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Revisit day impressions

dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 479 replies29 threads Member
This thread is for people to consolidate their impressions of schools they have revisited. Also, please list any specific questions you asked, whom you asked, and what the answer was. (I know there are older threads with revisit info but I think current insight is always helpful)
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Replies to: Revisit day impressions

  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 479 replies29 threads Member
    Groton revisit day today:
    I thought the faculty and staff was amazingly welcoming. The two classes I went to I wanted to raise my hand and participate, the teachers were so enthusiastic. The other parents I met were great, some I could tell we’d be friends right away. There was refreshingly little uber privilege on display, I was expecting a lot of very clearly super wealthy. The parent panel had some really funny parents who continually commented on how groton is a family.

    I was surprised that I wasn’t blown away by the kids. I thought they would all be superstars. The host kids were definitely not overly prepped for their tasks and were totally just normal kids. I think my kid was disappointed in some of the classes she visited. She commented that in one kids didn’t seem to get what the teacher was talking about but weren’t really engaged or taking notes. She said all the kids she met who already attend were nice though. She didn’t get to interact with potential students beyond one or two and she was very lukewarm about them.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1840 replies34 threads Senior Member
    I'm hoping @janehoya will visit this thread and tell us all about her family's visit to Thacher!
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  • sparkatzzsparkatzz 197 replies2 threads Junior Member
    For anyone that went to revisits or volunteered at a revisit, how do you usually get paired with the student host? I'm really interested in CS so I really want to go to a related class on that day if possible.
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  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 479 replies29 threads Member
    @sparkatzz Does the admissions office know about your interest in CS? My kid was paired with someone based on an interest the school knew about.
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  • vwlizardvwlizard 319 replies33 threads Member
    Well, the most exciting thing about our scheduled revisit on Tuesday is that the forecast doesn't predict rain. This will be our fourth visit and the first that isn't during a snow/ rain storm. We were concerned that after the first 3, it would be wet EVERY time we visited for the next 4 years.
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  • vegas1vegas1 584 replies2 threads Member
    @sparkatzz if you aren’t paired up with someone that has CS on revisit day, it can’t hurt to ask your host if any of their friends are in a CS class. When our kids were hosts in the past, it was commonplace for kids to “pass” guests to friends to see a class/sport they were inteserested in.
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  • misslilbookwormmisslilbookworm 193 replies2 threads Junior Member
    My visit back day is Tuesday, and I could not be more excited
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  • sparkatzzsparkatzz 197 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @dogsmama1997 @vegas1 Thank you! I think they know my CS interests but I emailed the AO to make sure.
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  • YoungThriverYoungThriver 468 replies45 threads Member
    edited March 30
    Exeter revisit 3/28:

    I was paired up with an upper and I visited her STEM classes. Harkness is a great pedagogy but I found that STEM courses like Chemistry can fare well without it. In chemistry, the teacher spoke 50-60% of the time. It was almost a lecture. I honestly expected this because students would need detailed explanations from teachers to understand certain advanced topics, since they wouldn’t be able to get it from their equally perplexed peers. For math, the teacher was involved 20-30% of the time and I did see more student collaboration than I did in chem. Please tell me if your experience with Harkness in STEM courses differed.

    All in all, my day at PEA was great. I wish I could experience it all over again. It’s been a while since I had school lunch that was both delicious and healthy. Am I the only one who has never tried vegetable pasta?

    The students seemed happy overall, which I liked.
    edited March 30
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  • SquashPlayer123SquashPlayer123 13 replies0 threads New Member
    Exeter Revisit 3/29

    The day started off with some breakfast. We heard from the principal and then a student panel. The student panel was great because they answered a lot of the questions that I had. I was also paired up with an upper and I went to English, Math , and Spanish. Harkness was AMAZING for English. I think the teacher only spoke 5-10% of the time. I was able to understand a book that I had never read before after their discussion. For Math the students went up and did their problems and explained to their peers. I didn't understand anything (it was advanced calculus) but I could see that the students were genuinely learning. @YoungThriver I learned that Harkness isn't only round table discussion. Harkness can be many other things. It is more student collaboration than discussion. Spanish Class was pretty cool even though I don't know any spanish. The kids were just speaking Spanish. I probably only heard 3 sentences of English that entire class which was really cool.

    I agree that the lunch at PEA was very good. I also attended the Athletes dinner which was great as well. I got to meet lots of current students and people I would meet on the squash team next year.

    The students showed me that Classes at Exeter are hard but are very rewarding. They also showed me that as long as you stay on top of your work there is plenty of time for fun.
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  • sparkatzzsparkatzz 197 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Credits to the original post of @SevenDad a few years ago, these are some questions that you can answer as for the revisit impression:

    - Basic format/schedule of your revisit day
    - Did the revisit confirm your interest in the school or did it dissuade you from matriculating?
    - What specific things about the revisit pushed you in either direction?
    - Did you learn anything new/surprising about the school?
    - Something you wish you had learned which you didn't
    - How was the food?
    - How were the classes you sat in on?
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  • YoungThriverYoungThriver 468 replies45 threads Member
    I learned that Harkness isn't only round table discussion. Harkness can be many other things. It is more student collaboration than discussion.

    I totally agree but an integral part of Harkness, or so I was told, was the little to no teacher involvement so that the students may run the class themselves. In Chem, the teacher definitely ran the class.
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  • Boarding2019Boarding2019 32 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Hotchkiss Revisit 2019 (also Deerfield, and admitted to SPS but no revisit):

    The revisits confirmed and reinforced my sense that Hotchkiss felt like the best fit for me, but more importantly I think I will like the boarding experience and could be happy at a lot of schools. Throughout the process I felt connected to the admissions, coaches and students I had met, and they were fantastic at revisit. I think I was always leaning toward Hotchkiss, and revisits didn't push me, but confirmed my gut feel. I did see firsthand how Hotchkiss' large main school building (and the science building next door) keeps kids together during the day, which I really like and makes it easy to connect. All 3 schools have beautiful campuses, and I realize I am drawn to the views of the lake and golf course. I also liked being able to easily wander over to the arts and music wings just to hang out and see people practicing or see what they are working on.

    I liked the classes at revisits, and I saw close-up how they blow away the classes at my current, fairly well-known, private school. The teachers treated the kids like adults, allowed a lot of discussion and interaction, and was less formal than my current rules-bound school. I am asked all the time why I want to go to boarding school, and now I can say one big reason is the quality of the teaching and classroom discussion.

    Specifics: All 3 schools have somewhat similar Pros (size, nice campus, athletic fit, resources), so revisits really confirmed my desire to go to boarding school more than helped me make a choice. I think boarding school will provide a high quality and welcome style of teaching, atmosphere, camaraderie, beauty of campus, ease of transition between academics during the day and clubs/sports in the afternoon/evening. Cons: not seeing my siblings as much.

    For me the bigger decision was whether to go to boarding school or not, and the lesser decision was to choose among boarding schools. I think I would be happy at any of the schools I've visited since last summer and enjoy the great teachers, make friends, play my sports and add a new one, and prep for college.
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  • misslilbookwormmisslilbookworm 193 replies2 threads Junior Member
    SAS revisit:

    Absolutely loved every minute of it. The kids I met were really nice. I've never been in a coed school, so that aspect was a little strange for me, but I think that I will like the fact that it is different.

    I learned about awesome clubs that I want to join next year, and my guide was super nice. The family style meals was a huge hit for me and my dad, we both felt like we were welcomed.

    I was very impressed with the Latin and History teachers; the classes seemed engaging while also the students learned a lot.
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  • boymom928boymom928 14 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Groton revisit great. Got to sit in on several classes and also attended a college counseling session which highlighted the ways the kids are supported at this school. Was very impressed with overall visit. Felt like I was visiting family and just a warm small school fee. Crew Coach was so accommodating. Felt like Groton showed you the real school and no gimmicks to lure kids. Impressed that one kid had a huge Trump banner in his room and everyone respected this. That said A LOT about inclusion.

    SPS revisit was more fluff with no real classes, never saw in dorms and kids looked scruffy. But faculty were amazing and there was an energetic vibe and very outgoing, type A kids. My son LOVED it, especially some glow in dark performance (fluff) but my heart was breaking thinking he might be forgetting his love of Groton. So tough to keep personal opinions mute.

    Deerfield this Friday. Three revisits are TOO MUCH. I feel that the last school is going to be the one they lean to because of memory.

    Tough choice between these 3. Plus another school revisiting 2 other schools!
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  • boymom928boymom928 14 replies1 threads Junior Member
    should read another "son."
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1840 replies34 threads Senior Member
    @boymom928 You have some wonderful options. You really can't go wrong.

    I do wonder about having kids who aren't even freshmen yet attend a college counseling session?

    Our school discourages freshmen from thinking about college. Their perspective is that freshmen and sophomores should focus on exploring new interests and making the most of high school, and that those kids who really push themselves to do that (without being inhibited by what might look good on a resume or application) are the ones who usually get the best college placements, come across as most authentic, and have the healthiest outlook (less stress/anxiety about the process). But I digress.

    Anyway... good luck choosing between three great schools.
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  • PublisherPublisher 8899 replies107 threads Senior Member
    @Calimex: I think that Groton may be courting the parents with the college counseling sessions.
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  • sparkatzzsparkatzz 197 replies2 threads Junior Member
    St. Mark's Revisit: (student perspective, kinda long)

    The basic format of the revisit: After checking in and a brief opening (watching two videos), we sat in three classes with the host, respectively Sophomore English, Regular Bio, and a free period during which we played a few games. We also went to the school meeting in between the classes. Afterwards, we went to a student panel and then lunch. There were option dorm visits after the lunch and that summed up the day.

    I'm still unsure after the revisit as there were things that pushed towards enrolling as well as things that dissuaded it (I tried to be very rational during the revisit since it's an important decision). I loved the campus – it was absolutely gorgeous. I love how their school meeting was set up with everyone being together, sitting in sofas, standing, and talking, and the spirit was great.

    The first class that I sat in was English. One thing I noticed that they weren't using a Harkness table although they were sitting in a circle (some classrooms had them) and that kind of blocked the conversation somewhat. The students were engaged although the teacher talked 50% of the time. The second class was Bio Regular and they were doing a lab. There were a lot of collaborations, and one student told me: "If you do decide to come here, take more complicated classes" ;) (the class was pretty easy since it's regular, not sure what the advanced classes look like). The STEM building was amazing. The free period was just some games and the faculty that ran it seemed to be a fun person. The student panel was kind of weird. They had a few students making speeches instead of interview-type conversations which I know most schools do. So they were reading straight off the scripts without giving new information, but that's mostly a revisit-planning thing rather than anything about the school itself.

    In general, I felt that the students seemed happy and laid-back. We got a lot of information on the Lion Term, St. Mark's Saturdays and other fellowships and opportunities, and I had the chance to speak to their robotics coach briefly who seemed to be a really nice guy. I have to emphasize this–their entire base floor of STEM building is dedicated to Robotics and Engineering, and it's the most impressive thing I've seen at any prep schools I've visited. I loved it but it was kind of a pity that the coach was heading to a CS class. The dorms were kind of far and the common room is relatively small but was in a nice setting with a lake right next to it (and angry geese, said one student).

    The food was indeed marginal as @buuzn03 told me earlier, so anyone visiting SM later this week, get some food before the day starts! In general, I feel like SM is a great place and indeed a tight-knit community that is thriving and on the move. I talked to the head of school as well as their monitor during lunch and had a great time (despite the food quality). I do feel like the Revisit day can be planned better because it was very rushed, so I still have some questions that I will probably email the students/teachers. I wished I could sit in more classes but it was pretty good.
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  • sparkatzzsparkatzz 197 replies2 threads Junior Member
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