Rigorous applications + 8th grade high school prep

The 8th grade application season is upon us, and our students have begun their serious exploration of their neighborhood high schools, Highline choice schools, charter schools, and private schools!  Toward that end, our 8th graders must complete at least one “rigorous application” before graduating Rainier Prep. This entails applying to at least one school, program, internship, or job shadow that requires an essay, resume or cover letter.  Through this process students gain invaluable college and career experience as they learn how to navigate application processes, complete forms, communicate with community members, and choose how they will describe themselves and their future plans to various audiences.  

Over 40% of our current 8th grade students have chosen to undergo the complex task of applying to private school. This process can be even more difficult than college applications, and for most of our families, this is their first time applying to private school.  Rainier Prep supports our students and families through in-school advisory lessons as well as workshops outside of school staffed by over 40 community volunteers.

Thanks to the great achievements of our students, the incredible efforts of our families, and the support of Rainier Prep staff and volunteers our alums attend 11 different private schools. These include The Bush School, The Downtown School, Exeter, Holy Names, Lakeside, Kennedy Catholic, The Northwest School, O’Dea, Seattle Academy, Seattle Prep, and University Prep. These students have received over 1.83 million dollars in financial aid, with each alum receiving some type of aid and 13 students receiving full or near-full financial aid for all four years of high school. 

Exploring private schools is only part of the overall effort.  We will host a Highline Choice Night here, so students and families can learn more about their options based on their addresses.  Charter high schools visit Rainier Prep so our students can ask questions about the challenges and opportunities that await them.  Finally, we work as closely as possible with the various neighborhood high schools so they understand more about our students as well as their goals for continued challenge and growth.  

Shannon Moe is our Dean of College Success.