Holiday Gift Giving: One Private School’s Guide


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When a friend forwarded me this message from her kid’s school to all parents, I had to post it, of course. While I’m not mentioning the school name, I will say it this gift list is clearly not voluntary, despite claims to the contrary. But, most of all, the ranked order of staff and dollar amounts for their gifts is cringe-worthy. If it were me, I’d double triple the gift amount for the facilities staff. Take that, posh Westside private school! 

 

From the school:

 

We invite you to participate in the holiday gift-giving program for our faculty and staff. This program is designed to give them monetary gifts instead of presents to show our appreciation for their dedication to our children.

Attached is a list of our faculty and staff (except for XX and XX few staffers), who are not eligible for cash gifts).

Your gifts are completely voluntary, and you can give any amount to as few or to as many people as you wish. Some parents have also asked us for a gift-giving guideline:

Lead Classroom Teachers: $50-$75
Lead Specialist Teachers
(Spanish, Technology, Music, P.E., Art, Science, Library):
$10-$25
Assistant Teachers (both classroom and specialist assistants): $15-$25
Staff (office staff, facilities, administration): $10-$15

 

 

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Weekend Links: Pasadena Preschool Fair, Dissertation-Style High School Finals and more!

Pasadena Preschool Fair

(Click on flyer above to see list of schools attending Pasadena Preschool Fair)

 

 

Instead of tests, rigorous dissertation-style final exams are used as assessments at one school in the Bay Area. The Pursuit of Deeper Learning. (The Atlantic)

 

The GOP staffer who resigned after cruelly insulting the Obama daughters still has one important thing left to do. I’m still seething about this distressing episode. My piece this week in mom.me

 

A dad talks about his decision to choose the local “underprivileged” school in San Diego and make it his family’s community. (NYT Motherlode)

 

Getting into some public schools can be extremely competitive. The cutthroat world of elite public schools. (The Atlantic)

 

Finally, the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York, the Grand Jury verdict last week, the ongoing protests and political commentary have all been topics of discussion in our house with our kids. It is heartbreaking.

 

Courtesty of @markduplass on Twitter

Courtesy of @markduplass on Twitter

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook. We post a lot of stuff on Facebook that’s not on the blog!  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!

Guest Blogger Alice: Getting Into Harvard-Westlake

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Harvard-Westlake. It’s one of the schools we’ve all heard about, known for academic excellence, rigor and college placement.  If our kids can make it there, they’ll make it anywhere… Admit it or not, there are plenty of parents in L.A. that choose their preschools based on their dream of sending their kids to Harvard-Westlake. They believe that Harvard-Westlake leads to Harvard, Princeton or Yale and untold riches from there.  Maybe…  if you can get in.

 

I think there are better reasons to apply to Harvard-Westlake than plotting where your kid will go to college. It offers an exciting high school experience that is hard to match, not just in L.A., but also in the country.  There’s an intellectual curiosity in the air and there are kids there doing amazing and inspiring things in athletics, art, film, dance and drama. The energy is palpable.  You might be talking to a kid headed to MLB, or about to join an orchestra, or on their way to West Point.  There’s true variety and intensity. It’s fun.

 

My family has applied twice to Harvard-Westlake, one daughter was wait-listed and chose not to fight the wait-list and go instead to Brentwood. The other got in and went, so I have a little perspective on the application process and what it entails.  First, I just have to say a few truths not every parent wants to face. Harvard-Westlake is really a great school for the right kid.  But not every kid is the right kid and those kids who don’t go to Harvard-Westlake can have an equally spectacular future ahead of them that will be best realized by finding the right school for them.

 

We private school parents can be little nuts.  We occasionally put prestige and self interest ahead of what type of learner a kid is — how self directed they are, how organized and a myriad of other things.  Every admissions officer and lower school counselor will tell you that they want to find the match for your child.  It can sound like a blow off when you first hear it, because we know what we want, however, I have three kids ages 22 to 9 and I’ve seen a hundreds of kids going through the private school system and it’s kind of true.  You are looking for a match.  And it’s not just a match for your kid, but for your family.

 

Location of school, cost of tuition, what’s happening with siblings, these things actually matter and admissions officers know that.  No school is worth stressing out the whole family, either with an untenable commute, or by putting a family in financial hardship.  And if you’re only applying so you can get into an Ivy League College, bare in mind there will be a hundred other kids applying to that chosen Ivy from Harvard-Westlake that same year.  Your child may actually have a better chance getting there from somewhere else.

H-W MS

Then there is your kid.  If your kid needs you to force them to do their homework every night, if you edit every paper, if you have hired a math tutor two years running, if your kid cares more about the weekend party than the “C” he or she got on a test, than Harvard- Westlake really might not be a match.  Your child has to actually want the work and enjoy intellectual rigor.  You wanting it for them likely won’t cut it.

 

That’s not to say there isn’t a range of kids at Harvard-Westlake, there are.  There are kids there who aren’t great students, but generally speaking those so-so students are either the scion of donors or super talented athletes, musicians or artists. Harvard-Westlake isn’t looking for only one kind of kid — they cannot have a class of 270 brainiacs.  They need kids who don’t want to go to Harvard, but want to go to Cal Arts.  They need the film school kid, or the Big Ten athlete, or even the one going straight to the MLB.  They even need those kids who will choose UCSB or Hobart or one of the million other great colleges in the US.   But I think when they are building a class, they are looking for “something”.  Something that your child brings to the table that will make the class interesting and rich and full.  You need to figure out what that is before you and your kid fill our your application.  Why are they a Harvard-Westlake kid?

 

Both my daughters were perfectly academically qualified to be Harvard-Westlake students.  They had the same IQ, which I only know because I sent them to Mirman and you have to take a test. ( Mirman is one of several feeder schools for Harvard-Westlake but plenty of kids get in from all over, including kids who were home schooled).  My daughters had similar, though not identical, grades.  Both did extra curricular activities, both had talents and both had parents who gave the same amount of money to annual giving (not much).   The year my oldest applied it was one of the toughest years to get in.  The economy was thriving; everyone wanted private school education and could afford it.   She was wait-listed.  When I snooped around, I discovered, every kid from Mirman who’s ISEE’s were higher than hers got in.  Everyone in her class who’s ISEE’s were lower did not.  She was the only one wait-listed.   Her ISEE’s were fine, but not great.  Lots of “7s”and a “6″.  But she’s applying from Mirman and generally speaking Harvard-Westlake is looking for Mirman kids to be their test takers, their science kids.  That year they had a lot to choose from and took the best scores.

 

Cut to my second daughter’s year to apply.  The economy had tanked, people were fleeing to public magnets and Catholic schools.  Mirman kids with way worse ISEEs than my eldest were accepted to Harvard-Westlake that year.  Never underestimate how much sheer random circumstance plays in this particular game. However, while I believe that my older daughter would have definitely gotten into Harvard-Westlake my younger daughter’s year, I also believe my younger daughter would have gotten in any time she applied.  You can’t stop the right match.  And I can say this with some certainty because my husband sort of tried to stop her.

 

Since our eldest had gone to Brentwood, he thought her sister should too.  Plus he’d heard all the horror stories.  It’s an evil citadel where children are over worked and under appreciated. There are drugs and roving gangs of over privileged kids wandering the halls.   (These same stories circulate about all the private high schools at one point or another).  So he shows up late to her interview and was ever so slightly combative with the interviewer.  But my daughter knew what she wanted and had worked hard to get there.  We never had to ask about her homework, it was always done. She had won awards of some substance in theatre.  She tested well in mythology and Spanish and the other various ways Mirman academically competed and she’d won the heart of her teachers.

 

Her ISEE scores weren’t perfect but she had one “8″and one “9″ so her “6″ and “7″ could be more easily overlooked.  The “9″ she had was in English, which matched her academic profile.  She was a match for Harvard-Westlake.  So much so, that as a graduate she has taught in their summer school and been a paid teacher’s assistant twice.  Her late application, her parents who give in the “hundreds” range at annual giving, and her older sibling who had made another choice, nothing could stop the match, she was a Harvard- Westlake kid.  She got in.

 

So if Harvard-Westlake is the dream:

  • ISEEs matter.  Take a prep course, but only one.  Your child simply needs to know the test and how to take it.  Studying for years won’t change things.  There’s only much the scores will go up.  Some kids with 4’s and 5’s will still get in, if they bring something else to the table, (music, art, dance, sports)  so don’t make this the sword you die on.

 

  • Your child should be able to clearly state why they want to go to Harvard-Westlake.  What does the school offer that works for them?  Don’t make it up. If your kid doesn’t have a history of caring about science, don’t pretend they’re suddenly going to love it now.  If they love theatre, fencing or Anime, say it, they might be looking for just that kid this year.

 

  • If you’re alumni or have a strong connection to the school, play it.   These things do matter.  The caveat however is that you can’t pretend to be a bigger donor than you are.   Your history of giving is your history, if you’ve been giving a thousand dollars a year to your elementary school, no one will believe you’re suddenly going to give a million.

 

  • The interview is important.  Not for you to talk, but for your kid to.  My daughter very clearly articulated why she didn’t want to go to the same school as her sister and why Harvard-Westlake was unequivocally her first choice.

 

  • Let your elementary or middle school counselors know what you want and why.  But prepare to listen!  If the counselor is saying over and over you need to look other places, or they don’t think it’s the right match.  Hear them and start looking seriously at other schools.  They are telling you that despite the perfection you see in your kid, their teachers recommendations aren’t going to be as great as you think they should be and that you’re elementary school which has an ethical obligation to be honest will not be promoting your child as a match.

 

  • If there is an extra recommendation that really is relevant to your child’s talents, dedication or enthusiasm then get it and submit.  But there is such a thing as over kill.  Don’t submit three of them, or get random recommendations from the most famous people you know. Getting J.K. Rowling or President Obama to write your kid’s recommendation can come off as obnoxious rather than cool.

 

My short story ends like this.  I have one more kid, my son who will surely apply to Harvard-Westlake. He hung out there growing up and loves it in theory.  Right now he’s 9 years-old. In the end I have no clue if it’s going to be right for him or not.  My sense is that if he makes it, it will be on sports and not on being a top test taker.  I hope it works out, I do love the place, but I’m already compiling a short list of places I’d be perfectly happy sending him.  They are smaller, closer and great schools as well.   We shall see.

 

Mother of three, Alice attended east coast private schools as a child and has been in the private school world as a parent for nearly twenty years.  Her kids attended Mirman for elementary, then Harvard-Westlake and Brentwood for high school, with one still to go.  She is a writer working in film, TV and for various magazines such as Family Fun, Wondertime, Glamour and Brides. 

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook. We post a lot of stuff on Facebook that’s not on the blog!  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!

Weekend Links: Play-Based Nature Kindergartens, Parenting Trends and more!

 

Viewpoint at Laurel Hall. First year playing for Viewpoint's flag football team. What a blast!

Viewpoint at Laurel Hall. My son’s first year playing for Viewpoint’s flag football team. What a blast!

Nature inspired forest kindergartens aren’t focused on academics and they’re catching on around the country. (NPR/KQED)

 

Since my daughter was born in 2000, a lot has changed in the world of parenting. My go-to basics like Sippy cups are now out! Who knew? This week, I wrote about the top14 parenting trends, what’s in (and out!) (mom.me)

 

One of the BEST pieces I’ve read about how moms need to be all in, all the time. Our Mommy Problem (NYT)

 

With Sarah Maizes

With Sarah Maizes

My friend Sarah Maizes (above) wrote this hilarious piece about vintage (and terrifying car seats). You must see how we used to ride with our babies! (mom.me)

 

A stunningly beautiful piece about missing the village to raise our kids. This piece resonated with me deeply, as I sometimes feel so alone in raising my kids in L.A. (Huffington Post)

 

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know how much I love school gardens and the movement to feed our kids healthy food at school. Farm to table movement comes to school cafeterias (Marketplace on NPR)

 

Authors of a new report aren’t happy about kindergarten becoming the new first grade. The article points out that some kids are ready to read in kindergarten while others need more time. (Washington Post)

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook. We post a lot of stuff on Facebook that’s not on the blog!  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!

Ethics Guru Josephson’s Lawsuit Against The Archer School For Girls in Brentwood

Archer School For Girls

The Archer School For Girls in Brentwood

In July, 2014, the LA Times published an article detailing the lawsuit by ethics guru Michael Josephson against his daughters’ former school, The Archer School For Girls in Brentwood (7-12th grade).

 

To summarize, after his older daughter was expelled for an argument with a teacher (facts are disputed), he filed suit against the school. Shortly thereafter, his younger daughter left the school just before the end of the school year and was subsequently told by Archer she could not re-enroll for the next school year. The entire Josephson family was banned from the Archer campus. His wife, Anne, had previously served on the Archer board of trustees. Josephson, an attorney, started a blog detailing his legal case against the school.

 

According to the Times, Josephson’s  lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages, which the school calls “frivolous.” The litigation is extremely contentious, settlement attempts appear to have failed and the school is seeking arbitration which Josephson is fighting in court. According to his blog, Josephson is seeking the resignation of the head of school, among other things. As of Oct. 2014, the matter had not been resolved.

 

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Marlborough Head of School to Resign Following Sexual Harassment Investigation Report

Barbara Wagner, head of school at Marlborough School will resign effective June 30, 2015, following an investigation into her handling of allegations of sexual harassment brought by two former students against a former teacher. The report points to a “serious error in judgement by the head of school” when in 2005, Ms. Wagner failed to fully investigate a complaint by a student against the teacher, Mr. Koetters. The report states that Ms. Wagner incorrectly questioned the student’s veracity and motive regarding the teacher. According to the report, Ms. Wagner also failed to fully investigate a second student’s complaint about the teacher in 2012.

 

2:45 p.m. update: BuzzFeed quotes an attorney for one of the victims who says he’s not satisfied with the outcome. Looks like there may be a lawsuit brewing. The piece also quotes the mother of one victim.

Here is the report issued by the Board of Trustees and the Special Investigative Committee

Marlborough 1

Marlborough 1.5

Marlborough 2

Marlborough A

Marlborough 4

Marlborough 5

Marlborough 6

How To Navigate Private School Admissions on mom.me

Momme

I’m SO excited to be a new contributor to mom.me, a national parenting site (part of AOL Lifestyle). –Christina

 

Here’s an excerpt from my piece, part one of two in a series.

 

“When you embark on this journey, you might feel like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” as she travels down the Yellow Brick Road and encounters all kinds of characters (some admissions directors may remind you of the Wicked Witch). So, put on your ruby red slippers to navigate the ups and downs of the admissions process. When it’s over, you’ll (hopefully!) be holding a handful of acceptance letters as you pop open a bottle of celebratory champagne.”

To continue reading, click on mom.me

Private Elementary School BUZZ

 

PESBuzz

Alice Fleming, Campbell Hall’s long-serving director of admissions, will be leaving her job at the end of this admissions cycle.

 

Mr. Andrew, the head of Fountain Day School, has a kid at Laurence School so its not surprising that the West Hollywood preschool is a big feeder to very-popular Laurence School.

 

At my kids’ school, Viewpoint, our very well-respected headmaster, Dr. Robert J. Dworkoski, has stepped down after three decades as head of school. A national search for his replacement is underway. Luckily, Dr. Dworkoski will continue on in a new role as President of the Viewpoint Educational Foundation. We wish him success in his new position!

 

Becky Riley Fisher is no longer the Mirman School’s admissions director. The acting director of admissions is Jocelyn Balaban-Lutzky.

 

Congratulations to Beyond The Brochure’s good friend, Jen Foley Tolbert, who will start as the new head of St. Mark’s in Altadena in 2015. She is currently finishing her tenure as director of the Middle School at Polytechnic. Jen will make an excellent head of school!

 

If you have a legendary last name or you’re a celebrity, feel free to use the school roster at some schools (not Viewpoint) for solicitations for your personal charity or your friend’s jewelry line. If you don’t have a famous last name, don’t even try it.

 

At Willows School, apparently TWO members of the board are applying out for 7th grade this year (rather than stay through 8th grade). Is the Willows middle school not good enough for their kids? Given the school’s rather desperate attempts to keep families in the middle school, this highly unusual move smacks of a double standard.  Board members, don’t seem to have to follow the rules that apply to other families.

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook. We post a lot of stuff on Facebook that’s not on the blog!  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!

 

 

About Beyond The Brochure: Expanded Edition


Home office

About This Blog

Beyond The Brochure is just over 4 years old! In 2010, after the release of the First Edition of our book, Beyond The Brochure: An Insider’s Guide To Private Elementary Schools In Los Angeles, my co-authors and I decided we wanted to write a blog to accompany the book. Now, 4 years later, we’re still writing. The Second Edition of the book was released in 2013. What started as a book project is now a small business!

 

Who Writes This Blog?

Most of the writing on the blog is done by me (Christina) with the occasional post from Anne Simon (my amazing co-author who is also my step-mom) and our fabulous guest bloggers. The blog is about all aspects of private elementary school admissions. It’s also about what life is like at some of these private schools. I’m proud that Beyond The Brochure has been featured in The Daily Beast, The Hollywood Reporter, LA Parent, Elizabeth Street, Red Tricycle, Mommy Poppins and Santa Monica Macaroni Kid and numerous other publications.

 

The kids and me, 2012

 

What Kind of Blog Is This?

If you’re new here, welcome! Stripped of context, Beyond The Brochure might seem like a lot of things it isn’t. So let me explain. This is primarily a how-to blog (how to get your kid into private elementary school without losing your mind). It’s not a review of private schools. It’s also my story of applying to kindergarten (stressful!), enrolling my kids at The Willows School, the ups and downs during those years. And, it’s about my kids moving to Viewpoint School last year for 4th and 7th grade. Yes, we went through the middle school process (very, very stressful!). Now in 5th (my son) and 8th grade (my daughter) they are challenged and inspired at Viewpoint. It’s an exceptionally good school.

 

What Topics Are Covered on the Blog?

My goal is for this blog to be simultaneously helpful and something you can relate to.  You’ll find that this blog follows the schedule of the admissions process. When you’re agonizing over written applications and taking off work to tour schools, that’s what we’ll be covering. For example, what should you look for during a school tour besides what the school wants you to see? When you’re taking your child for visiting/testing day, we’ll be writing about that topic. You’ll also find pieces about all aspects of private school life, from tuition and annual giving to Q&A interviews with educational consultants and upcoming private school events. Writing about what’s trendy at private schools is also one of my favorite subjects. Of course, the blog contains a bit of snarkiness, along with a sense of humor (required to get through the admissions process). I also share stuff I write as a freelancer for other sites. Our growing Facebook page is a great place to see the information we post that’s not on the blog.

 

Sweetness

 

Who Reads This Blog?

About 15,000 each month, moms and dads who want their kids to attend L.A. private school are reading it. Both the book and the blog are written for parents. Neither is intended for school admissions directors, although some of them read it too. We’ve received emails from a few heads of school telling us they like our blog (we know what they’re really saying is ‘watch what you say about my school’). It’s our belief and personal experience that a lot of the schools hold tightly to information about admissions, making it difficult for parents who aren’t “insiders” to find out much about them, let alone get their kids in. We think private school websites have improved over the past few years, but still offer only the minimum amount of information needed to apply. Navigating the admissions process isn’t addressed on school websites. So, every year, thousands of parents around L.A. re-invent the wheel looking for information about schools, asking questions, seeking the best school for their kids. It’s a process of course, but it doesn’t need to be so strenuous! For example, what should you expect during a parent interview? What kind of questions might be asked? What are you expected to know and/or ask? What makes a good parent interview? What should you do if the parent interview doesn’t go well? These are just some of the questions we focus on.

 

Santa Barbara Summer Cup 2014

 

Who Writes This Blog?

The blog is written mostly by me (Christina Simon). I spend about 30 hours a week writing, attending social media events, writing for other publications and speaking at preschools about kindergarten admissions.  I post here 1-2 times per week. Tools of the trade include my iPhone 5S, a Panasonic Lumix camera, Picktochart for infographics, PicMonkey for photo editing and a bunch of photo editing apps like Afterlight. Together, my co-authors and I answer all reader emails and we welcome comments. There are a lot of L.A. private schools that are excellent. Some are traditional, others are progressive or developmental.  I don’t typically say one is better than another, only different. It depends on what you’re looking for in a school. These schools are expensive, so if you don’t know, that should be your starting point.   It takes me several hours to write each post.  Sometimes, I think about a post, editing and re-editing for several days or talking to people in the know to get another perspective on a post.  Our most popular posts lately are about tuition. I’m on Facebook daily, but as a work-at-home-mom, I have to make sure a big potion of my day doesn’t become too solitary. Writing a blog can be isolating, so I try to schedule lunches with other colleagues and friends, tour schools for our School Profiles section and schedule meetings to break up the day, which also consists of racing around in sweat pants or jeans doing laundry, washing dishes, grocery shopping, picking up kids, going to my son’s games and volunteering at school (a lot like your day, probably).  Every week, I share my innermost hopes and fears with a group of women I barely know in a support group for motherless daughters.

 

Tools of the Trade

 

Professionalism and confidentiality matter. We understand that many readers are reluctant to comment due to concerns about confidentiality. We have never, ever shared a reader email or comment with anyone. You can leave an anonymous comment and be assured your name will remain anonymous. Comments are moderated because we aren’t interested in a bunch of spam or nasty Internet troll comments. You’ll see that my interests are focused on issues like finding your community at private school (this has been my biggest challenge), school gardens and the culture of L.A. private schools. Some private schools are very similar to elite country clubs, while others are far more accessible to regular families. I think private schools should be available to families who aren’t private school legacies or uber-wealthy. That means information about how to apply needs to be easily available to anyone who wants it. Financial aid information, which is used to help middle-income families, not just low-income parents, should also be accessible. I’ve seen a lot of this city’s private elementary and secondary schools, but not all of them (yet!).

 

I don’t write much about my kids’ academic experience for privacy reasons. I don’t use their names for the same reason. What I will say is that I have two absolutely amazing, spirited, insightful, kind, smart and funny kids. Generally speaking, they’re both very good students with different interests and personalities. My son is 11 and he’s a serious athlete who plays club soccer and club basketball, in addition to school sports. He loves math. My daughter, 14, has several favorite subjects like French, writing and journalism. My husband, Barry Perlstein, has written a few posts for the blog. He’s a really good writer and very funny. He majored in math at Harvard and then he graduated from Harvard law school. He’s works in management consulting and previously in private equity. For the past few years, he’s volunteered as an alumni interviewer for Harvard. He’s definitely the smartest person I know. We try to find balance in our parenting style, but we don’t always achieve it. He handles most of the sports stuff for our son. We don’t want to push our kids too hard, but we want them to take advantage of the opportunities they are fortunate to have at Viewpoint.

 

BH Hotel 3

 

You’ll see that my interests are focused on issues like finding your community at private school (this has been my biggest challenge), school gardens and the culture of L.A. private schools. Some private schools are very similar to elite country clubs, while others are far more accessible to regular families. I think private schools should be available to families who aren’t private school legacies or uber-wealthy. That means information about how to apply needs to be easily available to anyone who wants it. Financial aid information, which is used to help middle-income families, not just low-income parents, should also be accessible. I’ve seen a lot of this city’s private elementary and secondary schools, but not all of them (yet!).

 

I grew up in Topanga and went to public school including Santa Monica High. It was too big and impersonal. It’s one of the reason I wanted my kids to experience a smaller, more nurturing private school environment. I attended college at UC Berkeley and worked in politics and corporate public relations for many years. After living in Hancock Park, Barry and I wanted a change so we moved to Coldwater Canyon. About 7 years ago I started playing tennis and its one of my absolute favorite things to do. Our family also includes a rescue pit bull named Cocoa. Supporting charitable causes and hosting/attending events are what we do to give back whenever we can. My guilty pleasures are shopping, celebrity and fashion magazines, HGTV, good books and going to my favorite restaurants like Jar, AOC and Madeo. I drink coffee because without it I’m not myself. I enjoy going to dinner with friends. I wish I were part of a writer’s group or a book club. What else can I tell you?

 

Waiting for a treat

 

I can tell you is how much we appreciate you, our readers. You buy our book and read our blog, you come to our speaking events and tell your friends about this site. This amazes us. Copies of the used book are pulled from your shelf and given to other moms (and dads). That is what keeps me writing, inspired and motivated. One reader emailed me to tell me that she “admires every word I write.” Anne too, has received the nicest notes from our readers. That means so much to us. Just when I want to hit the delete button on this blog out of my own perfectionism or feelings of inadequacy, your kindness and support comes across my desk in the form of an email or a blog comment and my day is complete. We’ve also received incredible support from many preschool directors who consider private kindergarten admissions part of their job. We appreciate how often they invite us to speak at their preschools and share our book and blog with parents at their schools.

 

Preschool years

 

Thank You To Beyond The Brochure Readers

 

Our readers say thank you in the most heartfelt way possible. You let us know when you’re kid gets into a fabulous school. You ask smart questions. You tell us when something doesn’t go right, but how you’re going to fix it. You ask for advice and are so appreciative when we offer it. You share our Facebook posts. This is all so appreciated—and keeps us connected to our online community. Those of you who I’ve met at events are so sweet and in you, I see myself about 9 years ago, with a preschooler at Montessori Shir-Hashirim in Hollywood, nervous about getting into a good school, wanting only the best for my little girl. Truly, you make this blog what it is.

xoxo

Christina

 

Event: Navigating The Private Elementary School Admissions Process-Nov. 19

This event is now full! Email me if you’re liked to be added to the wait list. Please RSVP to Christina (click on the blue link) Csimon2007 at gmail dot com

Mary Alice O'Connor Flyer