Sequoyah’s ninth grade class this year includes 12 students continuing on from the K-8 campus. School administrators credit this large influx of students to the school’s enhanced admissions program. In previous years, the freshman class only had about two to six returning students. Administrators and students say that the influx is mainly due to prospective students becoming more familiar with the high school as it continues to grow.
Patricia Han, Sequoyah’s High School Admissions Associate, noticed that before the high school existed, Sequoyah’s younger students saw that “kids were leaving after eighth grade.” But now, Han said, younger students view the high school as “an extension of their school.”
Junior High lead teacher Kristen Moore stated that she is “no longer finding that kids” are applying to multiple schools in order to have several backups. Moore now finds that students “really take the Sequoyah [high school] option very seriously.” While, as Moore said, some students continued to Sequoyah because it was their backup school, others chose to continue because they liked the program.
In 2016, six students continued from Sequoyah’s K-8 campus. One of those six, Sarah Hughes, a current senior, chose Sequoyah because the other schools she visited lacked Sequoyah’s values, which she had “always loved.” Hughes also mentioned that “now that the high school has grown and students are thriving, prospective students can feel comfortable considering [Sequoyah].”
While some students from previous years continued on to the high school because of their familiarity with and love for the school, tenth grader Cooper Houston, who continued to the high school in 2018 for his freshman year, enrolled for a different reason: because he “didn’t have to take any tests.”
Current freshman Sofie Wilson chose to continue from the K-8 mainly due to the sense of familiarity Sequoyah offered. Wilson stated that the high school “seemed to have that … environment similar to what I’m used to.” Oskar Golwala, also a current freshman, decided to continue from the K-8 because “I felt like I knew the school before I actually had to … apply.”
Han hopes it becomes a trend that “just like all of the other Pasadena K-12 independent schools … people who enroll in kindergarten just think that they’re going to stay here from kindergarten until 12th grade.”