The Admissions process at boarding schools has shifted considerably over the past decade with technological advancements and the advent of a common application. Students are applying to more schools, their resumes more full than ever, as they weigh options and try to find the school that will prepare them best for college and life beyond. For schools vying for the most talented, diverse, interesting group of students for the 2018-2019 school year, Revisit Days are critical to helping provide families a transparent window into who we are as a community.
We know from experience prospective families do not simply choose a school because of facilities or the programs offered. Sure, programs and facilities are certainly a part of the equation for our families when making a decision, but what really matters is the connection that takes place between a prospective student and his or her current student host and the faculty with whom he or she interacts during visits to campus. In order to help our visiting families understand what Revisit Day is all about, we share a recap of last Friday's Revisit Day #1 below.
We welcome more than 60 prospective students to the Fowler Learning Center for registration where visitors are paired with current students to attend classes, get their hands dirty, and experience what a class at Proctor is really like (although we admit Revisit Days classes are not quite normal…). Visiting parents have their own schedule for the morning as they attend short workshops with different faculty members and administrators in order to dig just a little deeper into understanding who we are as a community.
Next, we transition from morning classes to assembly where the intangibles of community are unavoidable. As we shift away from the semi-controlled walls of the classroom, our visitors get to see who we are at our core. Students laugh, complain, and act like normal teenagers during the walk to the Meeting House. Luckily, we like who we are at our core and do not have to worry too much about pretending to be something different than we are.
Assembly is packed with bad jokes, great performances, and mundane announcements that give our visitors a taste of Proctor that we hope they enjoy. Of course, we always try to sprinkle in some fun and games as well. Congrats to Ben ‘19 on an unprecedented performance in the blind-potato-chip-tasting competition. #hiddentalents
Following assembly, a student panel answers questions from our visitors for more than an hour. Their unscripted answers provide perhaps the most valuable insights a visitor can gather into who we are as a community. While the panel’s answers were not always how our Admissions Team would have scripted them (no, Sam, parents do not want to hear you did no homework during the first term of your ninth grade year!), the honesty and deep, deep love for Proctor demonstrated by students came through loud and clear.
Following lunch, the entire community shifts to the Farrell Field House where each afternoon activity and club is represented. Current students hop between tables reminding everyone present how well-rounded our students are, and visitors circulate to explore their interests a bit deeper. After the Activities Fair, some visiting families attend open art studios around campus, while others attend a Learning Skills student panel, and others take a campus tour.
And then just like that, campus is back to ‘normal’ while we wait to hear whether each of our accepted students feel like Proctor is the right fit for their family. We already believe we are.