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schoolhunter
09-27-2011, 01:49 AM
To all those parents who got over this grueling process last year, I wanted to know if asking the 8th grade panels at various school tours questions like "what is one thing that you dislike most about the school?" negatively impacts your chances of acceptance at the school? While the question is really designed to guage the confidence with which the 8th graders at different schools answer these questions, I was not certain how the Heads of School and the ADs would perceive the question. In fact, do you feel that you actually make a connection with the relevant people at the school tours, or is the connection made later in the process at parent interviews etc.??

daddydrama
09-27-2011, 10:02 AM
Hi schoolhunter, I totally understand where you're coming from with that question. I would actually rephrase that question into "What is the one thing you would like to improve at the school?" That way, it's presented as making the school even better than it already is as opposed to exposing the not so flattering aspects of a school, which every school has plenty of. That's a question I myself asked often. Did the way I worded the question make sense?

As far as making a connection with the Admission Directors and their staff (more so than the Heads), just really pay attention to what is it about each school that makes it a great fit for your child. Look at the school website and brochures for classes and programs that you think would be great for your child. Did the head or other school parents say something in one of the admissions events that made you feel warm and fuzzy about the school? Convey that when you see the AD and in your thank you letters to them. You'd be surprised at what the ADs remember. Even if they don't in the earlier events, as they put together a file of your thank you letters, your conversations and your essay/application, they'll remember who you are. And that's the whole point - to put your best foot forward and present a positive picture of your child and your family. Beyond that, it's out of your hands. Btw, you also asked about letter of recs or references. We did not include any.

Good luck in the process!!! Think of it as an opportunity to learn about the different schools and how your child can thrive there rather than stress about "having to endure the process." It'll make the process more interesting and more bearable.

schoolhunter
09-27-2011, 03:31 PM
Thank you for the advice daddydrama. The way you reworded the question makes total sense, and it would definitely resonate a lot better with the school's faculty as well. However, we have already asked the question the way I indicated earlier and I hope that it won't negatively affect us in any way!! With regard to your advice about establishing a connection with the ADs, I find your suggestions very helpful. However, I did want to know if it is okay to send thank you notes in the form of an email, and if these notes should necessarily be short in length?? Also, can you give me some tips on the content of the essay applications?? Most of the questions tend to ask you something about the child - is it a good idea to draw from a particular experience to describe the child, or write in a more general manner??

daddydrama
09-27-2011, 10:01 PM
Anything I can do to help! On the topic of thank you letters, it should certainly be brief and to the point. Beyond the customary thank you, try to personalize the note by identifying one thing from the event that really grabbed you and how it's relevant to your child. We handwrote all our TY letters, except for one school which seemed to do most of their communication via email so we thought it would be ok there.

And then on the essays, I would say be specific. Instead of saying your child is creative, adventurous or whichever adjectives best describe him, back it up with an example. A story is always more interesting whereas adjectives alone just feel like bragging. And don't forget to tie in how the school would help your child flourish for the next 9 years.

If you're like us, so much happen with our kids lives that it seems like a blur. Writing these essays was a great opportunity for us to step back, reflect on who our kids are starting to become and identify how they might grow in the next 9 years.

schoolhunter
09-28-2011, 12:53 AM
My husband and I both have horrible handwriting, so not sure if it is a good idea to still handwrite the TY notes. What do you think??

Like you, our childrens' lives are a real blur and now that we are trying to recollect instances that are relevant to questions asked in the application, I am totally blanking out!

Btw, are you aware of anyone on The School Boards who was applying for twins of the same gender last year?

citymona
09-28-2011, 03:25 PM
My husband and I both have horrible handwriting, so not sure if it is a good idea to still handwrite the TY notes. What do you think??

Like you, our childrens' lives are a real blur and now that we are trying to recollect instances that are relevant to questions asked in the application, I am totally blanking out!

Btw, are you aware of anyone on The School Boards who was applying for twins of the same gender last year?

We've heard of twins of opposite gender applying but not same gender. Is that what you're facing this year? I wish you lots of luck!!

Also, I echo what daddydrama said about handwriting thank yous. It probably doesn't matter at the end of the day but it does add that personal touch.

schoolhunter
10-02-2011, 11:01 PM
Hello citymona

Yes, I do have twins of the same gender and am really going to need all the luck!!! After all the stories I hear about how hard it is to get one child in, I can only imagine the challenge that lies ahead of us!