The September 2016 issue of Los Angeles Magazine has a big piece, “A Tot Mess” about huge preschool battles on L.A.’s westside. It also delves into some of the factors that create the frenzied admissions to get into the “best” preschools. I’m quoted in the piece, trying to give an analogy to help offer insight into the secretive insider mentality that can lead to the admissions frenzy. I also agree with Michelle Nitka that the if you have your heart set on a certain private elementary school it’s naive to think that this won’t influence your choice of preschool. This is the “feeder” school concept at play.
This article reads like a soap-opera with all the things: money, celebrities, lawsuits, competition and more. You’ll have to pick up a copy at the newsstand like I did, since the story isn’t online. You can also buy the September issue from iTunes using the app for $5.00.
Academic Achievers: ISEE Test Prep. Practice Test and Panel Discussion with Sandy Eiges of LA School Scout. Sat. Sept. 17, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Academic Achievers Past Events: Los Angeles Area Association of Independent Schools Spring Kindergarten Fair Thursday, May 5, 2016 6:30 p.m. at Wise Elementary School www.laais.org…
Here are some very well-respected L.A. and out-of-town educational consultants who can help you with your private school search (in alphabetical order): Betsy Brown Braun Parenting Pathways, Inc. www.betsybrownbraun.com Author of "You're Not The Boss Of Me" and "Just Tell Me What To Say". Betsy provides educational consulting services for preschool and elementary school placement.…
Happy Summer! Hope you’re enjoying our hot summer here in L.A. We just returned from my son’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas where it hit 113 degrees. That’s just too hot! I posted the team’s photo on Beyond The Brochure’s Facebook page.
If you’re reading this post, you are probably anticipating the fall admissions season. Before then, there are a few important things you can do to get ready for the hectic time when you’re touring schools, writing applications, attending parent interviews and all the other activities that surround the admissions process.
1. Do The Drive. If you know a few schools where you plan to apply, drive to and from the school during morning drop off and afternoon pickup. Can you do this drive every day? Can your child be in the car comfortably for the duration of the drive? Could you find a carpool? Is the school near your work or your home? Is there a bus? If you will have two kids at different schools, how would the logistics of that work? What about before and/or after school sports or activities? The school’s distance from your home and/or office can be a huge factor when considering schools in Los Angeles, due to the enormous size of our city.
3. Get organized. Grab a big 3-ring binder notebook from Target and create tab sections for each school. Then, for each school, create sections for every step of the process: tours (your notes from tours), parent interviews, etc. If you’re more comfortable with digital organization, find the best option i.e. Google documents, iPhone Notes, Evernote or whatever you like best. Another tip: create an email folder for school admissions and keep all correspondence from schools in that folder. The main thing here is to keep every piece of paper the school sends you, either a hard copy or a scan of it. The amount of paper and organization required for the admissions process can’t be underestimated. Calling the school because you’ve lost a document can–and should–be avoided.
It’s summer and our family is enjoying every minute of it. I hope you’re taking some time to relax and enjoy a less hectic pace too.
Recently, we spent a week in NYC to vacation and see friends while my daughter spent the week at Columbia’s Scholastic Press Association journalism program for high school students–a fantastic program! She learned a ton and met some great new friends. At night we spent time as a family trying new restaurants, walking in a city where everyone walks a lot and staying up late. We had a lovely dinner with Barry’s college roommate and his family at their apartment in the city before they took off for the Hamptons and we flew back to L.A.
Today, my daughter returns from a week at Newsroom by the Bay, a weeklong journalism program at Stanford for students who write for their school newspapers. I highly recommend this program too! When my daughter gets back, she’ll hang out at home, getting some R&R, doing some community service work and probably spend time cooking with me and baking her delicious chocolate chip cookies. She’s also learning how to drive!!! My son is doing an array of sports camps in L.A. again this summer, mostly basketball and soccer. We’re looking forward to celebrating both my kids’ birthdays in late July.
Both my kids had eventful school years. My daughter finished 9th grade and my son completed 6th grade, both at Viewpoint School. There were definitely the ups and downs that come with being a mom to a middle-schooler and teenager and some days I definitely felt like I’d been tossed by the waves, with the currents of parenting swiftly pushing me along against my best efforts. Overall, I’m extremely proud of both my kids for who they are and what they’ve accomplished.
I’ve been taking writing workshops, trying to become a better non-fiction essayist. I’m in two amazing writer’s groups and I just found out an essay I wrote will be published in a literary journal!
Hope you’re enjoying the long, hot days too!
P.S. We’re planning an occasional blog series about middle and high school admissions at the request of our readers. Of course, there will be more to come on the blog about all things pertaining to elementary school admissions too! Posting will be lighter during the summer, naturally.
Here’s a general primer on 5 aspects of progressive schools that differentiate them from traditional schools. Of course, many progressive schools create their own educational curriculum which differs slightly from these 5 points, but this list can be helpful to understand what progressive schools are all about. It also discusses the history of progressive schools.
“1. Most progressive schools don’t issue report cards.
Professor John Dewey disliked the notion of children sitting in rigid rows listening to a teacher, memorizing facts and regurgitating those facts on command. Dr. Dewey felt that students needed to learn by doing. Implicit in this philosophy of education is an aversion to testing and report cards. You will monitor your child’s progress in other ways. Instead of receiving a document with traditional grades such as A’s and B’s you will receive a reporting detailing your child’s achievments in a variety of areas which the school feels are important.” –PrivateSchoolReview.com