Upcoming Event: Parent Education League’s L.A. Kindergarten Admissions Panel, May 18, 2016

Parents Education League

What: Parents Education League will be hosting its annual kindergarten admissions event featuring Los Angeles area admissions directors.

When: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

Where: Bel Air Presbyterian Preschool.

Cost: $30 non-members, free for members

 

Featuring:

Leslie Clark – Calvary Christian School

Christian Davis – Turning Point School

Emma Katznelson – Wildwood School

Beth Kemp – PS1 Pluralistic School

Lauren Wolke – Laurence School

Lisa Zide – Sinai Akiba School

Moderator – Kendall Pillsbury – Sierra Canyon School

 

Moderated panel topics will include:

•What is Kindergarten Readiness and how do I know if my child is “ready”?

What about summer birthdays and “redshirting”?

•What are the differences between DK, TK, and Pre-K?

•When do I begin applying for Kindergarten?

•How many schools should I apply to?

•What is involved in the application process?

•What do I look for during school visits?

•Does my child’s “learning style” matter?

•What makes a good fit?

•How do Independent schools differ from Public and Charter schools?

•What is Financial Aid and is it available?

•What do I do if my child is wait listed?

 

This panel discussion will focus only on private/Independent school admissions.

Hosted by Bel Air Presbyterian Preschool. 

For more information, visit, www.parentseducationleague.org

 

Note: There is also a Parents Education League Middle School Admissions Panel on May 4th, 2016.

 

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L.A. Admissions Directors: Waiting For Admissions Letters by Janis Adams

PESBuzz

Here’s a piece with great insight from a few of L.A.’s top admissions directors, interviewed by Janis Adams of Academic Achievers.

 

After months of researching, preparing, applying, testing, and interviewing, there is nothing left to do now but wait.

We want to give families some behind-the-scenes insight about what is going on as final decisions are being made. Despite this being crunch time for the admissions directors, several top ADs and experts took the time to talk with us about the admissions process.

Laurel Baker Tew, Director of Admissions at Viewpoint School, reminds us that “the student isn’t the only part of the admissions decision. The family as well has to fit into the school community.”

“I used to be in college admissions,” adds Tew, “and admissions to an independent school is very different from admissions to college. In college we’re looking to admit a student; in independent school, we are looking to admit a family.”

Independent schools agree that the family has to be supportive of the school and its philosophies. Viewpoint likes parents who take the time to do the research and can articulate what it is they are looking for in their families. “Make sure the school is a good fit before going in for the interview,” suggests Laurel Baker Tew. Be sure to have specific examples and questions that align with the mission and values of the school.

Dr. Amy Horton, a prominent clinical psychologist who works with many families from independent schools, cautions, “Don’t go into the school admission process holding back relevant information about your child. It’s not necessary for them to have that perfect ISEE score. Admissions directors are looking at the whole child.” Her advice is, “The best school fit for a child is where they will thrive and feel supported even on their worst day.”

Jeanette Woo Chitjian, Director of Enrollment Management at Marlborough School, reminds us of the reality of the numbers for seats available for every applicant. “There are approximately 3-4 applicants for every one spot in 7th grade, and 10-12 applicants for every spot in 9th grade.”

Jeannette is quick to add, “We are looking for different things in different grades. In 7th grade we are looking to put a class together. In 9th grade, we are looking to add to an established class.”

Of course, each situation would have a different need. When you are putting a class together you want to have students who will balance the group as a whole. Neither an entire group of introverts nor an entire group of extroverts would make for a well-rounded class. Jeanette Woo Chitjian puts it into perspective, “Remember, it isn’t just about what the student can contribute to the class, it is also about what the student will gain from the experience.”

Like other top schools, Marlborough wants to see the academic record (grades, ISEE, ERB scores) and also importantly, the comments from the teachers. “Our girls are much more than numbers to us. We take a great deal of time in reviewing each girl’s application. We encourage parents to send additional information about the child if they feel it will help us to make a more informed decision,” says Jeannette Woo Chijian.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but especially during the stressful waiting period, it is important to remember that regardless of where your child goes to school, they will still bloom.

To this point, Admissions Consultant Rob Stone had this to say: “One thing families can do during that terrible limbo of waiting for the decision is to embrace the premise that everything is going to be okay. The biggest trap is thinking that a child’s whole future hinges on getting into a certain school. The second-biggest trap is allowing the stakes of the admissions decision to create so much pressure in the home that it begins to trickle down to the child. The worst case scenario is that a child feels like a complete failure if they don’t get in.”

You have no control whether the orchestra does or does not need a double-bass player at this time. You give it your best shot but you have no ultimate power over which candidate is accepted. Being a top contender is what matters most.

Stone adds, “It is about positivity and perspective. Getting into a school does not make, or break, the success of a kid.”

The application process is part of a bigger picture in the investment of your child’s education. The skills they develop during this preparation will serve them for a lifetime.

 

Janis Adams is the Founder/CEO of Academic Achievers, a full-services educational agency headquartered in Santa Monica. Academic Achievers provides customized ISEE, SAT, and ACT prep, application assistance and consulting. KinderPrep: Learning to Love Learning, KinderPrep Camp, as well as elementary and high school remediation and enrichment. www.academicachievers.com

 

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Getting Ready For A Parent Interview: 3 Tips from Anne Simon

Anne Simon headshot 2014

 

Anne Simon is wonderful my co-author and step-mom. With decades of experience as a head of school and admissions director, here she’s highlighted 3 tips to help you get ready for the parent interview, an essential part of the L.A. private school admissions process at many schools.

 

Preparing for a parent interview is much easier if you follow a few simple steps:
1) Review the website of the school you are visiting on the day before the interview. You’d be amazed what you might see that’s important and that you had not remembered or noticed before.

2) Review any notes you may have made about your tour experience of that school. Remember that this is a chance to zero in on that school and not be thinking about the many others you are considering. Be ready to talk about specific programs or attributes you like about that school!

3) Review your Family Message and pick out a few key points where you see that the principles of the school (philosophy, curriculum, campus design, teaching approach, community feel) are in alignment with what you have written in your message, either about your child or about what you want for your family in general. Once you have both done this, take 1/2 hour and have a conversation that focuses specifically on this school and how it would serve your family. Also discuss how, specifically, you would want to be involved there. Once you have done these things, you are good to go – don’t worry about it – you will be great!

Remember, it does require a bit of compartmentalizing in order to not be thinking and/or comparing one school to another, but it is important to stay in the moment and trust yourselves. You have much to offer any school, and your child is a bright and exciting student who will bring joy to any classroom where he or she feels safe and seen.

 

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