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Reader Question: Feeder Preschools To Private Elementary Schools

We got a question from a mom who asked whether she should consider where preschools send their graduates (to public or private elementary schools) since she wants her child to attend private school. I’ve had the experience of both types of preschools. My daughter attended a preschool where lots of kids attend private elementary schools each year. My son attended a preschool where almost all the children attend public elementary school.

 
If it is your first child and you want him/her to attend private school, you should definitely consider the “feeder” preschools. Those are the preschools that feed into top private elementary schools. You shouldn’t try to send your child to a “feeder” preschool ONLY because it has a connection to a good private elementary school. But, I know firsthand how helpful it is to have a preschool director who is on a first name basis with admissions directors at the top schools, who knows what a parent interview is all about, who can tell you which schools might be good for your child and who can help you navigate the entire process. If the preschool director is not “in the loop” about private schools, it will be more difficult for him/her to guide you through the process. Elena Cielak at Montessori Shir-Hashirim was incredibly helpful to me and other parents as we went through the admissions process. When we stopped by her office to tell her about our visiting day, she knew exactly what we were talking about. She discussed our application with admissions directors. She helped me decide which school would be best for my daughter (and she was right because she knew my daughter and she knew The Willows School.). That knowledge comes with experience of helping families get into private elementary schools year after year. Private elementary schools accept children from a wide variety of preschools. Still, there’s a reason certain preschools are called “feeder” preschools. These are the preschools whose graduates go on to a few specific private elementary schools.
 
Preschool directors who have years of experience helping place their graduates at top LA private elementary schools juggle many potentially conflicting issues, including families from their own preschool who are competing for admission to the same schools. They are dealing with families that get wait-listed at their top choice and families who are declined admission at all the schools they applied to. They have to advise families who ignore their advice and only apply to one school, which then wait-lists their child. That’s a lot to handle! But, if your preschool director knows your child and knows the private elementary schools you like, that’s a huge advantage. Do preschool directors get upset at families who refuse to follow their advice during the application process? Yes, it can happen. Do preschool directors sometimes get upset if a family selects a school that they don’t think is best for the child. Sometimes. Still, most preschool directors will do their best to place each family at their top choice school.
 
The book, Coping With Preschool Panic, lists the elementary schools, public and private, where each preschool sends its graduates. This can be really helpful if you are just starting to look at preschools.
 
We also discuss the topic of feeder preschools in our book. 

Sleepover birthday parties and 14 hour playdates


Maybe I’m slightly old fashioned. Not the old fashioned parenting style of reality TV mom Kate Gosselin, of course. But, sometimes I wonder, despite the fact that I consider myself to be a liberal, modern mom. My kids are still young, six and nine years old. So when a parent at our school who I barely know, whose house I’ve never been to, invites my six year-old to a sleepover birthday party that lasts almost two entire days, I decline the invitation. My six year-old has never had a sleepover. My nine year-old has sleepovers at the homes of families I know well.

 
When a celebrity mom who pretends not to know who I am and routinely walks by me at school without as much as “hello” calls to request my daughter accompany her family to Disneyland (and spend the night there) I decline the request. Our kids aren’t friends. We’ve never been to her house and she’s never been to our house. Maybe it’s because we don’t know each other?
 
When parents complain about bad behavior among kids at sleepover parties, I’m not surprised. They’ve invited kids they barely know.
 
At private elementary schools, there are plenty of opportunities to drop off your kids with the nannies or babysitters of families that you don’t really know. Even on the weekends. They’ll take them on elaborate, all day outings that end late at night. I opt out of these type of invitations for my kids, no matter how generous they seem.
 
Sometimes I can tell a parent is annoyed that I’ve said “no thanks” to their invitation.
That’s ok. I’m a modern mom.

Admissions Directors: Panel Discussion K-6 Schools

Determined To Succeed Presents:

K-6 SCHOOLS

Tuesday, MAY 25th, 7:30-9 p.m. at the Luxe Hotel, Brentwood. For more information, visit, www.dtsla.org

 

FEATURED PANELISTS:
Kim Feldman (Moderator) – The Willows Community School
Mary Beth Barry – Director of Admissions, Brentwood School, West Campus
Deedie Hudnut – Director of Admissions, The Center for Early Education
Laurie Wolke – Associate Head of School, Laurence School
Glenda Saul – Director of Admissions & Supplemental Programs, Temple Israel of Hollywood
Carinne Barker – Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, The Buckley School

Each year we offer a new panel of independent school Admissions Directors that provide different perspectives and information from previous years about the dos and don’ts of the process, including how to prepare your child, find the right school for you, and handle the testing and interview process, so you can feel confident and calm throughout it.

For more information, visit Determined To Succeed at www.dtsla.org

 

Private Schools Event Today at BHCC

Left to Right, Anne Simon, Christina Simon, Kim Hamer at the Beverly Hills Country Club
 
Thank you to all the parents who turned out for the event today! We had a great time and it was wonderful to answer your questions and hear your comments and feedback. We wish you all the best with your application process.
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Inventive New Private School Hits Old Hurdles: NY Times

From the NY Times, April 1, 2010:

The founders of the Blue School aspired to create something different: a private school not fixated on the Ivy League prospects of preschoolers and devoid of admissions hysteria. An education that, as they put it, “you don’t have to recover from.”


To read the rest of the article, click on the link below:

www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/education/01blueschool.html?hpw