Navigating L.A. Private Elementary School Admissions: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016

Hi Friends!

We have a few spots left at this FREE event. Please join us! Make sure to RSVP to Tessa (see below). Hope to see you there! Christina



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    “When my husband and I applied to kindergarten for my daughter, the schools seemed somewhat mysterious, like hidden gems. Neither of us attended private school, and most of these schools aren’t exactly an open book. Terms like “visiting day” and “parent interview” weren’t part of our daily vocabulary. That would soon change!”- Christina Simon, co-author of…
    Tags: private, elementary, school, l.a, admissions
  • 64
    Hi Everyone, Please join me for this L.A. private elementary and middle school event! It is free but you must RSVP to Janis at  Hope to see you there! Christina 
    Tags: christina, l.a, event, school, private, rsvp, free, hope, join, elementary
  • 56
    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…
    Tags: school, admissions, event, private
  • 54
      * Here's an updated tuition list for 2015-16   You're right. L.A. private school tuition isn't cheap. And, tuition doesn't even cover the full cost of educating a child at a private school. So, in addition to writing the big check, a parent can expect to contribute to annual giving, auctions or gala fundraisers…
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CSSAD Secondary Schools Fair-Oct. 5, 2016


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    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.…
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A Reader Question, Links and More!


SitWithUs is a new app to help kids find a place to sit at lunch so they won't have to sit alone. Genius!
SitWithUs is a new app to help kids find a place to sit at lunch so they won’t have to sit alone. Genius!


The L.A. private school admissions process is gearing up, with tours and applications on calendars. So, I thought it might be fun to answer a reader question and some “must-read” links from around the web.

But, first things first. You’ve heard Anne and me say it before, but it bears repeating: tour a lot of schools. You really can’t get a sense of the school unless you go on the tour. If there are two parents, you don’t both have to tour the first time. Just go! You’ll leave the tour knowing a lot more about the school and you’ll inevitably develop a stronger sense of what you want–or don’t want– in a school. There’s value in tours!

Here's a photo from the series I used for our family photo. Of course, the photo with me in it is missing. But, you get the picture (haha)
Here’s a photo from the series I used for our family photo for kindergarten applications. Of course, the photo with me in it is missing. But, you get the picture:)

Reader question: Can I send a family selfie as the photo for our application?

Answer: In the age of selfies, it makes sense that some families will want to use a selfie as their family photo (required for applications). I think that if the photo captures the essence of your family, you should consider using it. But, I also think that the family photo is one more small piece that tells the school who you are. Selfies are casual, fun, spontaneous. So, if the school where you’re applying has a vibe that seems like a selfie will fit with their image of the families at their school, then use it. But, for traditional schools, I’d send a more traditional photo. Look at the school’s website and Facebook Page and see what kind of photos they post. Since we applied for Kindergarten in 2005-06, selfies weren’t around. I used a photo of our family sitting on the steps of Barry’s college. It was casual, but the message was clear: we are a family who values college. Every photo tells a story. What’s your family story?


Links from around the web:

I shared these on Beyond The Brochure’s Facebook Page but definitely worth a read if you missed them:

There’s a new nature-based preschool opening in Santa Monica in 2017. 

A genius new app for kids. A very brave and talented teenage girl was bullied at an elite, all-girls L.A. private school. Before she changed schools, she ended up in the hospital. I’ve met Natalie and her I know her lovely mom, Carolyn. I didn’t know the full extent of her story until Natalie did something incredible. She created an app to help kids who are being bullied (or just feeling alone) find someplace to sit at lunch. Read about SitWithUs in UsWeekly. Get it free on iTunes. It’s gone viral and Natalie has been on NPR, local news and she’s just getting started! Nice girls rule!

After Jerry Seinfeld’s son was rejected from a “blue-chip” NYC preschool, his wife Jessica wrote this piece for Town & Country. A must-read if you’re just starting the admissions process. She has great advice and words of wisdom!

Old but good: round-up with top admissions directors about what they look for in applicants. LA Mom Magazine


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Los Angeles Independent Schools Kindergarten Fair 2016


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        What:  Elementary School Admissions Directors Fall Kindergarten Fair, 2015 When:  September 24, 2015,  7:00PM - 8:00PM Where: The Willows Community School, 8509 Higuera Street, Culver City, CA 90232 This event will offer information from 45 independent (private) schools in and around Los Angeles. For more information, click on Elementary School Admissions Directors   Don't miss a…
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  • 58
    While I was having coffee with a Beth Hillel Elementary School (BHES) board member last month, she invited me to visit the school and I immediately accepted the invitation. I'm always intrigued when I hear the words "progressive" and "religious" in the same sentence, so I set up a date to meet the head of…
    Tags: school, elementary, schools, angeles, los, beth, hillel
  • 56
    Hi Everyone! There are two private (independent) school fairs in May 2016. The expert Sandy Eiges of LA School Scout gives a great overview below of what to expect when you attend a kindergarten or secondary school fair. If you're just getting started with your school search, these events can help you gather information all…
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  • 54
    Dear Esteemed Colleagues & Friends, As you may know, I have made the difficult decision to leave Seven Arrows at the end of this school year. After a decade in my current position working in a job I’ve loved, I feel it’s time to explore other professional possibilities and commitments. It has been a pleasure…
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Los Angeles Magazine: “Preschool Battles On The Westside”


LA Magazine

Update: 9/4/16. The Sept. issue is now available online. Click here to read “A Tot Mess.”

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.

For all the latest private schools scoop, like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook!

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