Differences Between Progressive and Traditional Schools (Part 6)

The Answer Can Be Found In The Test

Progressive School Test

Progressive School Test

Traditional School Test

Traditional School Test

 

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Wordless Wednesday: Actress/Mom Viola Davis’ Campaign to End Child Hunger

Viola Davis partners with Safeway,

Viola Davis (The Help) is one of my favorite actresses. Her personal story is both heartbreaking and inspiring.  She grew up in extreme poverty, eating out of trash cans, hungry all the time. She put aside the shame associated with growing up poor to join with HungerIs.Org, a partnership between The Safeway Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation, to prevent childhood hunger.

Meeting Viola Davis. Yes, I was nervous! With my friend Candi Schreuders.

Meeting Viola Davis. Yes, I was nervous! With my friend Candi Schreuders. Her inspiration is contagious–my family made a small donation to HungerIs –contribution levels start at $10. Every dollar counts.

With some of my favorite writers/social media ladies, Sarah Maizes and Ashley Faucet at the event. This is social media at its best, truly.

With some of my favorite writers/social media ladies, Sarah Maizes and Ashley Faucet at the event. This is social media at its best, truly.

The MOMS w:Viola Davis

Super women! Melissa Musen Gerstein and Denise Albert (The MOMS) with Viola Davis. The MOMS hosted a lovely, intimate event at the Hotel Sofitel’s Rivera 31. #HungerIsMamarazzi. Photo: The Moms

We know that Beyond The Brochure readers are caring, compassionate moms and dads. Please take a minute to visit HungerIs.org to see how you can help. Every dollar counts. Every voice helps. Thank you–Christina

 

This post was not sponsored or compensated.

School’s Out, Summer’s Here!

Viewpoint Art: The kids painted pictures that were used to create  sets of beautiful notecards. Of course, my heart melted when I saw my son's notecards (above)

Viewpoint Art: The kids painted pictures that were used to create sets of beautiful notecards. Of course, my heart melted when I saw my son’s notecard (pictured above).

My kids just completed their first year at Viewpoint School. And what a year it has been!

 

Both my kids started the school year excited but slightly apprehensive about a new school. They’ve finished this year happy, tired, confident, dazzled and inspired. They will be both be spending time at the school this summer. My son will be at basketball camp and my daughter will be a Counselor In Training at Viewpoint’s Roadrunner camp.

My son performing at the 4th grade California Fiesta Assembly…part of the study of California history.

My son performing at the 4th grade California Fiesta Assembly…part of the study of California history.

Viewpoint School welcomed our family in a way words cannot explain. The warmth, kindness and sense of community is real. It is a school where much is expected of the kids and much is given back to them. It is traditional, rigorous and competitive academically. The dress code is enforced. Good behavior is expected. Achievement to one’s fullest potential is encouraged and expected. Along with those qualities, there is an ever-present nurturing quality about Viewpoint that my kids intuitively appreciate.

A happy Viewpoint mom!

A happy Viewpoint mom!

Viewpoint Gala Night On The Town

Most of all, we are grateful for the kindest, most genuine welcome our family could have imagined.We have been embraced by the headmaster, the admissions director, the teachers and administrators. And the other parents too. This made our first year at the school a huge success. We look forward to many more years there. It’s a good feeling.

 

Thank you, Viewpoint School. Thank you.

 

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Preschool Chatter Doesn’t Matter When It Comes To Admissions on Elizabeth Street

Elizabeth Street Logo

A lot of conversations about private kindergarten admissions happen after preschool drop-off. Or, before pick up. But when does the preschool rumor mill add stress to an already crazy-making time?

 

Speaking from personal experience, here’s my advice on dealing with these high-octane conversations. –Christina

 

Preschool Chatter Doesn’t Matter When It Comes To Admissions on Elizabeth Street. 

 

 

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Laurence School: 7th Grade Acceptances for 2014

 Laurence School 7th Grade Acceptances For 2014:

 

Archer: 7

Brentwood: 2

Buckley: 9

Campbell Hall: 24

Harvard-Westlake: 11

Marlborough: 10

Oakwood: 13

Polytechnic: 1

Sierra Canyon: 2

Viewpoint: 1

Westridge: 2

Windward: 3

 

Source: Laurence School

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter. Are you more the email type? Get our posts in your in box by subscribing (enter your email in the subscribe” box on the right sidebar of the blog. Or, buy the Second Edition of our book at Amazon.com or your local bookstores!

 

Lakeshore Learning’s “Are You Ready For K?” Game Giveaway!

 

Are You Ready For K? 1

 

Since my kids were very young, Lakeshore Learning has been one of my family’s favorite go-to places for great educational games, toys and learning activities. Now, Lakeshore Learning has a new game, Are You Ready For Kindergarten?

 

You can enter to WIN one free copy of Are You Ready For Kindergarten? 

 

Are You Ready For Kindergarten? is a quiz show style board game intended to be a fun way to engage your kid in learning activities designed by educators to help them get ready for kindergarten. My kids are too old for this game, but they would have loved playing it because anything about getting ready for kindergarten got them excited about that next big step.

 

Are You Ready For K? 2

Developed by teachers and educators, Are You Ready For Kindergarden? includes a feature on LakeshoreLearning.com where you can enter your child’s game results, get an instant online assessment and print out free materials tailored to your kid’s results, focused on any areas where your child needs practice. What’s not to love about that?

 

If you’re applying to L.A. private elementary schools, this game might be just the activity you’ve been looking for to help your child get ready for visiting/testing day. It’s probably no surprise that some of the game’s questions look very similar to those on assessment tests for private kindergarten.

 

Are you ready for K? 3

 

Obviously, obviously, obviously, a game shouldn’t be the deciding factor as to whether your child is ready for kindergarten. This is just for fun! Are Your Ready For Kindergarten? is an entertaining board game complete with quiz show style math and language questions, pretend cash and a personal online assessment and custom teaching tool!

 

Are You Ready is the first game in a series for Kindergarten-5th grade.

 

It is super-easy to enter the giveaway!

 

1. Leave a “reply” (comment) on this blog.

 

2. You can use an anonymous name, but you must enter your correct email address (it is only visible to Beyond The Brochure, not to the public.) We will contact the winner using this email.

 

3. Giveaway ends Thursday, May 29, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. PST. Winner will be chosen randomly.  Retail value: $29.99

 Update! Congratulations to our winner, Sara. 

Good luck!

This post was not sponsored or compensated. 

 

 

Weekend Links: Trendy New Private School Kid’s Activity, Photos and more!

My son and Coach Freddy (Pacific Elite). They'll ride or die for each other.

Pure Gold. My son and Coach Freddy (Pacific Elite Basketball Club). West Coach Warriors Tournament Champions!

Day 2 at West Coast Warriors Tournament, Corona, CA

My son in the green sneakers. Day 2 at West Coast Warriors Tournament, Corona, CA

Getting ready for Hollywood Housewife's Garage Sale for Haiti.

With Lindsay (Expressing Motherhood)  and Laura Tremaine (Hollywood Housewife) as we’re getting ready for Hollywood Housewife’s Garage Sale for Haiti. The sale raised more than $4,000, all for kids in Haiti with a contribution match from Laura and her husband! This is social media/blogging at its best.

I picked up these glass candle holders for next to nothing at Garage Sale For Hait. From Marilyn at Property Sisters.

I picked up these glass candle holders for next to nothing at Garage Sale For Haiti.

At a fundraiser to support Hilda Solis, former Sec. of Labor, for L.A. County Board Of Supervisors, First District. Event at my friend Marylou's home in Claremont. Good luck, Hilda!

At a fundraiser to support Hilda Solis, former Sec. of Labor, for L.A. County Board Of Supervisors, First District. Event at my friend Marylou’s home in Claremont. Good luck, Hilda!

An entire See's Candies store to ourselves! At launch of the new S. Pasadena location on Fair Oaks. Christina Simon, Jill Simonian (The FAB mom and event host) and Candi Schreuders (Stratford School.)

An entire See’s Candies store to ourselves! At launch of the new S. Pasadena location on Fair Oaks. Christina Simon, Jill Simonian (The FAB mom and event host) and Candi Schreuders (Stratford School.)

At The See's Counter. With Laura (Hollywood Housewife) and Jennifer Brandt (Perfectly Disheveled). Jill Simonian, host, not pictured. #SeesatFairOaks

At The See’s Counter. With Laura (Hollywood Housewife) and Jennifer Brandt (Perfectly Disheveled). Jill Simonian (The FAB Mom, hostess with the mostess) not pictured.

 

Coding (computer programming) is a super-trendy new activity for kids at both private and public schools. But what if your kid would rather play computer games than code them? NYT Motherlode

 

How Not To Suck AT Recruiting and Retaining School Volunteers. This is a very funny memo to moms (the OCD-type PTA moms!). The PTA isn’t a sorority mixer or a country club with membership based on income or the car you drive, says Snarky In The Suburbs. That’s right, it isn’t–or shouldn’t be!

 

Mom 101 nailed it. Parents: You’re Doing It All Wrong. A must-read because…

“You, who fed your babies formula for any reason at all (unbearable pain, postpartum depression, cultural pressure, adoption), I hope you know your child is at a greater risk for obesity and a career as a gas station attendant.”

 

“You, who nursed your children just as long as they needed to, even at night at five-years-old (just sometimes) to help them sleep, you know your child is going to have total Oedipal issues for life. Have fun being his date to the prom.”–Mom 101

 

Oh, this is a good one. Parents At The Beginning of The School Year vs. The End of The Year BuzzFeed)

 

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter. Are you more the email type? Get our posts in your in box by subscribing (enter your email in the subscribe” box on the right sidebar of the blog. Or, buy the Second Edition of our book at Amazon.com or your local bookstores!

 

Notes From the DTS Kindergarten Admissions Director’s Event 2014

 

Photo: Bing Images

The other night, I attended the Determined To Succeed annual kindergarten admissions director’s event. I’d been to this event before, but I thought it was time to go back again for a refresher on the L.A. private school admissions scene.

 

The panel included two admissions directors I hadn’t seen before and I’m always interested in hearing directly from the women who hold the keys to the empires. The evening began with remarks from the talented students that Determined To Succeed helps mentor and support to prepare them for college.

 

After stopping to chat with Stacy Marks, the friendly, hardworking event lecture chairperson, I sat down in the room of about 75 parents to hear the panel answer pre-prepared questions posed by the moderator (Mimi Petrie of Curtis School).

 

Here’s an overview of the key points made by the admissions directors:

 

  • A “gift” letter is a letter sent to schools to families who have children with summer birthdays. It’s a nice way of saying give your kid the gift of time i.e. he/she is too young. This is true even if he/she meets the cutoff date. But, since every school has a different cut-off date, he/she may be accepted at one school and wait-listed at another school, receiving a “gift” letter.

 

  • Families who want robust arts programs for their kids will appreciate what many private schools offer. This is especially true in light of public school budget cuts that have reduced or eliminated arts programs.

 

  • The “Dear Judy Letter” was joked about by the panelists. Every year, they said, one of them gets a letter of recommendation intended for an admissions director at a different school. They call the family and tell them they will be sending back the letter because it wasn’t intended for them. This makes the family look disorganized and unable to follow instructions (Brentwood School doesn’t take letters of recommendation!). This was somewhat of an inside joke since “Judy” refers to Judy Hirsch at John Thomas Dye.

 

  • Parents who tell every school they are their “first choice” can be exposed as disingenuous when admissions directors talk to each other.

 

  • Admissions directors are familiar with virtually every preschool in the city. Therefore, parents shouldn’t worry about selecting the “right” preschool based on elementary school matriculation. Families should select the preschool that is right for their child.

 

  • One school, Westside Neighborhood School, welcomes parents who want to see the school again after being admitted, but before making their decision. Brentwood School frowns on this request because if a family has completed the extensive admissions process and still can’t decide, then maybe it’s not the right school. And, staff at Brentwood is too busy to accommodate those requests.

 

  • Pay close attention to the culture of the school. You’ll be spending many years there as a parent and you want the fit to be comfortable.

 

  • It is completely acceptable to apply to both progressive and traditional schools.

 

  • Prepare for parent interviews with smart questions that show your interest in the school. Waiting for the admissions director to do all the talking  shows a lack of interest and/or preparation on the part of the parents and makes the interview a lot of work for the admissions director.

 

  • If there is something on your mind about your child or about the school, the parent interview is the best time to discuss it. If you plan to get into the school and then try to make changes, that doesn’t typically work.

 

  • The panelists agreed that preschool directors are a valuable resource for parents since they know the kids so well. Learning styles, readiness for kindergarten are key areas where preschool directors can provide valuable advice.

 

  • Beth Behar (Steven S. Wise) told the audience that the philosophy of the kid’s preschool does not need to “match” the elementary school type (progressive, traditional, etc.). Your child can move from a traditional preschool to a progressive elementary school or vice-versa. She says to pick the best preschool for your toddler and don’t focus on whether it is the “right” preschool to get into elementary school. The panel agreed.
  • Mary Beth Barry, Brentwood School’s admissions director, said she gets a lot of clarity from wait-listed parents who call to say, “If admitted, we’ll come.” Then, when she goes to her wait-list, these are the first parents she contacts. Good to know!

 

Next year, DTS will feature a different panel of admissions directors. Every admissions director has their own style. 

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter. Are you more the email type? Get our posts in your in box by subscribing (enter your email in the subscribe” box on the right sidebar of the blog. Or, buy the Second Edition of our book at Amazon.com or your local bookstores! 

 

Hollywood Housewife’s Garage Sale For Haiti… Join Me on Sat!

Garage Sale For Haiti

One of the best things about the L.A. community of mom bloggers and social media women I’ve met since we started Beyond The Brochure in 2010, is how much they do to make our city and our world a better place. When I got an email from Laura Tremaine (Hollywood Housewife) asking for donations and help with her garage sale to benefit kids she’d just me on a trip to Haiti, of course I said yes. All 100 percent of proceeds from the garage sale go to help Haitian kids who are orphaned and have been victims of human trafficking.

 

I’ll be there on Saturday with my daughter to shop, socialize and support this important cause.

 

Meet Me There!

 

I promise to answer any question you have about L.A. private schools–off the-record, of course:)

 

Here are a few things from my closet (and my kids too) that will be for sale at very, very low prices.

 

 

 

 

 

Free K+ Admissions Event hosted by Parents Education League-Thurs. May 15

PEL Event
If you’re interested, there is an impressive group of admissions directors on this panel.

 

WHAT: Parents Education League -Elementary School Admissions Panel

 

WHEN: Thursday, May 15 hosted by Parents Education League.

 

WHERE: Pacific Design Center. Note: event is full, but wait-list status is available. PEL is looking for a larger space for the event (per FB).

www.parentseducationleague.org

Sponsored by ScholarShare, California’s 529 College Savings Program.