Expect The Unexpected. It Happened. Now What?

The worst happened. You went 0/x. “Declined Admission” or “Wait-Listed”. The words no parent wants to hear. We posted about this topic on 3/29/10, but here’s more on the topic since if you went 0/x you are probably thinking about reapplying for Fall 2011.


If you applied to private elementary schools with your fingers crossed, but received the news that your child wasn’t accepted to the schools where you applied, you may be wondering what to do next. We all know this is an uncertain process. Expect the unexpected is the rule, not the exception for most families who apply. So, if you’ve decided to reapply for Fall 2011, here are a few things to consider:


If you haven’t already done so, meet with your preschool director and ask her to call the schools where you applied, to help you understand why your child was declined admission or wait-listed.


Understand that the reasons why your child wasn’t accepted may be that your child was too young or not ready for kindergarten (in the school’s opinion) or some other reason that has NOTHING to do with your child or your family. Reapplying will mean these factors could work in your favor the second time. One of our readers was accepted this year (Fall 2010) for kindergarten to one of the most competitive schools after applying last year and being declined admission.


Perhaps as parents you weren’t forthcoming about behavioral or learning problems your child has struggled with in preschool or at his/her current school and if you reapply you need to be more open about these challenges. It is so important for you to be open with the schools.


Your child wasn’t prepared for “testing/visiting” day at the traditional schools. This is common, especially if your child attended a preschool where the reading, writing, etc, were not emphasized.


Something out of your control happened i.e. a scheduling mishap or a parent interview that went badly.


There were too many siblings that took priority for that year.


You only applied to two schools and need to expand your options with more schools.


You did everything right and things still didn’t go your way.


Think about working with an educational consultant who may be able to help you understand how you can improve your application process. We’ve posted several Question and Answer interviews with some of LA’s top consultants so you’re aware of all the resources available to you for your school search.


The important point to realize is that each application year is very different and your family’s persistence may pay off. By all means reapply to schools where you would like your child to attend. But also expand your options and apply to more schools, new schools you didn’t apply to last year. And, above all else, expect the unexpected the second time around too. Only this time maybe the unexpected will be the good news you’re hoping for!

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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at csimon2007@gmail.com

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