by Allen W '20

Choosing the Right High School: 3 Case Studies

Every year around early March, eighth graders have to make the decision of whether they want to stay in BSGE or attend another school for high school. Though many students decide to stay in this school, some decide to switch. Their new schools are different from BSGE and students take time to adapt to their environments. Two former BSGE eighth graders and a current BSGE freshman were interviewed about their thoughts on their current high schools.

The first student interviewed was Sasha Spajic ‘19. She chose to go to Stuyvesant High School, a Specialized High School in Manhattan. Sasha commented that there are many more clubs and activities offered at Stuyvesant, which she attributed to its larger physical size and student population. She also said that people appeared to be in a greater rush to get somewhere during and after school, which was different from the somewhat laid-back atmosphere at Baccalaureate.  She continued by saying, “Stuyvesant was hard to adapt to at first, unlike BSGE where I was able to make friends quickly.” Nonetheless, she chose to attend Stuyvesant rather than BSGE because she believed that Stuyvesant offered more courses, academic activities,  and after-school activities to choose from. The major downside for her is that Stuyvesant is less accessible, since she lives in Queens but Stuyvesant is downtown. The only similarity Sasha mentioned is that she didn’t feel a change in the workload in either school.

The next student we talked to was Aaron Magloire ‘19. He now attends St. Paul’s School, abbreviated SPS, which is a boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire. Because it’s a boarding school, all the students and most of the faculty live on campus. Aaron said, “SPS is much bigger and much more extensive in terms of resources and facilities. There are more sports teams, more class options, [and] more clubs.” A private school, SPS has a larger budget than BSGE, and so the school experience is very different. Aaron continued to say that “there’s a lot more rumor-spreading about people behind their backs than there was at BSGE, but it’s expected when you live with all your classmates. However, it’s a lot easier to make friends with older students here than at BSGE because not every class is separated by grade and the dorms are mixed in terms of grade so you have to get to know older people, whereas at BSGE there was nothing forcing you to talk to older kids.” He mentions that the administration at SPS is far less genuine and involved than at BSGE. When asked if leaving BSGE was the right choice, he replied, “I can’t really say whether it was the right or wrong choice because I’ve only been here for four months, but it was probably the right thing to do.”

Finally interviewed was Ona Carranza ’19, who chose to stay at BSGE for high school. She didn’t put much effort into trying to switch schools, because she saw no point in doing so. “BSGE is just fine for me because it offers all of the courses I need,” she said. When asked about the lack of extracurriculars, she said, “you can make just about any club you want to make if you put in some work.” In fact, along with a friend of hers, Ona created a volleyball club this year that she co-manages. Ona continued to say that the school could be bigger, but it really isn’t practical to increase student population since there are few faculty members. Nonetheless, this doesn’t get in the way of her school experience. She mentioned that she is doing fine in her classes and has a close-knit community of friends here. Furthermore, Ona thinks the IB program along with MYP will be helpful for preparing for college and beyond.

Each of these three students chose to go their different ways for high school, but interestingly enough they were all satisfied with their final choices. This goes to show that in the end, choosing a high school should be based on your own preferences, and what type of school you want to attend. Regardless of what choice you make, you’ll be happy with a school that’s right for you.


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