Things You Can Do To Get Ready For Fall Admissions


Inside the multi-age K-1 classroom
Inside the multi-age K-1 classroom at Sequoyah School, Pasadena

Hi Friends!

Happy Summer! Hope you’re enjoying our hot summer here in L.A. We just returned from my son’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas where it hit 113 degrees. That’s just too hot! I posted the team’s photo on Beyond The Brochure’s Facebook page.

If you’re reading this post, you are probably anticipating the fall admissions season. Before then, there are a few important things you can do to get ready for the hectic time when you’re touring schools, writing applications, attending parent interviews and all the other activities that surround the admissions process.

1. Do The Drive. If you know a few schools where you plan to apply, drive to and from the school during morning drop off and afternoon pickup. Can you do this drive every day? Can your child be in the car comfortably for the duration of the drive? Could you find a carpool? Is the school near your work or your home? Is there a bus? If you will have two kids at different schools, how would the logistics of that work? What about before and/or after school sports or activities? The school’s distance from your home and/or office can be a huge factor when considering schools in Los Angeles, due to the enormous size of our city.

2. Make A List of Schools. If you aren’t familiar with the schools your child will be eligible to apply for, compile a list now. If you’re planning to apply for kindergarten, but you only know of two schools, find more options. There is a list of LA and Pasadena area schools in our book, Beyond The Brochure: An Insider’s Guide To Private Elementary Schools In Los Angeles. Also, CAIS has a list of all the independent schools in the Los Angeles area. You can also talk to friends, acquaintances, colleagues and anybody who might be familiar with school options. The more people you talk to, the more you learn. People tend to be very open to talking about schools here in L.A. Sort of like real-estate and home prices. It’s a constant topic of conversation. We’ve also profiled selected schools here.

3. Get organized. Grab a big 3-ring binder notebook from Target and create tab sections for each school. Then, for each school, create sections for every step of the process: tours (your notes from tours), parent interviews, etc. If you’re more comfortable with digital organization, find the best option i.e. Google documents, iPhone Notes, Evernote or whatever you like best. Another tip: create an email folder for school admissions and keep all correspondence from schools in that folder. The main thing here is to keep every piece of paper the school sends you, either a hard copy or a scan of it. The amount of paper and organization required for the admissions process can’t be underestimated. Calling the school because you’ve lost a document can–and should–be avoided.

4. Cost of Private School. Check out our post on L.A. private school tuition and the extra expenses that aren’t covered by tuition. This is an easy way to cross schools off the list if they don’t fit your family’s budget.

5. Extra Help. If you are considering hiring an educational consultant, here’s a list of experts to guide you through the process.

If you can tackle these manageable tasks, you’ll be ready to tour schools in September!


What’s Up, Summer 2016?

NYC Viewjpg

Hi Friends!

It’s summer and our family is enjoying every minute of it. I hope you’re taking some time to relax and enjoy a less hectic pace too.

Recently, we spent a week in NYC to vacation and see friends while my daughter spent the week at Columbia’s Scholastic Press Association journalism program for high school students–a fantastic program! She learned a ton and met some great new friends. At night we spent time as a family trying new restaurants, walking in a city where everyone walks a lot and staying up late. We had a lovely dinner with Barry’s college roommate and his family at their apartment in the city before they took off for the Hamptons and we flew back to L.A.

NYC Summer 2016

Today, my daughter returns from a week at Newsroom by the Bay, a weeklong journalism program at Stanford for students who write for their school newspapers. I highly recommend this program too! When my daughter gets back, she’ll hang out at home, getting some R&R, doing some community service work and probably spend time cooking with me and baking her delicious chocolate chip cookies. She’s also learning how to drive!!! My son is doing an array of sports camps in L.A. again this summer, mostly basketball and soccer. We’re looking forward to celebrating both my kids’ birthdays in late July.

Woman in Gold

Both my kids had eventful school years. My daughter finished 9th grade and my son completed 6th grade, both at Viewpoint School. There were definitely the ups and downs that come with being a mom to a middle-schooler and teenager and some days I definitely felt like I’d been tossed by the waves, with the currents of parenting swiftly pushing me along against my best efforts. Overall, I’m extremely proud of both my kids for who they are and what they’ve accomplished.

Designer Sunglasses NYC

I’ve been taking writing workshops, trying to become a better non-fiction essayist. I’m in two amazing writer’s groups and I just found out an essay I wrote will be published in a literary journal!

Hope you’re enjoying the long, hot days too!


P.S. We’re planning an occasional blog series about middle and high school admissions at the request of our readers. Of course, there will be more to come on the blog about all things pertaining to elementary school admissions too! Posting will be lighter during the summer, naturally.

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