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A Word From Our Experts: After RCDS by Brandon Horner

A Word From Our Experts: After RCDS by Brandon Horner

RCDS is thrilled to present "A Word From Our Experts", a monthly blog-like piece authored by our expert team of faculty and staff. See here for a word from RCDS's Director of Secondary School Placement and Upper School English Teacher Brandon Horner who shares his expertise on when and how to plan for the next steps after RCDS.  

One of the former Heads of The Rumson Country Day School used to tell a remarkable story. Decades ago, he entered his office one morning to find an inquiring parent waiting for him. The parent was interested in The Rumson Country Day School for his first child, who was not yet even born. When the Head of School asked why the parent was so eager to begin this process, he had a startling reason.

He had done his homework, he said. He was intent on his first (unborn!) child attending a certain university, and the school which sent the most students to that university was a certain boarding school, and the school which sent the most students to that boarding school was, you guessed it, RCDS.

Which is to say, parents have always been looking down the road for their children. Some just use binoculars. 

But how could the parent know who his child would be? What she or he would love? Where they would shine and where they would struggle?

Equally, how could he know what those schools would be like in fifteen years? Schools are always changing, adapting, progressing, regressing. 

There was simply no way of knowing if all three of those schools, including RCDS, would be the right fit for that child.

This is why my first encouragement to parents who are considering high school for their children is to throw out most of what they’ve planned for their child. Jettison the decisions you made for him or her when they were five, or ten, or even last year. Look at them now, and then do your best to factor in all the changes that might occur in your child by the time they graduate eighth grade. 

This is hard to do! But one of the things that makes it easier is to resolve not to rule anything out. If you’ve never considered boarding school, go to our annual Secondary School Fair and talk to some of the representatives about your child. Visit the campus of a single-sex school, even if your child seems averse to it. Children change in remarkable, unpredictable ways throughout middle school. Embrace that idea and see it as a springboard for unexpected opportunities. Look, openly and honestly, at ALL the options.

I hope you will all be able to attend our annual Secondary School Fair on Tuesday, September 17th. The fair is exclusive to the RCDS community from 3:00 to 4:30 PM, and then open to the public from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. We’re excited to host over sixty schools, including local private day and parochial schools, and boarding schools from all over the country. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see the breadth of options our graduates have in front of them. 

  • A Word from Our Experts