PolyAcademics

Deans & College Guidance

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Upper School Deans

Poly Prep’s Upper School Deans strive to support and guide students in charting a path through high school, focusing on academic advising and post-graduation plans.

By working intimately with families from Grades 9-12—keeping in mind aspirational goals as well as personal identities and preferences—deans help students find their passions and prepare to pursue fulfilling lives at Poly and beyond.

Through one-on-one meetings and community programming, the deans seek to empower students and help them develop skills to succeed, always keeping Poly’s core tenets at the center: mind, body, and character.

Meet Poly Prep’s Deans
College Counseling

The Upper School deans provide clear and comprehensive college counseling for families, enabling them to make the most informed decisions for their child’s next educational destination. The dean team commits to being at the forefront of ever-evolving industry practices and to making the college application experience—from choosing to applying to matriculating—a welcoming, transparent, and successful one.

Poly Profile 2023-2024 College Matriculation
College Planning

Our Upper School student-dean relationship starts in Grade 9 and culminates with advising on colleges and next steps post-Poly.

‘College advising’ to describe their work is a bit of a misnomer, however. The deans consider a student’s life path more broadly than that, threading long-term planningdefining values, setting goals, and cultivating interests and talentsthroughout a student’s four years in Upper School.

Reducing College Application Stress

Applying to colleges can be stressful. Poly’s Upper School deans ease students’ anxiety about the college process. Every day they seek to help students and families reduce stress by staying ahead of it. They start well before it is time to choose a next home after high school. During your child’s Upper School years, Poly’s deans think about:

  • PASSIONS: what each student loves to do
  • GOALS: what each student wants to accomplish
  • IMPROVEMENTS: what are areas and opportunities for growth
  • ENGAGEMENT: how each student contributes to making us a better school community
  • BEYOND POLY: how a student will lead a purposeful life

This important time allows our deans to build an organic relationship, making the later, higher-stakes moments far more comfortable to navigate. 

The Upper School deans collaborate, using their complementary skill sets to benefit every student. Deans are seasoned educators, experienced college counselors, and admissions professionals who have worked at selective colleges nationwide. Mainly, however, deans care deeply about each student’s individual experience at Poly. They care about your student’s future and how Poly can help shape it.

The dean’s job, first and foremost, is to believe in our students and help them believe in themselves.

The Dean Model and Timeline

From Grade 9 to graduation, see a year-by-year overview of the student-dean experience.

Pi Day students

Cohort discussions in Grade 9 focus on the guiding theme of how to be a student.

  • Focus on one’s studies and being the best student one can be.
  • Explore one’s interests, both intellectual and extracurricular.
  • Get acquainted with one’s dean, who will guide your student for the next three years.
  • Set short- and long-term goals for one’s Upper School experience.
Students in library

Cohort discussions in Grade 10 focus on the guiding theme of how to be a community member.

  • Continue deep and purposeful work in the classroom.
  • Think about where your student may seek advanced study in coming years.
  • Further one’s extracurricular pursuits.
  • Choose a general standardized test (SAT or ACT) and make a prep plan for testing next year.
  • Visit a couple of college campuses, and start to imagine a life path after Poly.
Boy with robot

Cohort discussions in Grade 11 focus on the guiding theme of building your narrative.

  • Shape curriculum to reflect one’s passions and strengths.
  • Choose advanced-level coursework appropriate for your studentadditional electives and advanced classes.
  • Sit for one’s chosen general standardized test (ACT or SAT).
  • Visit campuses; research programs and institutions of interest.
  • Start building a list of prospective colleges.
  • Design an individual post-Poly path that makes sense for your student.
  • Begin crafting the college application.
Seniors in college gear grade 12

Cohort discussions in Grade 12 focus on the guiding theme of preparing for adulthood.

  • Enrich one’s academic schedule with electives, advanced work, and broad exposure to a range of subjects.
  • Reach meaningful, accomplished, fulfilling endpoints in all disciplines.
  • Submit one’s College List Agreement for final approval by the deans, ensuring a well-designed application strategy.
  • Complete and submit college applications.
  • Evaluate one’s options; make thoughtful choices for the next year.
  • Design and present one’s Senior Capstone research project.
  • Pi Day students

    Grade 9

    Cohort discussions in Grade 9 focus on the guiding theme of how to be a student.

    • Focus on one’s studies and being the best student one can be.
    • Explore one’s interests, both intellectual and extracurricular.
    • Get acquainted with one’s dean, who will guide your student for the next three years.
    • Set short- and long-term goals for one’s Upper School experience.
  • Students in library

    Grade 10

    Cohort discussions in Grade 10 focus on the guiding theme of how to be a community member.

    • Continue deep and purposeful work in the classroom.
    • Think about where your student may seek advanced study in coming years.
    • Further one’s extracurricular pursuits.
    • Choose a general standardized test (SAT or ACT) and make a prep plan for testing next year.
    • Visit a couple of college campuses, and start to imagine a life path after Poly.
  • Boy with robot

    Grade 11

    Cohort discussions in Grade 11 focus on the guiding theme of building your narrative.

    • Shape curriculum to reflect one’s passions and strengths.
    • Choose advanced-level coursework appropriate for your studentadditional electives and advanced classes.
    • Sit for one’s chosen general standardized test (ACT or SAT).
    • Visit campuses; research programs and institutions of interest.
    • Start building a list of prospective colleges.
    • Design an individual post-Poly path that makes sense for your student.
    • Begin crafting the college application.
  • Seniors in college gear grade 12

    Grade 12

    Cohort discussions in Grade 12 focus on the guiding theme of preparing for adulthood.

    • Enrich one’s academic schedule with electives, advanced work, and broad exposure to a range of subjects.
    • Reach meaningful, accomplished, fulfilling endpoints in all disciplines.
    • Submit one’s College List Agreement for final approval by the deans, ensuring a well-designed application strategy.
    • Complete and submit college applications.
    • Evaluate one’s options; make thoughtful choices for the next year.
    • Design and present one’s Senior Capstone research project.
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