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  1. #1

    Tips or advice for those of us applying to private schools next year?

    We're starting to think about the process next year and getting a bit freaked out. Those of you who just went through the process, what are some tips you'd offer for staying sane AND getting into schools? Thanx.

  2. #2
    I'm not sure if we have any tips for getting in but you do have to approach the process seriously. If you are committed to going to private school the number one tip I can give you is to be organized.

    *Many of the schools will post the tour dates in August. Make your schedule then and call the first week of September to reserve your spots. I was able to have our entire calendar of tours/open houses done in the first week of September.

    *Read all of the material they give you. Some of the schools we toured we were left feeling like we didn't get much information at all from the tour. This is where the annual reports and fancy brochures can help to fill in the blanks. It is a bit of a bland read but it helped us actually ask the right questions when the time came.

    *Don't listen to what your friends say about a school. Remember you are looking for the best school for your family and what's good for one family (or child) isn't the best for another.

    Relax, it will all work out. If you are organized the process can truly be an enjoyable experience. Good luck!

  3. #3
    * Get yourself a lot of babysitting. Depending on how many schools you tour and apply to you may be going to as many as four to five different events a week during the busiest times. Find back-up sitters and get them up to speed, find relatives or friends who can help out.

    * Consider having a strong back-up position and not limit yourself to the most-competitive, best-known schools. It does work out, but the stress of possibly not having any options at the start of quiet week is not worth it, IMHO.

    * It is difficult, but try to attend as many of the events as you can, even optional ones like games, concerts. It gives you another candid view of the school.

    * Realize there is a degree of randomness to the proceedings - there are many wonderful families and kids chasing a fixed number of spots. Sibling numbers can really swing the results, and schools really look for diversity of all kinds (preschools, background, etc.). Try not to take it personally.

    * Watch "Waiting for Superman" or another documentary, or read books about the problems facing many lower-income American families when it comes to education, to help keep a perspective on how lucky our children are!

  4. #4
    I agree with what the other parents have said. The one thing I would add is to stay open-minded. Try not to let reputations or preconceived notions cloud your real perception of the schools when you tour them. Think about what your child needs and tour the schools with that lens. You're apt to be more perceptive and have more pointed questions as a result. If we hadn't stay open-minded, we may have not been where we ended up.

  5. #5
    As you start to build a list of schools to look at, make sure to consult your preschool director. Leverage her as a resource to see if you need to add/remove any schools from the list. As the tours get going and you fill out the applications, keep her in the loop. If you have a clear first choice, communicate that to her. If you don't, that's ok but let her know if there are particular schools that stood out for you. The DOAs and your preschool director talk so the more she knows, the more helpful she can be. It doesn't hurt to be on her good side too.

  6. #6
    Thank you all very much for your tips!

    antsynlee, you mentioned really communicating with our PSD. Did you feel like your PSD had your child's best interest at heart at all times or are there times when you think she's more concerned about the school's placement numbers?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by daisyqueen73 View Post
    antsynlee, you mentioned really communicating with our PSD. Did you feel like your PSD had your child's best interest at heart at all times or are there times when you think she's more concerned about the school's placement numbers?
    At least for us, we felt like our PSD had our daughter's best interest at heart. When we started the process, we worked with her on the schools we should tour. We told her what we were looking for in a school. She added a couple (very competitive schools) and took out a couple. Once we toured the schools, we then worked with her on narrowing down the list and identifying our top choices. In the end, it worked out wonderfully for us.

  8. #8
    I agree with what antsynlee said. Without our PSD's guidance, I'm quite positive we would not have chosen the school we ended up choosing.

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