The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 27, 2008

CCHS releases senior survey results

At Tuesday night’s Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) meeting, Guidance Department Chair Brad McGrath talked about the Senior Class Exit Survey results. Overall, students feel connected to the Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) and three-fourths of the seniors have been accepted to their first or second-choice college. Like last year, 63% of students applied Early Action or Early Decision. Of those, 61% of students were accepted.

Connections formed

Students were asked about connections to adults at the high school. Ninety-one percent said they were connected to at least one adult at CCHS. Thirty-two percent felt they were connected to one or two adults, 41% with three to five adults. McGrath said these high numbers were a reflection of the school and its many programs that reach out to students. He mentioned music, theater, clubs, sports and the radio station as great programs that make kids feel connected. In the survey, students said they were connected to teachers, counselors, coaches, club advisors, administrators and other adults at the high school.

RSC Chair Jerry Wedge asked, “How do we track the other 9% that don’t feel connected?” McGrath replied that the school has community service opportunities, work-study programs and “we continue to try to connect with all students.” RSC member Peter Fischelis suggested that with so many great opportunities to choose from, perhaps all students should be required to pick at least one to participate in. CCHS Principal Peter Badalament cautioned what should be required of students.

College applications still rising – now almost 9 per student

McGrath spoke about college statistics. The number of schools that seniors apply to continues to rise. For the Class of 2008, 29% of students applied to five to seven schools. This is up 1% from last year’s class. Twenty-eight percent applied to eight to ten schools compared to 18% of the previous year. Eight percent of the students applied to only one college, compared to 17% the previous year. Over a fifth of the class, 22% applied to more than 11 schools, this is a 2% increase over last year.

CCHS sent out more than 2600 transcripts for the Class of 2008, an increase of over 300 from last year. That’s a mean of 8.85 transcripts per student. McGrath said CCHS was looking into sending transcripts to colleges over the internet. He said colleges are not yet ready to receive them that way, but it is coming. A packet about CCHS goes out with every transcript. With kids applying to so many schools, that’s a lot of paper that has to be sent out.

This year, 45% of students will attend their first choice, compared to 55% of last year’s class. Twenty-five percent of students will attend their second choice, compared to 20% of last year’s class. Last year, 11% of students went to their third choice school, this year, 15% will attend their third choice school. This year, 45% of students reported applying for financial aid, and 20% reported that financial aid was a major factor in where they enrolled.

Colleges saw record numbers of applications this year. McGrath had another statistic: 71% of students with a 3.5 – 4.0 GPA (grade point average) were admitted to their first or second choice schools and 83% of students with a 3.0 – 3.49 GPA (grade point average) were admitted to their first or second choice schools.

SAT scores improved

Median SAT scores also rose slightly. The median SAT Critical Reading score for the Class of 2008 is 610, compared to 600 from last year’s class. The median SAT Math score for the Class of 2008 is 630, compared to 620 from last year’s class. The median SAT Writing score for the Class of 2008 is 610, compared to 600 from last year’s class. RSC member Louis Salemy commented that the SAT scores were consistently high from year to year.

College search software package provides “reality check”

McGrath said that Naviance, a web-based software program that was brought in several years ago, “has been a good reality check for folks.” McGrath said the tool has improved college and career planning activities. The tool helps students research different career paths and identify potential majors. It allows students to compare their test scores against other CCHS graduates who were accepted and rejected at each school. Wedge said “Naviance has been an unbelievable help, from a parent’s point of view.”

Also, McGrath talked about programs his department runs for juniors, seniors and their parents. “Junior Night” which is held in February, now has mini-workshops on a variety of topics including: stress management, college interviews, parents’ role, armed services opportunities, an introduction to Naviance, Early Decision/Early Action programs, preparation of art portfolios and information for student athletes. “We continue to adjust the programs each year…Our kids do quite well.” ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito