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Yorkshire Insight

Choosing and Transitioning to Middle School

Posted: October 28, 2019 | Author: Mosope Iyi-Ojo, Yorkshire Academy Alumni

Mosope Iyi-Ojo

Hi I’m Mosope Iyi-Ojo. Most of you may know me because I attended Yorkshire Academy for five years until I graduated last year. Let me give you a little spoiler, transitioning to middle school is a very tedious process. That’s why I’m writing this—just to give you a little insight. I went through this process from September through January. Before that my parents and I chose four schools to apply: St. John’s, Kinkaid, AWTY, and The Village.

The very first thing I did in this process was visit the schools. I thought that visiting schools was one of the least important things, and some people might think so, but it is quite important. It’s important because you get to orient yourself with your surroundings. It’s also very important because you might be going to one of those schools in the future, so you need to know if you’ll be comfortable with your surroundings. The day when you get to actually go to the classes is called Shadow Day. On Shadow Day you go to a particular school and they pair you up with a student, and you spend the day there. It’s pretty fun because you get the gist of what the school is about.

The next thing I am going to tell you about are the interviews. The interview is the part that makes or breaks you. What I mean is if you impress them you have a good chance of making it in, but if you don’t give the right impression you might not have as much of a chance. An interview, as you might have guessed, is one of the more formal things you are going to do in this process. Boys, you should wear a suit and a tie, and girls you should wear a nice dress with any nice jewelry you have. You don’t have to do that, those are just suggestions. If you want some practice for the interviews go to Mrs. Young. She helped me prepare a lot. Tell her you were sent by me.

Ok—don’t panic when I say this. You will have to take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) and the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT). Good, everyone stayed calm. Whew, crisis averted. The ISEE is arguably the most important part of getting into a private middle school. If you are in fifth grade you probably should have started studying from last summer. If you are in fourth grade you need to start studying during summer next year. The 5 sections in order are Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and the Essay. To simplify it you’re doing English, Math, Reading, and the Essay. I started studying the summer before and during the school year. I had an ISEE book. I finished that one, then I had to get another one. I studied on my weakest point—the hardest; which is the English, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study your strengths. Also on the ISEE, if you don’t like your scores the first time you take it you can always take it again. I did that not because my score was bad, but because I wanted to improve on it. Oh yeah, I probably should have told you this beforehand, but this test is timed.

The OLSAT is very fun. I know you must be thinking how is a nerve-racking test that affects my education fun. Well the OLSAT is just puzzles. It’s kind of like an IQ test. You have to complete 72 questions in 40 minutes. That sounds crazy, I know, but I finished it and still had time to look over it. You don’t have to study for it for too long either. I studied for the two months before it. Also, unfortunately, it’s not like the ISEE, you can’t take it twice. The way the test is scored is you get a raw score from the amount of answers you got right and then you get a percentile. If your raw score is between 132 and 160, you’re in the 98th percentile.

At the end of this entire process, as I described above, I was very excited and ecstatic when I heard I gained admission to all the schools I applied to. The choice of deciding which school I was going to go to wasn’t hard at all. All the schools had their benefits, but I ended up choosing St. John’s. I’ve only been in school for about 3 months, but I know, for the 6 years I go there, I would look back and know I made the right choice.

I know you guys are worried about friends. What if no one in the classroom you are in right now will be in your classroom next year? Well, all the schools help with that, they create student “meet and greet” events so that you know people when school gets started. Over the summer I went to multiple “meet and greet” events including a picnic, a park, and a dinner that happened almost two weeks before school started. This gave us multiple opportunities to bond with each other.

While we’re on the topic of friends I’m going to give you a few tips on how to make friends. Play sports. That might sound a little weird, but trust me it helps. Think about it, if you and someone else are playing the same sport doesn’t that mean you already have something in common? Make sure to tell your parents to take you to as many “meet and greets” as possible. This very last thing is very, very important … wait for it … wait for it … be you. When you’re in middle school you’ll see what I mean.

Do you realize that the school you are currently in is incredible!? Yorkshire Academy was a big help to me in this time. They were my family when I wasn’t at home. Mrs. Young, as I mentioned before, was a massive help with the interviews. Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. Williams, ever since I met them, were the most encouraging teachers I ever had. They always pushed me to do my best even when I just didn’t want to. Thank you Mrs. Darnell for being part of my journey, taking the best pictures, and helping me make it to state for PSIA for my last year in Yorkshire Academy. This last person encouraged me since day one, and I will never forget her; Mrs. Howard is the best principal ever. I’ve made many mistakes, but that hasn’t changed her perspective of me. She always encouraged me to be the best … me.

Thank you to all the teachers who have helped me on my journey to middle school.