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Winter 2020


Welcome to “reading season.” This is what admissions officers call the period after January application deadlines when they pore over and discuss thousands of candidate files to assemble classes of incoming students. In general, acceptances for the primary admission cycle are announced by boarding schools on March 10, by colleges by April 1, and by independent day schools in a similar window. For families, this is an excellent time to rest and recharge before the flurry of excitement that comes with processing acceptances, attending re-visit days and making final decisions. Make time to celebrate the completion of applications as an important milestone—representing the culmination of months of research and personal growth.

Meanwhile, at The Bertram Group, we continue to keep in touch with candidates and admissions officers to share new developments that arise, and to support candidates as they complete interviews and follow up on outstanding items. We also are getting to know families who are launching school searches now for the next school year, as well as those who are planning for the fall of 2021. Even after the primary admission season concludes, many excellent schools continue to review applications and accept students throughout the year.

As you’ll see in the articles below, we are constantly inspired by the families and schools with whom we work. It is truly a pleasure to take this journey with you.

In this issue:

  • Audrey continues her series on research-based innovation with an interview with Gwyneth Connell at Pomfret School.
  • Deena offers perspective on students choosing a college major.
  • Krissy outlines what to look for when students transition from therapeutic programs to traditional schools.
  • I reflect on the global trend of teen activism.
  • Worthwhile Detours offers a profile of a unique summer camp that combines sailing and community.

Also, don’t miss Holly’s recent column that outlines key phases in the admissions cycle.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you.

Cammie Bertram and the Bertram Team

From the Quad

In the constantly changing landscape of the 21st century, questions about how humans learn, think, and apply knowledge take on increasing importance. Fortunately, we live in a dynamic era for brain science, when advances in brain imaging and new ways of modeling are filling in profound pieces of this puzzle. Researchers are also approaching this question holistically, exploring what types of environments and stimuli best facilitate the growth mindset that fosters lifelong learning... read more

College Bound

The quest to choose a college major sometimes sparks friction between young adults and their parents. With decades in the workforce, parents are a repository of valuable insights on career trajectories. Meanwhile, students bring a fresh perspective shaped by the particularities of each generation. Having observed many college searches, I can assure both students and parents that no college major is an automatic ticket for success. The best choice of college major depends on each student... read more

Bertram Connections

Imagine yourself on a sailboat, skimming the sparkling waters of Long Island Sound. Working as a cohesive unit with your peers, you take pride in your ability to gauge the wind, maintain balance, and manipulate a complex system of ropes and pulleys to cruise smoothly to your destination. All the while, you are learning important scientific principles about marine ecology and fundamental physics. “Sailing is hands-on, experiential learning that builds community and confidence,”... read more

The Flip Side

Families whose students are in therapeutic programs sometimes worry about admissions deadlines at this time of year. Their students are busy regaining equilibrium while application milestones for boarding and many day schools pass by. Anticipating that students will have completed their programs before next fall, parents are eager to plan for the transition back to a traditional school. Students, however, may need more time to be in a healthy, confident frame of mind for the stress of... read more

The Big Picture

In 2014, at the age of 17, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, honoring her advocacy for the right of all children to get an education. In 2018 students from Parkland, Florida, catalyzed a national discussion about U.S. gun violence after tragedy befell their school. Last fall Swedish teen Greta Thunberg captured international attention as she sailed across the ocean from Sweden to New York to address the United Nations on the topic of climate change... read more