You may have recently noticed that schools in your area have begun inviting potential parents to upcoming open houses and information meetings. It’s hard to believe that planning for next school year is already underway; you may have just finished your back to school to-dos for the current school year, but most private schools’ admissions processes typically start about a year in advance of enrollment. Fall is the time they offer events to learn about their campuses, meet the staff, and hear specifics about the programs they offer. Application deadlines can vary, but most are due in December or January, and acceptance letters are typically mailed in March. If you are interested in finding out more about the local private schools in your area, please take note of the events happening in your area.
Where to Start
Finding the right school for your child, regardless of their grade, can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. However, it is a great time to examine what is important to your family. What environment is right for your child to learn and grow? Are you looking for a rigorous academic program? Do you want a spiritual component? Does a strong community feel essential to you? Remember that just like each child, each school is unique and offers different experiences.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has changed the way we can tour schools right now. Many schools have temporarily halted tours and shadow days and are turning to virtual open houses and information meetings. Some administrators are offering live Questions & Answer sessions via Zoom and Google Meet. You can also learn a lot about a school’s climate by visiting its website and social media platforms, which allow you to see the curriculum, activities, and outreach that students are offered. At the end of your investigation, you should ask yourself whether you can picture your family as part of the community.
What to Expect
Students are typically asked to take a readiness test and come to an interview conducted by teachers who are trained to observe age-appropriate academic and social skills. It is essential to keep this as low stress as possible for the child. Students should not need to prep ahead of time—keeping things casual benefits everyone involved. These assessments are conducted to make sure that the school is the right fit for your child.
Remember to take the process in stride; finding the school that is the right fit for your child and family can take time.
If you need any advice or guidance during the process, please feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish you a wonderful admissions season and continued health and safety!
By Jill Tripaldi, St. Isidore School Admissions Director