Getting Ready For Admissions Season
By Jennifer Brozost and Vimmi Shroff
Photo by Heidi Green Photography
It is only April… What Should I be Doing Right Now??
Admissions season is around the corner! Here are some easy steps to ensure a smooth and painless ride through this frenzy!
One of the most important things you could be doing right now is to get organized! In September, you will have so much to do, not only for the admissions process, but also with getting your kids secured in their current schools. It is overwhelming! Let's get prepared now… you will be a better parent and a better spouse.
Set up your organizational tools now!
Buy a calendar or create an Excel Spreadsheet. List all the schools you like with this contact information: phone number, e-mail, mailing address, and most important, the name of Director of
Each school has their own application deadline. Note all deadlines, open houses, tours and interview dates. To keep track of this is a challenge, so maintain a folder or calendar that is easily accessible. This will help keep you organized and sane. We suggest a duplicate calendar for your spouse.
Work on your Application Essays Early!
One of the most time-consuming and stressful parts of the application process is writing the essays needed to complete each application. Most essays will ask that you describe your child and will require that you explain why you are applying to 'School X.'
Jot down your child's strengths and weakness. Keep the latter list short.
Once you have chosen four or five attributes, note a brief anecdote that would complement those attributes. This list will ensure an easier writing process! Be realistic AND SUCCINCT when describing your child. Remember, admissions staff read hundreds of essays. The more personal and specific the information is, the more memorable your application will be!
Look at Schools with an Open Mind
Opinions, opinions! Everyone has them and when it comes to schools, boy do they like to share them! Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation, gossip, and 'frenemies' out there. Believe it or not, people are competitive and do not always have your best interests in mind!
One of the most productive things you can do now and through this entire process is to completely tune out those opinions. Instead, stay connected with dear friends who have their own children in the schools to which you are applying.
Do not rule out schools that are not considered "top tier." In this competitive environment there are few "safety schools" and the "top tier" designation can be somewhat inaccurate as so many
independent schools do a superb job in educating our children.
Do Your Homework!
School websites are a great resource. Learn as much as you can about their mission statement, history, educational philosophy and physical space. Take the time to read over the school's mission statements. They work very hard on these statements in order to give you a realistic feel of the school's goals and values. Sit with these statements and see which ones speak to you.
Talk to families who currently have children in school.
Open Houses are another venue for learning more about a school.
The more you know — the more confidence you'll have — the easier the next six months will be!
NOTE: If you are applying to an ongoing school for Kindergarten– Support and Maintain a GOOD Relationship with your Nursery School Director.
If these easy, yet sometimes overlooked steps are followed you will have a smooth ride on this admission's roller coaster. Don't forget to keep a positive attitude and, most importantly, a sense of humor!!!
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