Wait-listed at first choice high school - any hope?
Our son has applied to the Athenian School in Danville this year for high school and is wait-listed. His grades are outstanding, he has strong letters of recommendations, extracurriculars that he is genuinely dedicated to and apparently did quite well during interviews based on feedback -- but most importantly, every cell in his body is sure that the Athenian School is the right school for him. It all just clicked for him. At his last school, his main struggle was the traditional one-way academic instruction. He loves learning actively and curiously, so he didn't get stellar grades there. Not surprisingly, a couple of his former classmates who thrived in the previous school weren't really feeling Athenian when they visited.
We actually decided to let him try a different school for eighth grade, and are wondering if that is the issue? Maybe the school thinks there is something funny going on there, but there really isn't, he was just deeply unhappy. We realize it was an unconventional choice, but we also believe that there are times when change is required to get a different outcome. We explored the first choice 1) teaching our child how to "shrink" just enough to fit into the box and find whatever joy he can out of it, or 2) try a different environment -- also to make sure it isn't just him. But when we saw his light start to fade, we went for #2 and had him try an experiential school, and voila! Our bright, enthusiastic learner and performer was back! There are many parallels between his current school and Athenian, which is why I think it clicked -- he now knows it when he sees it.
Here's the thing: we know our son will figure out how to do okay wherever he goes. He committed to that. His attitude is that he hopes and dreams Athenian will give him a chance, but that everything happens for a reason so he'll accept the outcome. He's more mature now and can handle whatever environment, but we just hope he doesn't turn into the jaded student who is just going through the grind, like I was frankly.
Does anyone have insight into chances, or ways he or us as parents might have dropped the ball? We are pretty typical suburban parents -- not in powerful or elite positions, nor are we underprivileged. I wonder if we were supposed to hire a special consultant or missed some other strategy that parents "in the know" do. We really let him handle everything because we wanted him to enjoy the fruits of his labor, fully expecting a different outcome based on what we saw. Now I wonder if we hurt his chances.