Guest Blogger Audrey: Starting Preschool, Now What? Thinking Ahead To Elementary School Admissions

Whether a working or stay-at-home parent, there are various tips to prepare for the private school admission process once your child begins preschool.


Begin to look at your child’s personality as it relates to learning style, social interactions and emerging interests.  Talk to your preschool teachers on a regular basis, asking open-ended questions about listening skills, responsiveness when asked to complete a task, interactions with friends, new talents, etc.  Keep in mind that your child may act differently at school than at home.


For instance, when my daughter was 3-years old I perceived her as having the personality of a follower but at a parent/teacher conference I was told that she was equally comfortable as a leader and a follower and a source of comfort to friends.  For working parents without as much opportunity to interact with teachers, find out if they’re willing to give you an e-mail address so you can touch base more often.  What you’re ultimately looking for is in what school environment would your child best thrive.  A few examples are structured, academic, progressive, a very small school (with only one class per grade) or artsy.


Attend as many preschool events as possible.  This can provide opportunities to interact with families who have older children already at a private school and also to network with other parents who are usually eager to exchange information.  Approach parents who have a private school’s bumper sticker on their car or have older children who come to drop off or pick up and find out what school their child attends.  Ask about their experiences, what they like/dislike about the school, etc.  I had never heard of any of the private schools to which we applied before my daughter was in her 2nd year of preschool and they came by word-of-mouth from fellow parents at our school.


Volunteer at your preschool, if possible.  For working parents, this could involve helping at weekend or evening events.  This not only increases your contact with other involved parents who may be in a similar situation but also it has the potential to look good on your private school application résumé.


Create a good relationship with your preschool director.  Directors can be one of your closest allies when it comes time to apply to private schools.  Not only should they have their pulse on the best private schools and what each offers but also on which would be a good fit for your child.


Attend a kindergarten panel if your preschool offers one.  At my daughter’s preschool this consisted of an evening program where current and former parents with children at various local private, public and charter schools spoke about their school’s philosophy, admission process and personal experience.  During the Fall or Spring, attend the Los Angeles Area Independent Elementary School’s Kindergarten Fair.  Admission Directors from most of L.A.’s private elementary schools are present to answer questions about their programs and admission process.


Do online research.  If your child is even two years away from kindergarten, many schools will not allow you to tour until the year prior to kindergarten.   Look at each school’s mission and philosophy statement on their website.  Does it seem to fit with what you want for your child?  Check on tuition, uniform policy, or anything else that is important to your family.


Consider if you will want to enroll your child at a private school with a Pre-K program (often called DK, TK, or EK).  This may be a factor depending on your child’s birthday (many schools have a summer cut-off) as this will move your timeline up by a year.


Last but not least, enjoy this precious time in your toddler’s life!


Audrey Young has a background in Healthcare Compliance where she performed detailed research and analysis.  She is a native of Los Angeles and attended public schools and universities.  Her private school admission experience set in motion a desire to help guide parents through this process and ease any confusion, fear and anxiety.  She is launching an admission consulting business, The Admission Team, and will be available to families applying for the 2013-14 school year and beyond.  Audrey can be reached at  Her daughter will be attending Kindergarten at Viewpoint School in September.





Please join us! “Demystifying the Private Elementary School Admissions Process” June 4 at Romp in Hollywood

Hi Friends!

Join Momangeles for an informative and fun evening at Romp, a fabulous kids play space in Hollywood as Christina Simon and Porcha Dodson co-authors of Beyond the Brochure,and Sandy Eiges of LA School Scout share their expertise about the private elementary school application process and answer your questions. Read Beyond The Brochure’s Q&A interview with Sandy Eiges here.


Monday, June 4, 2012. Discussion starts at 7:00 pm.


Topics will include:

– Selecting Which Schools To Visit

– The Parent Interview

– Your Child’s Visiting/Testing Day

– Letters of Recommendation

– When To Use The Phrase, “if accepted, we will enroll”

– What To Do If Your Child Is Wait-Listed

– Financial Aid 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

The World Meets France in Los Feliz: Lycée International de Los Angeles (Pre-K-12)

Parlez-Vous Francais? Oui! At Lycee International de Los Angeles 

Lycée International de Los Angeles, Los Feliz

“Bringing Up Bebe”, the bestselling book by Pamela Druckerman was the topic of a fabulous luncheon I attended recently, hosted by Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA) and ArborBridge (formerly Launch Education Group) at The Little Door. Before the event, I toured LILA, a wonderful, developmental Pre-K-12 in Los Feliz.

Elizabeth Chaponot, LILA head of school and Christina Simon (photo:

As we ate the Little Door’s superb food, Elizabeth Chaponot, the French/American head of school at LILA, spoke about the differences between French and American education and how LILA achieves the delicate balance of blending the two educational influences and cultures.


Elizabeth is an experienced educator and a mom, with impressive credentials and a passion for education. Her family founded LILA, she’s a graduate of the school and now she’s continuing the tradition. Elizabeth pointed out that at the school, she approaches French parents differently than she does their American counterparts. With American parents, she told us, she often begins with talking about the child’s unique qualities like their sense of humor or other characteristics. French parents, she said, want to know how their child is doing in school, but don’t expect continual feedback on their child’s attributes. American parents also place a premium on extracurricular actives like sports to a greater extent than many French parents. So, part of her job at LILA is to unify the distinct parenting and educational values of these two very different cultures.

Author Sarah Maizes at The Little Door (photo: Mia J. Photography)

Giving a quintessentially American perspective on the bestselling book, “Bringing Up Bebe,” Sarah Maizes, author of Got Milf? The Modern Mom’s Guide To Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great and Rocking a Minivan, is a triple threat: mom of three, author and comedian.Sarah talked about writing the review of the book for the Today Show Moms and what she learned by reading it. She also talked about her own kids and the unique parenting challenges that come with twins and a daughter with Asperberger’s, who became the inspiration for her new children’s book, On My Way To The Bath due out in June.

Juliette Lange, LILA admissions coordinator, Matt Steiner, Launch Education Group and Christina Simon at The Little Door (photo: Mia J. Photography)

Although my two years of college French are long forgotten, touring LILA with Juliette Lange, the charming and friendly admissions coordinator, I was pleasantly surprised that I recognized a few familiar phrases from days gone by, as ridiculously cute children darted by speaking the most adorable French.

Mia Johnstone (LA Private School Guide/photographer) and Christina Simon at The Little Door

LILA is a great option for families who are looking for a developmental dual immersion school. Students are taught to read, write and speak both French and English by the end of elementary school. However, the goal is to offer more than “mere knowledge of two languages. The ultimate goal is to form bi-literate students capable of functioning in two linguistic worlds, according to LILA. Families at LILA truly embrace French language, culture and diverse cultures at the school. A quarter of the school is comprised of French nationals and there are students from 48 nationalities.


Founded by Progressive educators in 1979, the school has grown to four campuses (Los Feliz, Pasadena, Orange County and West Valley). The school is accredited by the French Ministry of Education, The Western Association of Schools and Colleges and The International Bacculaurate.

In a Kindergarten classroom

LILA is a Pre-K-12,  private school nestled on six acres in Los Feliz. The campus is instantly welcoming and low-key. It buzzes with with student excitement. The one-story buildings contain large, bright classrooms containing with smart boards. Teacher’s assignments and the student’s work decorate the walls. When I arrived, the school day was in full swing.

The garden at LILA serves as a place of learning and inspiration
Sitting a the edge of the campus is a huge, vibrant school garden that’s part of a bigger community garden. This glorious greenery lends the school nature’s greenery. Students help grow a wide assortment of fruit, vegetables and flowers. It’s a magical place where seedlings and plump, ready-to-pick fruit are examples of the kids’ efforts.
Earthly Delight!
Here are a few things to know about LILA:
  • Learning is project based at LILA
  • There are 2 grades per class, 450 students
  • A new secondary campus is in the works in Burbank, to move the secondary campus to a new location
  • The point of entry is Pre-K or K unless fluent in French
  • Tuition is approximately $14K per year for Kindergarten. Financial aid is available for up to 50% of tuition
  • LILA is more than a language immersion program, it’s a cultural immersion program
  • Graduates from the school attend top U.S. and international colleges and universities, including Columbia, Stanford, NYU, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Brown, McGill University, Oxford University, Sorbonne, Universite Paris and more
  • LILA emphasizes community and the sharing of cultures
Oh, so pretty!

If you are considering a dual-immersion French-English school, visit LILA and see for yourself this unique, sprawling school on a gently sloping hill in Los Feliz. LILA puts a worldly spin on education!  C’est magnifique!


For more information, visit, Lycée International De Los Angeles

Photos: Mia J. Photography and Christina Simon