Parents who reside in New York City start their quest for private school admissions early Even with a pandemic and over 15,000 apartments empty in NYC, competition is as intense as ever. With public schools faltering, parents have begun to turn into private schools more than ever.
Here are the top 7 things you must do before even starting the application process.
#1 Start very early and consider Preschool as a Launch Pad
Start early if you want to maximize your options and opportunities for private school kindergarten admissions. Since many children attend daycare from infancy, preschool is the next logical step in the educational progression.
Private kindergartens associated with these pre-K schools allow for or prefer a continuous flow of students from one to another. Therefore, it may help to start the application early with preschool if you want your child to attend a specific kindergarten.
#2 Meet with your Preschool Director
If your child is in a preschool now, the director may provide help finding a kindergarten. They know your child and your family and can help point you in the right direction
#3 Research School Options
When you decide against public school, your life becomes both more complicated and more expensive. Go through websites and make a list and take detailed notes. First make a list and include at least 12 schools. Find out how many non sibling or non legacy spots you have. Evaluate the school and the community. Yes early but look at the college admissions list. Find out about the sports and other activities. Understand the philosophy. At the end you need a short list of 10-12 schools.
#4 Don't just focus on Kindergarten
Yes its kindergarten entry, but most likely your child will attend the private school until 8th or 12th grade. You are committing to a school and a community. Look at the entire school.
#5 Talk to other families but keep it real
Information from other families is important but keep it with a grain of salt. You will get a lot of information you need but also a lot you do not need. Always remember they are not you and your child does not necessarily resemble theirs.
#6 Referrals matter but only the right ones
If your family or very close friends has history with a specific school or is otherwise involved with the private institution directly, these types of letters may make a difference. However, loose connections, friends of friends and inactive board members may do more damage than help.
#7 Volunteer at your preschool
Private schools want involved parents; after all you are also signing up to a community not just a school. Take on leadership roles and let your preschool director know you are there. Be visible. If you can, donate money as well. Yes it does matter.