High school may only last for four years, but it is filled with memories that will last a lifetime. Whether they dance the night away at Homecoming, play alongside their teammates for a CIF championship, collaborate with their peers on a science project, or serve with a club at a senior citizen center, high school students have a wide variety of opportunities to grow, build relationships, and explore their interests. It’s an exhilarating moment of transition and independence, and it is one that can significantly impact the trajectory of their life.
On the one hand, that may seem unsettling to incoming freshmen and their families, for not only are they making decisions that will affect their future, they are also faced with a host of new and unknown factors - a new campus, new teachers, new expectations, new friends, new lockers, new sports teams, and new opportunities.
But the experience of starting high school doesn’t have to be intimidating, and a private Christian education can help your teenager by providing them with community and purpose as they prepare to step into the world of college and adulthood.
Here are five reasons why starting high school at Linfield Christian School doesn’t have to be scary:
1. LINKED UP
We know there’s a lot to figure out during the first few days of school. You don’t know anyone in your Geometry class; you’re worried you’ll be late getting back from P.E., and you have no idea where to buy lunch. So to make this transition easier, the Linfield LINK Crew, comprised of friendly and enthusiastic upperclassmen, throws an orientation event
every August to welcome and introduce new students to Linfield. The night is filled with games, food, and small group activities, all designed to cultivate friendships and make students feel comfortable before school starts.
Grace Fang, a current freshman, remembers how much fun she had with her small group and LINK leaders when they dressed up in costumes and went on a campus tour and says, “LINK really helped me feel connected before the school year started. We walked around the campus in our matching outfits and played games with the leaders. After the event, we even created a group chat so we could still ask them questions, and that really helped me prepare for school.” Justice Nash agrees and notes that the whole event put him at ease and made him feel included from the start: “The leaders worked hard to make sure everyone felt seen and wanted, and all the games and group activities helped because every single person was included.”
2. THE COLLEGE PREP PATH
While elementary and middle school academics lay a strong foundation, high school classes are “where it counts” in terms of college acceptances and choices, and that can be unnerving to a new freshman. But at Linfield, students benefit from a campus culture that overwhelmingly celebrates hard work and achievement. In fact, while the environment is quite spirited and friendly, it is simply not cool to be passive or uninterested in academics, and the overarching question isn’t IF you will go to college but WHERE. As they embrace the challenges of advanced classes and work together on projects and assignments, our students are actually the ones who encourage each other to keep striving for excellence. As a result, they have some of the highest ACT/SAT scores in the valley, and an average of 93% of them go on to college each year!
You can also breathe a sigh of relief when you finally begin the college application process because you will not have to walk that journey alone. Linfield has three full-time college counselors on staff who meet with each individual student starting in 8th grade to help them develop an individualized high school plan according to their goals and interests. They will prepare you for standardized testing, assist in the application process, conduct workshops, and advocate for you at every turn, utilizing all of their resources to help you achieve success and get into college.
3. RELATIONAL LEARNING
When you go to Linfield, you are so much more than just a student at a desk; you are a beloved and valued member of a family. So you can count on the fact that the principal cares about how you're doing in math, that your teachers will stop everything they're doing to pray with you or ask about last night’s baseball game, and that you will develop lifelong relationships with people who love and accept you exactly as you are. Current 9th grade student Chloe Caputa says, “To be at Linfield is truly a blessing because the teachers and staff are always willing to help with anything we need. Everyone is so welcoming, and they make you feel like you are part of a family.” Justice Nash agrees: “I love that our teachers and coaches are working with us and not against us. On the basketball team, our coaches not only focus on how we are growing as a team, but also how we are growing individually. So in practice, they will pull us aside and talk us through specific issues and skills. We know they really care about us.”
With an average class size of only 22, our teachers know who you are. They know your habits, your goals, your strengths and weaknesses, and they will challenge you, sometimes far beyond what you thought possible. Always ready with extra assistance, advice, a smile, or an encouraging word, they are truly passionate about helping you reach your potential, not only in class but in life.
4. A FUN COMMUNITY
If you were to ask current high school students what they love most about Linfield, over and over again, you would hear them talk about the vibrant community. For while we are committed to academic excellence, we know that not everything can be learned inside a classroom. So we take the entire high school to Big Bear for three days at Winter Mountain Retreat;
we celebrate our diversity with a variety of booths and treats on World Culture Day, and we even bring live turkeys and hay rides on campus before Thanksgiving. And then there’s the Great Race
during Homecoming Week, an entire day devoted to a spirited competition and a sprawling race across the high school campus with students dressed head to toe in their class colors. Simply put, high school is really fun, and at Linfield we love our crazy traditions and enjoy being together in a close-knit community.
In this community, students are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zones by getting involved in a wide range of activities and interests. There is no need to define or limit yourself to one thing. You can actually play multiple sports, sing in the spring musical, serve on a mission trip to Mexico, create films, write for the school newspaper, join an off-roading club, and even play an instrument in the band! Not only will these experiences teach you more about yourself, you will also forge lifelong relationships with your teachers, coaches, and classmates. Max Rodriguez says, “All of the school’s traditions give us a chance to bring us closer to God and to each other. There’s always something and someone you can connect with. I especially loved going to Winter Mountain and experiencing the chapels, music, and free time. It was great to spend time with my teachers and get to know them as people.” Lilla Petrykowski is particularly grateful for the friendships she’s developed through athletics and says, “Cross Country has been my favorite part about this year because it feels more like a family than a team. No matter how I run my race, my teammates are always there waiting at the finish line for me.”
5. A SPIRITUAL FAMILY
You might still have questions about your faith, and that’s ok with us. At Linfield, we aim to provide a safe community that allows us to be authentic about our struggles and questions as we wrestle together with what it truly means to follow Jesus. We were never meant to walk this journey of faith alone, so we dive into God’s Word together in Bible classes and chapels; we pray for one another, and we stand shoulder to shoulder as we serve our community. Together we are part of a spiritual family, unified in love and purpose.
Ultimately, while we want our students to be successful in college and future careers, Linfield’s mission goes far beyond a high school diploma or prestigious job title. We hope to inspire students to serve the Lord and the world through their character and leadership, and everything we do in high school is geared toward that goal. Our students may become teachers, nurses, engineers, worship leaders, marine captains, or stay at home parents, but no matter what, we pray they will find purpose in being world-changers for God’s glory.