The Value of a Ninth Grade Year
The Senior Year Offers a Profound Opportunity for Personal Growth
Rumsey’s VIIth Form (9th Grade) academic program offers appropriate challenges and preparation for the curricula at secondary schools around the world. Our VIIth Form program allows students to enter secondary school fully grounded with a sense of purpose and energy. Buoyed by their successful experiences in leadership and the School’s mission to be a successful and contributing member of the community, students move forward as confident, adventurous young people who are self-assured and resilient.
"When we asked Logan to reminisce on his 9th Grade year at Rumsey—he smiled. He commented that he gained a sense of independence and that his greatest achievement was earning the Commencement Prize for Best All Around Male Athlete. That award was a remarkable ending to a nice year, and the final year of his Rumsey education.
We always felt that Logan had the independence to go to a boarding prep school. And Logan had always envisioned graduating from a boarding school. We wanted to make sure that Logan was actually prepared—for the homework load, the proctored study hall, the academic rigor (AND the responsibility), a roommate, the laundry, time management and peer pressure. We wanted him to experience his 9th Grade year, realizing independence, before heading off to the very competitive setting of a boarding school. Being 6 hours away, he would have to learn to lean on his friends, the faculty and himself.
Rumsey showed Logan, and us, that he was ready for the next step! He gained the independence he was searching for and we saw that he could manage on his own. With the guidance and encouragement of all of the coaches, faculty, and dorm parents of Rumsey Hall School (including our dear friends, the Hoenigers), Logan reached his full potential."
Kendall and Tommy Adams, parents of Logan ’11 and Colin ’14
“We considered moving Louise to a high school for 9th Grade, but we were so happy with her progress at Rumsey and saw there was still so much more to take advantage of – including the experience of spending 9th Grade as a “Senior” instead of a “Freshman” – that it really seemed best to have her stay at Rumsey. We couldn’t have made a better decision.
Fran Ryan is the absolute maestro of matriculation. His reassuring knowledge of every twist and turn of the complex, daunting and sometimes nerve-wracking process of establishing a relationship with a new school was both impressive and infinitely helpful.
Louise was unsure at first whether she could find a place in highly competitive team sports at a school with the athletic reputation of Rumsey, but she was able to hone her fundamentals for a couple of years in JV before earning a varsity slot in her last year, in fact being named “Most Improved” on the Tennis Team! The extra year in the sports program really made a tremendous difference in Louise’s contribution and her enjoyment of the game.
It was so helpful to have Louise’s initial encounters with the special challenges of honors curricula occur in the familiar, supportive community of Rumsey. Her Rumsey network of teachers and advisors was instrumental in helping Louise ‘step up’ – taking her game to a higher level and making the adjustments to the workload and expectations of honors studies successfully.
It is hard to imagine how Louise could be any better prepared for the academic and social challenges of high school. Her final year as a Senior at Rumsey has given her special opportunities to act as a mentor to younger classmates, to step up to leadership roles in activities important to her, and given her new levels of poise and confidence.”
Ron and Mary Gagnon, parents of Louise ’14
“9th Grade at Rumsey Hall was a magical and defining year for our children, Macaulay, Sasha and Andre. Though very different personalities, they all started the year with the same mixed emotions: confidence in a school they knew and loved and in which they felt great pride; anticipation and anxiety about high school as it loomed up ahead. 9th Grade proved to be the perfect bridge between Middle School and High School. Our children were given new academic challenges and were expected to display new levels of accountability. They developed a greater sense of commitment to their community and to themselves. The year gave them the confidence, energy and determination to succeed in high school and beyond.”
May and Egils Bogdanovics P ’06, ’08, ’12
The Rumsey Hall Faculty is expert at adolescence. There is no other time of life that provides as many crossroads and is as dynamic as the early teenage years. As our adolescents here at Rumsey face all the challenges their development presents, we stand alone at providing the guidance, structure and programming for our students to forge ahead into young-adulthood as positive and growth oriented members of communities.
While most students in 9th Grade struggle at the bottom of the social heap, our Seniors are able to ascend to levels of leadership that are uncommon. They are prepared for responsibility and serve as role models and leaders for an entire student body, a privilege usually reserved for high school seniors. Importantly, as Rumsey Hall continues to provide outstanding options for secondary school, these leadership opportunities are valued by admission offices across the globe. Not surprisingly, our graduates develop these skills in our intentional and deliberate 9th Grade program and are armed with skills and confidence that propel them toward leadership in their next communities.
Finding the schools that best fit our graduates is a process to which we dedicate tremendous resources. Rumsey Hall’s school placement process is comprehensive and holistic, delivering on the promise of helping students create experiences that might not otherwise have been possible. We have a year-long program that leads our Seniors and families through assessing strengths and challenges and exploring unknown possibilities for the future.
The secondary school search begins Spring of the 8th Grade year, providing extensive guidance through what can otherwise be a complex and confusing process. Our program involves exclusive access to admission directors from around the country and world who visit with our Seniors and explore future possibilities and programs. Typically, approximately fifty schools send their admission directors to Rumsey Hall to recruit our well-rounded, balanced and talented Seniors.
Guided by our Faculty in their final year at Rumsey Hall, Seniors accomplish impressive things. It is not uncommon for a Senior to individually organize a community service effort, produce an extraordinary body of music or art or lead teams, dorms and classes to extraordinary results. To take those chances while working within the structure and supportive community such as ours, is unique to Rumsey Hall’s program.
We have designed our VIIth Form academic programming to offer appropriate challenge and preparation for the curricula at secondary schools around the world. Our graduates seamlessly interface with programs at all types of schools and they discover diverse new passions among the array of choices in secondary school. They find that emerging from our 9th Grade program allows them to enter secondary school fully grounded with a sense of purpose and energy. It does not take long before Rumsey Hall Alumni become leaders of teams, dorms, student government and academic departments in their secondary schools. They have had the chances to practice this in our community.
Through the intentional and unique opportunities available to our Seniors, they learn and grow in ways that singularly advantage them in the admission process. The 9th Grade, capstone year, encouraged and developed in tandem with the most rigorous secondary schools in the country, produces great results as manifest in the consistent list of schools our graduates attend. They move forward as confident, adventurous young people who are self-assured and resilient, buoyed by their successful experiences in leadership and the School’s mission to be a successful and contributing community member.
“We had a lot of responsibility in our Senior Year and a new level of independence that was as challenging as it was rewarding. Lifetime bonds were formed and a confidence that ultimately prepared us for our high school years.”