The BIG WEEK, The BIG DAY: L.A. Private School Admissions

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This is the BIG WEEK. Finally after months of waiting, schools will notify parents about elementary school admissions decisions on Friday, March 18. If you applied for secondary school, or if you applied to Pasadena schools, you most likely found out yesterday.  Friday is the BIG DAY for L.A., you been waiting for since you first started the admissions process in September. The Los Angeles Times called it “Black Friday” because it sets off so much panic among parents.

I’ve been there. I know what its like to open the schools’ emails or to log on to Ravenna. I’ve felt the exhilaration of the acceptance letters and the letdown and distress of a wait-list letter (in our case, it was an email that was most likely a polite “no”). I found out that doors shut, making room for other doors to open. I learned the harsh reality that people lie during this process. Friends don’t come through for you the way you’d hoped. School administrators think they can tell you where your kid should go to school, despite your objections.

After going through kindergarten admissions and middle school admissions processes, I’ve experienced some bumps and bruises along the way. With my two kids now at Viewpoint School and previously at The Willows School, I’ve lived the ups and downs of L.A. admissions. If you received the news you wanted, congratulations! If you don’t get the decisions you hoped for, you may need to pivot and quickly develop another plan to pursue. You’ll need to set aside your ego, your pride and maybe even a few friendships–I certainly did. Focus on your kid and what’s best for him or her. Contact the schools where your child was wait-listed to see if they might have a spot, making sure you tell them you’ll accept it if offered. If you got an acceptance from your second or third choice school, don’t let it slip away: put down the deposit, then see what happens with your first choice school if your kid was wait-listed there. I fully acknowledge all of this seems crazy-complicated. What I’ve learned, however, is that somehow it all works out. Everyone finds a school that works for their kid, even if it isn’t the one they expected. You’d be surprised how this happens every year. If you find yourself without a school, keep an open mind, expand your options if needed, reconsider schools you may have initially thought might not work, contact an educational consultant, look for “hidden gem” schools, forget about the “popular” schools because this isn’t a popularity contest, inquire about whether a school will accept a late application–some do.  There are options, you just have to find them.

Here’s a link to one of our most popular posts: Types of Admissions Decisions: Accepted, Wait-Listed or Shut-Out 

Good luck! Christina


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Have We Applied To Enough L.A. Private Elementary Schools?

If you’re wondering (like I was) whether you’ve applied to enough schools, there are schools with January 2012 application deadlines. In Beyond The Brochure, we discuss this issue in detail. Obviously, there’s no perfect number, but if the schools you’ve selected are super-competitive, or you’re applying for financial aid, consider adding one or two more to your list. Here are a few schools with January 2012 admissions deadlines:

Campbell Hall: The deadline for all applications is Friday, January 27th, 2012.

St. James Episcopal School. Submit your application to the Admissions Office with the $100 non-refundable application fee as soon as possible, but no later than January 13, 2012. Late applications received will be considered after April if space is available. 

New Roads: January 20, 2012. Deadline for completed applications

Pilgrim School: Jan. 31s, 2012. 

PS #1. Still accepting applications for Fall 2012. 

Children’s Community School. Deadline is Jan. 27, 2012.  

Laurence School. Deadline is Jan. 15, 2012. 

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"L" Is For Letters: We’re Talking About Admissions Letters

Letters: A Roll Of The Dice?
The “L” word. 
Letters. Private school admissions letters. Perhaps a unique kind of love letter for your family. You hope. 
There are basically three kinds of letters: Awesome Letters (Accept), Wishy-Washy Letters (Wait-List), Harsh Letters (Rejection)
“L” is for letters.  
“L” also stands for a bunch of other words, depending on what your private school admissions letters say:
Love. Your kid got in? I LOVE you, admission directors!
Letdown. Wait-listed or declined admission? Total letdown. Could turn into a total meltdown. Who can blame you? This sucks.
Liberty. Got in. Glad it’s over. Free at last!
Lucky. Whew. Got into one school. That’ll do just fine, thank you.
Lame. Got into your last-choice school. What the hell happened? Good thing we applied there. Liking it more and more each minute.
Lingering.  Wait-listed everywhere you applied? Sort of wishy-washy. Do they want us or not? The process will linger. Not over yet. Keep hope alive!
Loitering. It’s temping to loiter around the admissions director’s office pleading with her to let your kid in. Could be misinterpreted as stalking. Never mind. Move to Plan B.
Laugh. Your kid got in.  But, you’ve decided to send him/her to public school. Laughing at the private schools all the way to the bank.
Liquor. Lots of it. The process was too stressful for words.  Good news? Hit your favorite bar to celebrate. Bad news? drink away the shock and horror. Martini anyone? Shot(s) of Patron? Hit rock bottom? Head over to Bristol Farms a liquor store for the Malt Liquor. It’s cheap and made to get you stumblin’ drunk.
If it’s all bad news, the “L” word could quickly morph into the “F” word. 
What do you do if your letters arrive and it’s not the news you wanted, expected, hoped for prayed for? What if the best laid plans are foiled by bad luck and a trash heap of rejection letters? 
What if it’s the best news and the worst news you’ve received all in one day? Is that even possible? Ohhhh yes.
What if your child is wait-listed? Then, it’s time to get your second act together. Long sigh. The process isn’t over if your child is on a wait-list at a school you like. In fact, the process will continue.
We write about all these topics extensively in Beyond The Brochure. 

Good luck to everyone! Please let us know what happened! Leave us a comment (can be anonymous). Questions? Leave a question in the comment section and we’ll answer it (can also be anonymous, of course).


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