Reader Question: What Should I Expect From Parent Coffees?




One of our wonderful readers emailed us to ask what to expect at the parent coffee events held by private schools during the admissions process.


Porcha Dodson, Beyond The Brochure co-author says:

“Parent coffees can be in the morning or evening. It is usually a great opportunity to get information on the school, see the facility/campus, meet the important folks and check out the vibe of the school. Its very casual and informative. However, its also not a time to ask a million individual questions at that time. No stress. I definitely recommend attending for sure!”


Christina Simon says:

“I’ve been to several of these parent coffees. They are informal, but everyone is watching everyone else! At some events, the admissions director will make remarks. Its a chance for prospective parents to see the school, meet the administrators and even other parents. Attending these events can be stressful. But, just remember you’re there to show your interest in the school. They are hosting this event because they want you to attend. If you can, introduce yourself to the admissions director and let her know how much you like the school. Don’t worry about what other parents are doing or saying! You’ll see and hear a lot of posturing that you need to ignore.”


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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

2 thoughts to “Reader Question: What Should I Expect From Parent Coffees?”

  1. It’s also very important to remember to turn off your cell phone and put it away. Looking like you’d rather check your email or be somewhere else is not the impression you want to make on an admissions director. Relax, be yourself, and ask one question (two at most!) that is relevant, but don’t use this time as an opportunity to brag about your child (I’ve seen that!). Also, take the time to introduce yourself to the director at the end of the coffee, if times allows. This might also be a good time to ask your one question.

  2. Parent coffees at public school are also important for new parents. I remember meeting the Principal and Asst. Principal when my youngest began elementary and we just hit it off and established a nice relationship that grew over the years. You could almost see them cringe when parents came on too strong making demands or asking questions that were far too personal.

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