our school’s annual science fair is a great place for students who like science to immerse themselves in a project. Additionally, our annual literary fair is there for students who excel in this area.” In addition, Sagemont offers service clubs, environmental clubs, academic clubs, artistic clubs and athletics, both intramural and competitive.
Several Sagemont seniors second Mrs. Nelson’s recommendation, encouraging younger students to get involved in school and extracurricular activities. “You don’t have to be involved in everything, but participate and become a leader in the activities that interest you and matter the most to you,” advises Heather Preslier. “It’s important to demonstrate a long-lasting dedication to these activities.”
Cristina Quintero says middle school is also the time for students to get organized. “I have learned that working hard and being able to manage my time I am able to accomplish more in the day and be involved in more activities like sports and clubs, which colleges really appreciate.”
Classmate Valeria Fernandez also recommends middle schoolers develop their organizational skills. “They should use an agenda and write out any due dates for homework, projects, etc. Getting a habit of being organized will help them in the long run, especially with application deadlines.”
Jesus Ablan says Sagemont’s College Counseling department makes the college admissions process easy, if students are prepared. “The college counselor helped me, step by step, through each process of the college applications. Everything was clear and I was done with my applications before the deadlines. When speaking to my friends from other schools, they were surprised on how early I was done.”
Adam Wasserman also credits Mrs. Nelson for easing the college admissions process. “It is fairly simple if started in advance. Sagemont has prepared me through the annual college nights hosted by Mrs. Nelson as well as her classroom visits. Both are immensely informative and actually provided relief during such an overwhelming time.”
Mrs. Nelson holds annual grade level meetings for all 6th to 12th grade families. She also meets individually with each high school family. “Before the start of the school year I had already met with 80% of our seniors and their families to begin the college process. This means discussing essay, additional testing options, fine tuning the college list and pretty much doing everything necessary to help guide each student.”
Preslier says Mrs. Nelson’s individualized attention was invaluable. “You have a college counselor who is willing to read over and provide feedback on any and all of your application essays, answer any questions you might have about the application, and do mock interviews to prepare for the real ones.”
This is the beauty of Sagemont. According to Mrs. Nelson, “As a small school our teachers and counselors are able to understand the needs of individual students and help them reach their potential.”
The Sagemont School offers a college preparatory curriculum and operates two campuses in Weston, Fl. In preschool through the elementary grades, The Sagemont School provides core concepts in a creative environment combined with weekly specials that include science, art, music, Spanish for non-native & native speakers, swimming, PE and media and technology. From middle school through high school graduation, Sagemont students choose from a variety of regular, honors and AP course work. In addition, students share in a networked wireless laptop environment and participate in a comprehensive guidance program for college entrance. Visit The Sagemont School Web site at http://www.sagemont.com/.
For more information on The Sagemont School, contact Dr. Brent Goldman, President at (954) 389-2454 ext., 305, or email to bgoldman(at)sagemont(dot)com. To read more stories about The Sagemont School written by Stacey Bomser, go to School News at http://www.ourcityweston.com .