By Elizabeth Python, Director of Placement. This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 issue of Gaynor Gazette.
You might be thinking, “It’s my student’s last year at Gaynor – OH NO!”
No need to panic! Once the final year at Gaynor begins, families are guided through every aspect of the placement process. The cycle of placement is well established and time tested, with a timeline keeping all team members on schedule; the process is unique to each student. The individualized approach Gaynor provides each student in the classroom is the same approach we use in placement. What “fits” for one student may not “fit” for another, even if they have followed similar trajectories through Gaynor’s clusters and groups.
So what goes into finding the right fit? Let’s break it down:
Some “fit” characteristics are on the surface:
- Type of academic environment – continuing special education, mainstream schools with established support programs, mainstream schools, private schools, public schools, and boarding schools.
- Teaching style – traditional or progressive.
- Location – Manhattan, Queens, Westchester, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or California.
- Commuting distance – a walk down the street, 30 minutes in an Uber, or an hour on the 2 train.
- Cost – is tuition reimbursable? Is financial aid available?
The finer details behind “fit” are fine-tuned as families attend open houses, tours, information sessions, and interviews. Any opportunity to get the inside story of the world of a school is one to take advantage of.
How does the Placement Office help?
Following many layers of collaboration with teachers and specialists, Head of School Scott Gaynor, Assistant Head of School Jill Thompson, Division Directors, and the Director of Placement establish a list of recommended schools for each graduating student. A year and a half before graduation, parents/guardians are presented with this list, an overview of the schools, the placement timeline, and how to best prepare for this process. At the same time, students begin a year-long transition curriculum that helps them prepare their application essays and excel in their interviews.
As the team navigates the application process, the Placement Office, teachers, specialists, and administrators provide guidance and support to families so our graduates feel comfortable and confident as they receive their admissions decisions, weigh their options, and complete their individualized journey to a final decision.