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Back to School 2017


September is an exciting time of year as students return to school settings refreshed from summer adventures. At The Bertram Group, we have also had a busy and rewarding summer: Since May I have personally made site visits to or met with admissions directors and heads of nearly 30 educational institutions. These visits range from traditional boarding schools to therapeutic programs and cover locations as far apart as North Carolina, California, and Vermont. Collectively, the partners at The Bertram Group have connected with even more schools and programs. Being on-site at a campus and speaking directly with faculty members gives us an in-depth and invaluable sense of each institution’s culture and educational mission.

We are proud of The Bertram Group’s commitment to engage in school tours and professional conferences year-round, keeping our fingers on the pulse of the latest trends and bringing our families first-hand knowledge to help identify the best fit. Going forward, you will see updates of our professional travels posted on The Bertram Group’s Facebook page. Meanwhile, we make accessibility to candidates our highest priority. We are always available to help you take the next step in your school search.

In this issue:

  • Erby Mitchell, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at The Hotchkiss School, offers advice on how to approach the parent interview at boarding schools.
  • We reprint the first part of Audrey’s article, recently published in the Moffly Media Independent School Guide, that explores how boarding schools are assessing character in the admissions process.
  • Charlotte Brownlee, Director of Admission and Enrollment, discusses character at Cate School in California.
  • Holly and Krissy outline strategies for considering learning differences in the context of a boarding school search.
  • Deena advises candidates on how to balance the pressures of their senior year with the deadlines of college applications.
  • Jeremy outlines clues for recognizing when a student’s anxiety needs specialized support.
  • We announce a save-the-date to hear Deena Maerowitz speak in September about learning differences and the college search, and to hear author Lee Daniel Kravetz speak in October about the psychological phenomenon of infectious behaviors.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you.

Cammie Bertram and the Bertram Team

College Bound

The fall can be a challenging time for high school seniors. Alongside the desire to savor their final year of high school, they feel the weight of the college search. The magnitude of this activity often comes into sharp focus as application deadlines loom. Essays…application forms…interviews…suddenly, students feel overwhelmed by the to-do list, and the school year has just begun. This is part of what makes the college search such a rite of passage into adulthood. For... read more

The Right Road

For decades businesses have valued what are called “soft skills” in hiring employees. Even before the new millennium dawned, the phrasing transformed to “twenty-first-century skills.” Recently an expanding body of psychology research has brought the terms “triarchic intelligence,” “growth mindset” and “grit” into the vernacular. This collective set of lingo illustrates the ongoing search to distill what character traits put people... read more

The Flip Side

In our previous column, we outlined three different ways in which boarding schools organize support for students with learning differences. But the question remains: How do you know which of those options is the best for you child? The key to identifying the best school fit is to recognize where your child is in understanding his or her own learning profile.

Learning differences have their own trajectory in a student’s career. Families with curious, motivated children can be... read more

From the Quad

Expanding scientific research about connections between cognitive and noncognitive skills is creating new opportunities to discuss core values. Boarding schools have long recognized the relationship between character and the pursuit of academic and personal excellence. In connection with Audrey Noyes ... read more

Bertram News

Negotiating the College Process for Kids with LD and ADHD

Should you disclose a learning disability on your college application? What kind of accommodations can students expect in college classes? In the last decade, resources have greatly expanded for helping students with learning disabilities thrive in college. Educational consultant Deena Maerowitz discusses how to find a college that meets your needs—keeping considerations about learning disabilities in... read more

Action Steps

When students apply to boarding schools, admissions officers schedule separate interviews with candidates and their parents. Many parents wonder how their conversations affect an application. With the busiest season for interviews coming up, now is a good time for insight into how admissions officers see this element of an application. 

Erby Mitchell, Director of Admissions
Hotchkiss School, Connecticut

How does the meeting... read more

The Big Picture

Most students anticipate the start of each school year with eagerness—excited to see school friends daily and take on new challenges. Yet transitions are also difficult, as each year also brings uncertainty about constantly changing social circles and academic expectations. For students with anxiety these concerns can quickly become overwhelming. So how can parents distinguish between everyday growing pains and anxiety with deeper roots? And what is the next step for helping anxious... read more

Worthwhile Detours

After skyrocketing for decades, college tuition increases are now at the lowest rate ever, according to recent data from the U.S. Labor Department. Since 2006, average college tuition growth at public, four-year universities has exceeded inflation by 3.5 percent. From June 2016-17, that growth was 1.9 percent, while inflation was 2 percent. The reversal of the longtime trend comes about because college enrollment has dropped in recent years, and the number of 18- to 24-year-olds is projected... read more