Education Article of the Week

We hope you enjoy this education article of the week! This time, we are sharing a link to a piece from Edutopia, published January 31, 2019:

From the Article:

“The brain scans seem to indicate that the limbic system—the brain’s reward system—is mature and firing on all cylinders in teenagers, while the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for things like self-control, planning, and self-awareness, is still busy developing.”

“It’s not youthful irrationality or a flair for the dramatic at work; teenagers actually experience things like music, drugs, and the thrill of speed more powerfully than adults do.”

“That’s good news—and a clear signal that the teenage brain is by nature more receptive to learning… Adolescent animals simply ‘show faster learning curves than adults,’ and we retain the capacity to improve even fundamental attributes like our IQ well into our teenage years.”

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Interesting Articles to Peruse

Take a moment to reflect on these interesting stories about student note-taking and memory. Great takeaways!

From the article:

“Further, a meta-analysis of the research found small (nonsignificant) effects favoring longhand.  Based on current results, the new study says, ‘concluding which method is superior for improving the functions of note-taking seems premature.'”

From the article:

“Let’s take the broad question, what will improve a student’s memory?, and break it into three more manageable parts: (1) How can I commit things to memory? (2) How can I avoid forgetting the things I have committed to memory? (3) How can I be certain that I have actually committed to memory the things I want to know?”


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Online Interaction Important to Admission?

Interesting article for students in the college admission process. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, some colleges are quietly tracking applicants’ online interaction and considering it during the admissions process:

Read the full story here:

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Students ‘Up and Moving’ Thanks to New Seating Options


 “Come in and sit wherever you like” is not the sentence you hear most teachers in an elementary school say.  More often than not, classrooms can be constrained environments with one size desk and one size chair to fit all student shapes, sizes and learning preferences.

This is not the case on the Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus, where students in all grade levels are encouraged to pick their favorite seating or standing option for maximum attention and learning.

“Just like you have as favorite pen or coffee mug, students can make decisions based on how they feel that day,” said Campus Head Peggy Campbell-Rush. “Learning is active and involved and fully embraces the brain-body connection.”

Called proprioceptive input or vestibular stimulation, this science shows the body needs to move to keep the brain active. So, when students sit for more than their age plus two minutes, their brains start to fade, resulting in less attention toward the lesson and teacher.

The Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus has blazed trails in the realm of seating options under Campbell-Rush’s leadership. Today, a wide selection of move-to-learn seating is the hallmark of every classroom on campus. Several years ago, Campbell-Rush began introducing small movement cushions and standing desks to classroom repertoires. Today, students can choose from those resources plus many new ones including couches, rocker stools, balls and more. The same trends in classroom resources are happening on the Bolles Lower School Whitehurst Campus, where students have enjoyed a plethora of new seating styles.

The result? Learning is up, and discipline needs are down, Campbell-Rush said.

“Students are engaged and teachers are getting the most out of all their students,” Campbell-Rush said. “It gives new meaning to the phrase, ‘move it or lose it.’ On the Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus we are up and moving.”

What Should Your Junior Be Doing To Prepare For College?

This spring, junior students will be looking at the college process through the lens of what they learned during Junior Day. According to the Bolles Office of College Counseling, students have some important college initiatives on their to-do list:

  • A strong junior year can be an asset in a college application, so students should study hard. When colleges begin reviewing a high school transcript, junior year will be the last year-long set of grades they see.
  • Students should meet with their newly assigned college counselor. At these meetings the college counselor will begin to get to know the student, help develop a list of prospective colleges, and help plan the student’s senior schedule. As they outline a senior schedule in conjunction with their college counselor, students should think about what they might like to study in college, and keep in mind that a strong senior schedule is very important for college admission.
  • Students should take both the SAT and ACT. As appropriate, they should take the SAT Subject Tests or AP Exams (they should check with teachers and college counselor).
  • Students and their families should plan to visit colleges over Spring Break. This is a good time to visit; a family meeting with the college counselor may be useful as plans are set.
  • English teachers will assign an introspective essay that will help students begin to think in the mode of a college essay.
  • Students should do a thorough job filling out the Junior Questionnaire they were given during Junior Days.
  • Parents should arrange to meet with their son or daughter’s college counselor, preferably before the end of the school year. They should also fill out the Parent Questionnaire mailed to them after Junior Day.
  • Students should contact (via e-mail, or the college’s web-based sign-up form) their prospective colleges and request information. This contact places them on college mailing lists, and they will begin receiving information from the colleges.
  • Students should continue to update their résumés.

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Early Decision vs. Early Action…What’s the Difference?

It’s that time of the year for high school students across the world — when college applications are due, and most timely, when students need to decide whether they will apply early decision (ED) or early action (EA) to colleges and universities that are particularly appealing to them.

What’s the difference? An experienced guidance counselor at an independent school in Jacksonville, Florida explains.

Early Action programs are non-binding and enable the student to learn of an admission decision relatively early in the senior year (usually December) without committing to a particular college or university until May. Early Action applications are typically due in November. A handful of schools have Restrictive or Single-Choice Early Action (REA) programs. Under such a plan, the student agrees to submit only one Early Action application to that school and no other, yet without committing to attend the college if accepted. Other applications can be submitted for Regular Decision.

Early Decision is a program in which a student makes a binding commitment to attend the college or university if accepted. Early Decision applications are generally due in November of the senior year, and the student will receive one of three decisions (admit, defer, deny) in December. Since the deadlines are so early, it is vital that a student applying under Early Decision have done a great deal of research and be absolutely convinced that the college is an ideal match. While an applicant gains a statistical advantage by applying under an Early Decision plan, he or she risks committing to a college in October when, six months later, a very different choice might be made. Early Decision II programs are also available at many colleges, in which the application is not due until January and a decision is rendered in February.

To learn more about the college counseling process, visit

NAIS: The Independent School Advantage

(Visit the National Association of Independent Schools for more information and search tools for finding an independent school — and many other helpful facts about an independent school education! Below is copy from that page)

While they share much in common, each independent school is unique. You can find schools that fit your student’s needs using our detailed School Search, which profiles nearly 1,500 fully accredited, non-discriminatory NAIS member schools.

What Makes Independent Schools Special?

Independence in the truest sense of the word. Independent schools are governed by a board of trustees, not a public school board. They are primarily supported by tuition payments, charitable contributions, and endowment revenue.

  • Independent school teachers have the freedom to create educational experiences that meet each child’s needs, without state mandates on curriculum, textbooks, and testing.
Mission-driven education. Whether co-ed or single sex, day school or boarding school, each independent school is driven by its own unique philosophy, values, and approach to teaching.
  • The wide diversity among independent schools allows you to find a school that is a great fit for your student.
High academic standards. Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, encourage critical thinking, and promote a lifelong love of learning.
  • More students in independent schools enroll in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools.
Small classes that allow for individual attention. Low student-teacher ratios encourage close connections between instructors and students.
  • In 2015-2016, the median ratio in NAIS schools was 8.6 students to each teacher.
Excellent teachers. Independent school instructors usually teach in their areas of expertise. They strive to develop a full understanding of each student’s learning style, interests, and motivation.
  • Graduates of independent schools have a greater likelihood of completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.
Education for the whole child. In addition to academics, independent schools also nurture students’ personal and social growth and civic conscience.
  • Outside the classroom, students participate in school-sponsored athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, and leadership experiences.
Inclusiveness. Independent schools foster diverse and vibrant student communities that welcome and respect every family.
  • In 2015-2016, students of color were 26 percent of independent school enrollment, while 3.2 percent of students were from other countries.
A community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education. Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals.
  • As a parent, you can actively engage in your student’s education, because the staff and teachers want and value your participation.

For more information about independent school education opportunities, visit

By the Numbers: Independent School Education Adds Up

Numbers and statistics can paint a very clear picture for some. A group called “Statistic Brain” looked at 2015 figures from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics. In its analysis, “Statistic Brain” came up with some very interesting comparatives between the experiences/performances of students/parents/faculty in independent school settings and those in public school settings. The data was gathered in 2015 and the data crunch is simply titled, “Private School Statistics.” Some of the interesting highlights include:

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Is Private School Worth It? Interesting Article From “The Week”

This 2013 article from “The Week” addresses the question many parents ponder when considering their student’s educational path. It’s also the title of Ryan Jyoti’s well researched article, “Is Private School Worth It?”

In the story, she articulates some of the reasons why parents opt for an independent school experience. Here are a few of the highlights from the story, which is linked here:

  • Higher academic achievement
  • Safe environment
  • High parent and teacher satisfaction levels
  • A focus on civics, community service and values-based learning
  • Public school option “doesn’t cut it” in their area
  • Behavioral expectations and social teachings are enforced and appealing
  • Small class size thus more attention
  • Other parents at school are “education-minded”
  • Kids at independent schools have higher SAT scores
  • Perceived better chances of getting into “good colleges”
  • More parents at independent schools have characteristics (such as higher levels of education) that contribute to learning
  • Parents at independent schools are more involved
  • Teachers have more experience/degrees/professional development at private school

For more information about independent school education opportunities, visit