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Back to School 2014


This time of year is full of energy as our Bertram candidates return from summer adventures refreshed and inspired. Some have sampled boarding school life through summer enrichment programs—and are now more eager than ever to identify the right fit for their secondary school home. Others engaged in service programs to benefit communities in the United States and abroad, or included college visits into their summer travels. Many families took advantage of the long days of summer to reflect on what is next in their children's educational journeys. As a result, our candidates are launching their boarding school and college searches with boundless enthusiasm and focus, keen to stretch their emerging maturity and leadership skills. At The Bertram Group, we will help each candidate find the school community where he or she will continue to thrive.

In this issue of Bertram Directions, we are delighted to feature guest interviews with headmasters from Christchurch School, in Virgina, and The Hill School, in Pennsylvania to discuss how much honor codes influence the culture of a school environment. We also offer a guest interview with expert career advisor Frank Schroeder, founder of Campus2Career, on the topic of making the transition to life after college.

Also in this issue:

  • Holly explores the role of competitive athletics in a student’s school career.
  • Audrey highlights the importance of community service in nurturing a well-rounded student.
  • Jeremy discusses societal trends that affect how this generation of teens experiences school and enters the workplace.
  • The Bertram News column announces our exciting new affiliation with Linden Boarding School Tours.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you.

Cammie Bertram and The Bertram Team

The Right Road

I have previously written about the importance of looking at a school holistically to find the best educational fit for a child. In addition to rigorous academics, Bertram families seek schools where students develop their values of ethics and... read more

From the Quad

One of parenthood's great joys is watching a child develop strength, skill, and a sense of teamwork in sports. From town leagues to travel teams, modern society offers a myriad of opportunities for young athletes to develop. Unfortunately, in today's prevalent culture, many children specialize too early, risking injury and burnout at a surprisingly young age.

In generations past, each sport was played in its season: children cycled through soccer or football in the fall, hockey or basketball in the winter, baseball or lacrosse in the spring, and swimming in the summer. Now, however, some teams in any given sport require year-round play for advancement. Thus athletes must choose one or maybe two sports at a very early age in order to have a manageable daily schedule. A... read more

Action Steps

When reviewing applications for boarding school, admission officers look for evidence of a child's character, as well as his or her leadership in academics, arts, and athletics. Community service is a wonderful way to demonstrate a student's integrity and interest in the world beyond themselves.

Many middle school students are already active in church youth groups, school service clubs, and family-based volunteerism. They read to elementary age students at school and help coach younger students at sports camp. They stock food pantry shelves, brighten the days of senior citizens, promote awareness of cancer research, and organize significant mitzvah projects. Being engaged in one's own community on a regular basis speaks volumes about a teen's ability to work with... read more

College Bound

Parents are always thinking about the career opportunities to come after their child's educational journey. This guest interview is with Frank Schroeder, founder of Campus2Career, a firm that helps adults in their 20's find not just jobs, but the right job on a career path. Frank has more than 30 years experience providing executive search and human resources planning, as well as general management, leadership coaching... read more

The Flip Side

Some coming-of-age challenges are so classic that they seem to have been hard-wired into our brain circuits, endured by adolescents for millennia. Other issues are unique to each era—leaving previous generations befuddled about the state of "kids today." One of the most common points of confusion I hear is when older generations wonder what could be the source of stress for today's teens. I can assure you that the pressures are real, as fundamental shifts in recent decades have changed the pathway to college in substantial ways.

Teachers now are required to pack more into the school day than ever before. At the same time, we've seen an increased emphasis on standardized testing. Thus assessment scores have become key factors in determining what courses students may take in high school, which then influences which colleges may consider them in the future. Students feel constant pressure as they try to maximize their opportunities amidst the increasingly... read more

Bertram News

The Bertram Group is excited to announce a new alliance with John A. Williamson, executive... read more

Sustainable Paths

Have you ever experienced a sense of calm while watching waves lap a rocky shore? The scientific research to explain why water profoundly affects our psyche is presented in Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better At What You Do. On the New York Times bestsellers list this August, Blue Mind is the result of an interdisciplinary approach to science, promoted by marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols.

In 1996 Dr. Nichols led the research team that tracked a loggerhead turtle for a year as it swam 9,000 miles from Mexico to Japan. This was the first animal to be followed on its journey across an entire ocean. Dr. Nichols has... read more

Worthwhile Detours

Research shows that listening to music while working can help us get focused and stay in the "zone." Yet not all music is equal for this task. Our favorite tunes can be distracting because our brains want to pay attention to those melodies and lyrics. Listening to instrumental music that does not command our attention, however, can stimulate the brain enough to help it block out other sensory stimuli that could distract us. The website www.... read more