Potential problem with recs/transcripts and Gateway, etc

So, my child is going to apply for boarding schools this year for 2022 and we have started the Gateway application. The “reach” schools he is looking at seem to be there, but the more accessible programs/less selective ones of interest are found in SAO. We are casting the wide net as suggested by all!

The issue is his public school is extremely dysfunctional and just getting one transcript sent to one school will be like pulling teeth. Sending transcripts to two application portals, as well as to two local schools, seems impossible. I know this should be easy, but our current school system is failing in many ways.

To further complicate things, one teacher has already made clear she is hired to teach and not write recs. My son is not singled out in her animosity towards children. She is generally rude and unkind to all her students and tells them she will only do the bare minimum to keep her job. Her recommendation, if she gives one (required subject), is a wildcard at best. Asking her to submit to multiple websites when she “isn’t paid to do that” will be an extreme challenge.

So, my question is…how can I get around the wildcard recommendation? Can all the recs, for instance, be sent through the counselor’s office or principal’s office even if written by different teachers? Or does the email address need to be different? I want them to be seen by other adult eyes before being sent and also not have to rely on the teacher to submit multiple times.

Also, are there any forms to fill out, like check boxes on the recommendation part of the portals (does homework on time, behavior, etc.), or is it just cut and paste the rec?

I would feel much more comfortable having the recs sent to guidance first, and then relying on guidance to send them out electronically. Just not sure if that is possible. Any suggestions?

I’m curious why not just switch all applications to SAO? I have found that schools added themselves to SAO over the last two weeks.

We had to use fee waivers and they have already been submitted, along with part one of gateway. I wasn’t aware some might be switching over. At this point, we’re stuck using both.

I do see some schools on both, but you cannot actually apply to all of them through SAO. On their listing, it says “go to our website”, then under Admissions it “apply through gateway”.

There are some schools that are exclusively on Gateway, and some schools that are on both, but prefer gateway. Unfortunately, there is no getting around this. For at least one of the sites, you can see what the teacher recommendations look like. If I remember correctly, there is a “check the box” section, and then there is a comments section. So while some of it may cut and paste easily, not all of it will.

Hopefully someone else can chime in on how to work with a difficult teacher…surely you aren’t the first parent to deal with this!! At worst, I’d guess you can contact the schools to which your child is applying, explain the situation, and ask if a different teacher (perhaps one from the same subject from last year) can do the recommendation.

By an unfortunate change of staff, she is a repeat teacher from last year! Actually, both Math and English are repeats.

Sounds lovely. My kid had an English teacher who like her (only like, not love, as she’s “too old” - he was busted down from the HS to MS after marrying a barely former student). Perhaps, like my kid, your kid will win the teacher over. (Actually told my kid, “I wouldn’t want my kids to go to this school.”)

Prep schools get applications from all kind of schools. I suspect that they can tell if a letter of rec was written by a jaded indifferent teacher who’s just clocking the days to retirement. Think of this as fitting into you narrative in your Parent Statement that you want more for your child… and how your child can add to the diversity .

I would consider asking a teacher in a related subject to write a supplemental recc.

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Well, I guess at least she’s not a creep!

She absolutely won’t approve of the schools, as in why isn’t our LPS good enough for him? She has already told him he needs to do the local IB program and rolled her eyes at his idea of attending private school.

He is actually one of her favorites if you can call “least hated” a favorite. She’s a young teacher who does not love her profession and is punching a clock. Of course, I would tell her how I feel…except I need the rec first!

There is another teacher I can ask in addition who I hope would be good, as well as a personal reference if that many recs are allowed.

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I think the best you can do is talk about this as a factor for moving to BS in your interviews - please note - you need to make sure you can talk about it in a very matter of fact and not irate way! There is a fine line between “here’s my legitimate need for your BS” and sounding like a meddlesome, trouble seeking parent.

You will write about it in your parent essays, again, in a very carefully crafted statement that explains why your kid and family really needs to go to BS.

Submit as many extra recommendations as possible. I normally do not suggest this, but in your case I think it’s a good idea. You can explain in your interview that you are going to submit extra recs for this reason. Again, not in a whiny way, just matter of fact.

When it is time to submit transcripts you will talk to the people in the admissions office and explain that you are trying your best and that the school is not organized enough to accomplish these tasks. I think in the end you will be ok.

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Can anyone please explain this to me? What are the two different things they want? These sound like the same things to me. Is it the difference between “official” and “unofficial”? Wouldn’t they both be official coming straight from the school?

  1. This Transcript Report (submit at conclusion of school’s first grading period): The school official submitting the Transcript Report should also upload the transcript and current marking period grades
  2. Official Transcript (submit at conclusion of school’s first grading period)