We had a great time on Tuesday night at NY PEAS informative talking on navigating the nursery school admissions process. They talked us through the facts, gave us some pointers and provided us with some useful next steps. They did NOT frighten us with scare tactics or whip us into an admissions frenzy. Having heard a few different admission consultant firms do just this in the past, I was so pleased at this more calming approach. I believe that children sense when their parents are stressed. Stressed kids, according to experts, perform worse on tests and during interviews so it just made so much sense to hear experts that were actually stress reducing rather than stress inducing.
See below for the seminar highlights:
Ten things to jumpstart the private school admissions process:
- Research as many schools as possible
- Attend spring tours/open houses as offered. Get ahead of the game.
- Keep an open mind about all schools.
- Steer away from “park bench” gossip.
- Set up a support group system with only “genuine” friends and/or an educational consultant you trust!
- Jot down the five important attributes that you value in a school.
- Get organized early by setting up a calendar or an Excel spreadsheet.
- Think about your application essay during the summer; what would you want a school to know about your child?
- Make a list of all connections you may have to any schools no matter how small.
- Stay cool, calm and positive!
Other General Tips:
- Try to find schools within a 10 block radius
- Each school has different admission procedures – make sure you know what is do when. Many are available on-line.
- Trust what parents tell you about the schools their kids attend.
- Ask yourself, “What means a lot to me in a school?”
- Nursery interviews are NOT about your child. They are really about the parents.
- Schools are looking for a variety of children and families that they feel really get the school.
- Essay – be honest but no benefit to writing weaknesses even though they may ask for them.
- Keep essays to one page or less.
- Be your child’s advocate and be united with your spouse.