You have Options!

Nora Dowd, Student-Reporter

Do you know your highschool options? Every year, 8th graders and their parents have to decide what educational choice to make after middle school. There are many options for highschool, whether that means, different public school programs like the IB program at Washington Liberty, or a private highschool like the Potomac School. But with the pandemic, making this decision has become even more difficult and challenging. So I think that every “upcoming-Freshman” needs to research and explore what’s out there so they can find the best option for themselves.

There are many options for highschool in the Arlington area. The Arlington area has very good schools with a graduation rate of about 95%. APS is ranked the top school district in Virginia and in the top 2% of most challenging schools in America. There is the standard public highschool, Yorktown, which is a very good option. Yorktown is highly ranked nationally and is a very good fit for many students. There is also Arlington Tech, Thomas Jefferson and The Washington Lee IB program. Arlington tech is a project-based learning highschool. Thomas Jefferson Highschool for Science and Technology is ranked #1 public highschool in the nation. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a nonprofit education program that happens to be offered at the Washington Lee high school. It is very rigorous and challenging but also a very good fit for many students. These are only a few of the options in Arlington. 

There are also countless private high school options in our area. Each private high school has a different mission or purpose. Some schools are very creative and progressive, like The Field School. Other schools are more academically based, like Sidwell Friends. Some schools have religious values like Bishop O’Connell. There are all-girls/boys schools and boarding schools. Mani Parcham, an 8th grade English teacher at WMS, said: “Many students choose to go to different schools than Yorktown but Yorktown suits lots of students very very well.” 

So how do you find the right school? Well first you have to identify what you want out of your highschool experience. I personally want a school that I will be challenged but not stressed and that has a good sports program. 8th grader Josh Bodenstein said: “It’s not really about how good of an education you will get, it’s about how much you will enjoy it.” Which is such a good point because all the schools in our area a very very good and finding the right highschool is just about finding what is right for you.

In our area, you can definitely find the right high school for you. I really recommend to further look at your options and see what may be best for you.  Finding the right high school is really important because it affects your whole life. Being in a good highschool that fits your needs prepares you for college and life. High School is so important because it is a big developmental period in life. It shapes you for college and your future job, even if you don’t know what it will be. Know that you have options now so you can have options in the future.