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K-12 Private School Admissions Process
Monthly Planner - April
Families that are
truly interested in having their student attend a private school begin the
admissions process in the spring - 18 months before the scheduled start of
the new school.
Why does this require so much time? This is a multiple-part process tied
into the emotions of both the student and their parents and if hurried
usually doesnít garner the anticipated results - the student accepted into
the best private school that meets their needs.
One of the main advantages that families find in beginning the process in
the Spring as opposed to waiting until the Fall is that they can solicit
advice from their studentís current teacher.
Who else is better to share your studentís academic strengths and
weaknesses, work ethic and motivational level then the educator who has
just spent nine months with them? In the Spring this information is still
fresh in their minds, the school year hasnít ended yet and your student is
still their priority. In the Fall this same teacher must shift their
energies to their new students -- asking them to report on your particular
student, after the summer break, might not reveal the same responses.
Scheduling a May or June Parent/Teacher year-end assessment meeting is a
pro-active way to map out the next school year for your student. This
meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss your studentís needs for
next year; find out more details about next yearís educator that your
student has been assigned and a chance to solicit this educatorís
assistance to serve as an advocate for your student in the search for a
Starting this process sooner also gives your student the additional
preparation time to think about the foreseeable changes that will occur by
attending a new school as well as time to truly devote in studying for the
admissions test. Students canít cram for these tests however taking
advantage of the summer break to review this material is an excellent use
of this time since it will not conflict with time needed for their normal
There are several books that are available to assist with the admissions
process. Several provide sample test questions and answers along with
valuable test taking techniques that will help your student do their best.
A select list of books are listed in the
As a parent whose own children have been educated at private schools, I
have been compelled to share information about the admissions process.
After enlisting the help of educational professionals I have written and
published a workbook entitled
Iím going to high school - A Guide to the Private High School Admissions
Process. (September 2001, Necessity breeds invention; ISBN:
0967033829.) This guide was written as a step-by-step workbook to assist
middle school students. It takes this very stressful, competitive,
multiple-part process and simplifies it by empowering the student to make
some personal determinations, while organizing, planning and managing the
many tasks involved in this endeavor over an 18-month period. This tool
has been called a "proven blueprint for success" and is currently
and directly from the
It canít be stress enough for the need to a lot sufficient time in the
necessary research, preparation and scheduling of the many tasks involved
in the private school admissions process. Time reduces the inherent stress
associated with the selection process and increases the odds in finding a
school that will fulfill all of your students needs.
Alice Dickerson, author,
"Iím going to high school. A Guide to the Private High School Admissions