A Tale of Two Siblings

I was having a nice chat the other day with a group of five parents and during the conversation, the talk turned to the “preparedness of Mentor’s high school students for university”. One of the parents has been a longtime Mentor Dad with three children who have graduated from Grade 8 in the Intermediate Division. Each child was given the choice to go to any high school with the first two choosing Mentor and the youngest opting for a local public school. The stories of the first and third children were particularly interesting.

Dad reported that the eldest was in a residence apartment of four roommates in first year university with similar (eg: excellent) entrance averages but at the end of the year, two were asked to leave the school because of their poor academic efforts. Two of the roommates were Mentor grads and the other two were not.

The youngest is doing very well at the public high school and has an excellent average. Dad is not surprised (genetics!) because of the solid academic skill set acquired at Mentor but he is really surprised at the student’s request to return to Mentor next year. Why would a teenager getting 90s (“and doing nothing!”) ask to return to a place where we ask more of our students (and get it)?

Based on the experience of the eldest sibling, the youngest has reasoned that having a high average and loads of free time is just a short-term gain. The Mentor grads couldn’t figure our why university roommates wouldn’t work harder but the other two must have felt that their 90% Grade 12 marks would be enough to get them through. We have said for years that “it’s not the marks to get you INTO university that are important, it’s the skills to get you THROUGH university that count.” If you want a 95% grade in math, we have a growing list of schools who will give that mark to you with little to no effort. But if you want a solid academic base and real skills like time-management, homework completion, communication and studying, our list of schools is pretty small…

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College / TEAM School

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