We are pleased year in and year out with our 7th grade students participation in the Duke University TIP Talent Search. The program is well known across the country and is designed to identify students with above average promise to become outstanding scholars. Participation requires parental consent.
A seventh grader must score at or above the 95th percentile on an approved standardized subtest, such as an ACT series test, during 5th or 6th grades to enter the TIP program through the 7th Grade Talent Search. It is typical for 66% of Episcopal 7th graders to qualify to enter this nationwide program, which requires these young students to take an official ACT or SAT test alongside high school students at a local testing center.
In a recent five-year span, 175 of Episcopal’s 7th graders participated, around 35 a year more or less. More than half of those received either Duke TIP State or Grand recognition. Those students now populate the graduating classes of 2018 to 2022.
Students with “Grand” recognition, in a given year, have achieved skill levels equal to the 90th percentile of all college-bound seniors, in that year. The “State” recognition level scores rival those of half of all college-bound seniors, in a given year.
My hat is off to Ms. Lucy Smith, the Head of Middle School, and to the faculty and staff in Middle School for providing students sensible and effective strategic skill development. The dedication and teamwork of Middle School faculty and staff are impressive. If you want broader insights into the significance of Middle School academic life, you may find the “Forgotten Middle Research Study” interesting; published in 2008 and updated in 2014, it sets out major challenges and expectations in Middle School education.
After the formation of a new Middle School class each year as a result of our significant entry point in 6th grade, Duke TIP serves in 7th grade as a worthwhile check on the progress of students before they launch into the rigors of 8th grade work, some of which counts for Upper School credit. Further, we welcome the nationwide comparisons obtained through Duke TIP and are pleased with the outcomes.