Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Quest for Hamilton Vanguard

As the 2014-2015 school year came to an end each child was accepted into a Magnet program/school and I thought we were done. Miranda was accepted into DeBakey, the High School of Health Professions and Seth was accepted into the STEM program at Hogg Middle School. However, Seth was not completely happy with that and he asked that I still try to get him into Hamilton. I spoke to the Vanguard Coordinator and found out that there is a Phase 2 application process.

Hamilton Middle School

This is how that works for you parents out there wondering about this. If you applied to Vanguard and your child didn’t get accepted based on his last year test scores or testing you can reapply in the summer. Let me use Seth as the example so you understand exactly what I mean because when I say “last year” it can be confusing.

So when we applied to Vanguard for 6th grade this past school year, Seth was in the 5th grade. The application asked for his test scores from his 4th grade year. Seth didn’t have the best year that year but his 5th grade teacher wrote him a great recommendation and I had high hopes. We also applied to magnet school programs. When we received the results he had been accepted into two magnet programs but not into the Vanguard program at Lanier, where I initially applied.
Important lesson to note here. Now that the application is done online you MUST apply to every Vanguard school you are interested in attending, not just one. In the past it was only one application and you chose the three schools you wanted in order. This year it was different because it was online. I didn’t know that and I applied to Hamilton late.

However, since he didn’t qualify for Vanguard all together he still wasn’t accepted into Hamilton. So the Vanguard coordinator told me this. You can reapply this summer with his last report card of 5th grade and his Iowa test scores from 5th grade. It took FOREVER for them to send us the Iowa test scores but last week they made them available and I dropped off a copy of Seth’s report card. I was thrilled when I received the news that he had been accepted to Hamilton into the Vanguard program.
I think this is important to know because there are so many parents out there that have no idea that they can still apply to the Vanguard program or Magnet schools, that still have space available, as late as the summer. It was a learning experience for us too and I thought I knew everything there was to know about applying to Magnet and Vanguard schools, but everything is a learning experience.

Hard to believe that this fall I’ll be the mom of a high school and middle school student! I have to cherish these next 4 years because in 3 years we’ll be dealing with college applications and more.
In additional good news, Miranda was invited to go back to Kinkaid next summer so I have 4 busy years ahead of me, between high school, middle school for Seth and summer programs for Miranda at Kinkaid. Hopefully Seth can also attend Kinkaid and his first summer will be Miranda’s last summer in the program.
I don’t even want to think that far ahead. I want them to stay exactly the same age they are right now. They aren’t babies any more but they are still young kids. In four years all of that is going to change.

1 comment:

Kathy Stallings said...

Thanks for sharing about the "secrets" of the second round. Kudos for being a great advocate for your kiddos education! Personally, I think the Magnet application should be revised--they put so much weight on the grades (which is valid) but don't distinguish on awarding points for +/-. In other words, an 89 or 88 is awarded the same amount of points as an 80 or 81. The difference between an 89 and a 90 should not be the same difference as an 80 and a 90. So my kid didn't make the cut for some of the smaller magnet/dual credit high schools. Getting rejected from Debakey/Carnegie/PVA I could understand. I guess all works out for the best cause my kiddo wanted to go to the local HS anyway--mostly cause the smaller school environment did not outweigh the long bus ride. Good job playing the game. I have had 4 bad experiences with the magnet application process, but I am glad the schools are there to provide options for others.