Guest Blogger Jenny: The Frantic End of the Year at Mirman School

While I seem to recall the end of the year at public school ending with a muffled whimper of truncated days and parties with bad cupcakes, the end of the year at Mirman is quite different.


Although the final fundraising push is pretty much finished after the Mirman School Fair, there are still used uniforms to sell, retirement parties (complete with fundraising for the retirement parties), plus various and sundry celebrations. There was an Upper School production of The Sound of Music, complete with very elaborate costumes (I stopped dead in my tracks last week when I spotted a nun in full wimple wandering through the campus).


Mirman even offers something on the “last day” of school called Field Day. Field Day, as far as I can determine, is a bit like “Color Wars” at sleep away camp.  Kids are assigned a color to wear (so it’s not a uniform day, but not precisely a free dress day, either), and the colors compete in various events. Just a last minute jolt of good competitive fun before the school breaks for a couple of months.  Anna, who’s always up for a contest, is already planning her “blue” outfit.


And then, of course, there’s graduation. Anna’s class is required to attend, lengthening her school year by another half day. I figure it’s good for her to see what’s ahead in terms of pomp and circumstance (although I’m always amazed at the fuss made over these lower level “graduations.” I mean, is there an option to not graduate from middle school? Really? It’s not like they’re earning a doctorate or something). Plus, Mirman is a small enough school that Anna knows some of those middle school graduates, so it becomes more personal.


While I won’t miss the drive over the next couple of months (and indeed, am campaigning like crazy to get a bus for our area. I love my carpool, but we’ve all had enough), I will miss being up at that campus. It’s a lovely, peaceful, happy spot. I’ve never been on a campus where the kids seem so serene and engaged. There’s always something interesting going on, always a topic to discuss, and the kids seem to treat each other with such decency.  This first year has been such an overwhelmingly positive experience for our family. Anna has changed in such positive ways, and seems so much more comfortable with herself.


So thanks, Mirman. And we’ll see you in the fall.


Jenny Heitz has worked as a staff writer for Coast Weekly in Carmel, freelanced in the South Bay, and then switched to advertising copywriting. Her daughter started 4th grade at Mirman School this year. She previously attended 3rd St. Elementary School. Jenny has been published recently in the Daily News and on Mamapedia, The Well Mom, Sane Moms, Hybrid Mom, The Culture Mom and A Child Grows In Brooklyn. She now writes about gift ideas and products on her blog, Find A Toad.
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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

7 thoughts to “Guest Blogger Jenny: The Frantic End of the Year at Mirman School”

  1. What do you think your all-in cost was for your first year (or what do you think an average family's cost was)? You've written about all the unexpected extras. It would be helpful to have a sense of what parents can really expect. Great columns, thanks.

  2. Hi Anon 12:07, great question! For my family at The Willows School here are the main expenses (extras and required expenses)

    – Tuition
    -Annual Giving
    – Field Trips
    – Book Fair (purchased books)
    Party on the Pier (attended, very low ticket price)
    -School Auction (we didn't attend the auction, but we did buy a few items onliine)
    -School uniform (tee shirts)
    -Hot lunch (optional)
    -Bring food for classroom events (birthday celebrations, end of year party, etc.)

    Hope that helps. Jenny may have different expenses at Mirman…stay tuned.

  3. Hey, Anon 12:07, Jenny here with some expense answers. Generally, there's tuition, annual giving (depends on the year and the shortfall of funds per student), the auction, the uniforms (some items you can pick up at the used uniform sales), optional hot lunch (highly recommended), possible bus expenses, perhaps a single field trip cost, and possible afterschool activity costs. Private school isn't cheap.

  4. Thanks. From both of your listings of expenses, sounds like the average parent should anticipate $2500-$5000 above tuition. Is that about right?

  5. Hi Anon, I think that's a good estimate range for expenses beyond tuition. Obviously, if you get drunk at the school auction and go crazy bidding on stuff like some people do, it could go much higher:) And, you have flexibility with the amount you contribute to annual giving.

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