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MST Recommender FAQ

This is a brief listing of some of the more frequently asked questions regarding the writing of recommendations:

  1. What is the process for students requesting recommendation? When students are ready to begin their recommendation process, they will fill out an online recommendation request that will automatically send their request for recommendation to you via email.
  2. What is the admissions process and requirements for the students interested in the program? For a listing of the typical student characteristics we’re looking for, admission requirements, and the timeline for the entire process, please visit the MST Admissions Portal.
  3. Is there way a teacher can check which students they have already written recommendation for? When you submit each recommendation, you will receive an email receipt for each one.
  4. Is there a spell check feature?  There is no spell check functionality within Google forms at this point. Depending on the browser you use to fill out the form and the options you’ve enabled, however, it might identify misspelled words. Google’s Chrome browser, for instance, identifies spelling within forms.
  5. How much weight do you place on the teacher comment section? This is by far the most time consuming aspect, and I’m not sure how much effort I should put into it. I want to give my students the best possible opportunity to be admitted so I’m willing to do the work, but if no one really reads them (or if they have no bearing on who is admitted), I won’t spend quite so much time. Are you just looking for an overall yes or no or do you need specific insight into each student in order to make your selections into the program? We spend an incredible amount of time going over your comments and cross referencing these with other pieces of data from the application process. We actually do read what you write. We are open to hearing anything you have to say about the students, but we are particularly interested in how you perceive these students working in groups, teams, and being a part of community. Your recommendations have the second heaviest weighting in the admissions process. The first heaviest weighting goes to the admissions test.
  6. I never hear who makes it into the MST Magnet Program. I would poll students, but it would be uncomfortable for those who didn’t make it. I’m always curious to see which candidates end up making the cut because there are so many highly qualified students who apply. Knowing who gets admitted might make it easier to recommend students in the future. Once the acceptance list is finalized, we will email the list of accepted students to a contact administrator in your building. We will let you know who that is. They will then be the ones who can answer your acceptance questions. If you’re out of district and curious, then you should contact Sam Greene or Tom Morris.
  7. I may not have the student in question in core classes and I wonder if you want core teachers over others. I see students in a flex class and a club. Do you prefer core teachers for recommendations? We require recommendations from science, math, English, and one other recommendation from an adult of choice. There is no differentiation in terms of weighting between the four recommendations.
  8. Is there a way for the students to fill in some of the “canned” information in the teacher recommendation process? We’re looking at how we might be able to do get some of the “canned” information automatically inserted in the form for you, but with our limited technology it might not be possible. Enabling the “auto complete” feature (found in the browser’s options or preferences section) could streamline some of this.

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