What Do They Mean By Waitlist? by Sandy Eiges of LA School Scout

L.A. School Scout
What Do They Mean By A Waitlist
or

Are They Just Shining Me On? 

Hi everyone,This is turning into an annual ritual – the writing of the newsletter about the waitlist. But first, congratulations to all of you out there who received those coveted acceptances!

 

As most of you might already know, all of the private elementary schools send out their acceptance letters on an agreed upon date; this year it was March 15th. That means that Saturday was definitely D day for those of you applying to private schools.

 

To those of you with acceptance letters, congratulations! But whether you’re dancing in the streets with letters of acceptance from all of the schools you applied to, or howling in pain from rejection letter after rejection letter, chances are that you also received at least one letter saying that they were happy to inform you that you were being placed on a waitlist. Yup, just like being cryogenically frozen in time, you were going to have to wait for some future time when you were suddenly going to be accepted into the school of your dreams. Ah, the future!

 

But there’s no guarantee of that rosy future, and by the way they didn’t tell you when you might hope to emerge from said waitlist. So what exactly does that waitlist mean?

 

First, it is not a euphemism for “thanks, but no thanks.” Schools take applicants from their waitlists all the time. Let’s say an applicant applies to half a dozen schools and gets into all of them. This might be what is known as a good problem, but the reality is, they can only go to one school. So their spot at all of those other schools suddenly becomes available to someone on – drumroll, please – the waitlist. Here, being waitlisted is a good thing.

 

In general, if you’re on a Kindergarten waitlist at a school you’re truly interested in, let the school know that you are interested in staying on the waitlist. You have no idea how many people don’t bother to let anyone know. And while some schools will in fact keep that list, many will need that gentle reminder that this school is your first pick school, and you’re holding out for it. If it is your first pick school, let them know that if offered a space, you will take it! I can’t stress this enough.

 

Secondly, for those of you glass half fullers out there, the waitlist is a step up – it is not a euphemism for you are not getting into any school. Trust me, if they are not interested in you they will not offer you a space, period, not even a waitlist space. There are people who get that letter – sorry, but we are not going to be able to offer you a spot. Period. That is definitely a “thanks, but no thanks.” So now the waitlist is looking up, isn’t it?

 

And thirdly, being on the waitlist means that, agonizing as it is, it’s not over. You might be offered a space in two weeks or a month from now; you might be offered a space at the end of August. Spaces open up all the time.

 

But if the waitlist is making you feel crazy, this might just be the right time to find a viable alternative, public, private or parochial. If that’s the case, please don’t hesitate to call. You can reach me atsandy@LAschoolscout.com or 310 926 0050; or submit an inquiry form on my website atwww.LAschoolscout.com. I will do my best to get back to you within 24 hours. Please note that March is fully booked, and I am now scheduling appointment for April.

 

Stay open, stay flexible, stay tuned for more on what those of you applying for September 2014 need to do right now. And for the time being, congratulations to all of you who were waitlisted. Take heart – the end is not near…yet.

 

Have a wonderful spring break! I will be out of town from March 23-March 29, and there will not be a newsletter next week.

Wordless Weekend: Coffee, Event Pics and More…Coffee!

Relaxing...Coffee with a girlfriend at Urth Caffe downtown
Great event! "Demystifying Private Elementary Schools" at Kidville, Brentwood: Kathryn (Momangeles), Janis Adams (Academic Achievers), Laura Gerson (Momangeles), Christina Simon (Beyond The Brochure) Sandy Eiges (LA School Scout)

 

A big thank you to Academic Achievers for sponsoring "Demystifying Private Schools" event!
Porcha Dodson and Christina Simon at UCLA Department of Neurosurgery's Visionary Ball, Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Proceeds go towards brain cancer research.
At home. Coffee and writing: A perfect blend

 Beyond The Brochure is thrilled to be selected as a 2012 Top 25 Mompreneur by Skinny Scoop!

 


 

 

 

 

 

Event: “Demystifying the Private Elementary School Admissions Process” at Romp, Hollywood

Hi Friends!

Join Momangeles for an informative and fun evening at Romp, a fabulous kids play space in Hollywood as Christina Simon and Porcha Dodson co-authors of Beyond the Brochure,and Sandy Eiges of LA School Scout share their expertise about the private elementary school application process and answer your questions. Read Beyond The Brocure’s Q&A interview with Sandy Eiges here.

 

Monday, June 4, 2012. Discussion starts at 7:00 pm.

 

Topics will include:

– Selecting Which Schools To Visit

– The Parent Interview

– Your Child’s Visiting/Testing Day

– Letters of Recommendation

– When To Use The Phrase, “if accepted, we will enroll”

– What To Do If Your Child Is Wait-Listed

– Financial Aid 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

 

http://demystifyingjune.eventbrite.com/

Please join us! “Demystifying the Private Elementary School Admissions Process” June 4 at Romp in Hollywood

Hi Friends!

Join Momangeles for an informative and fun evening at Romp, a fabulous kids play space in Hollywood as Christina Simon and Porcha Dodson co-authors of Beyond the Brochure,and Sandy Eiges of LA School Scout share their expertise about the private elementary school application process and answer your questions. Read Beyond The Brochure’s Q&A interview with Sandy Eiges here.

 

Monday, June 4, 2012. Discussion starts at 7:00 pm.

 

Topics will include:

– Selecting Which Schools To Visit

– The Parent Interview

– Your Child’s Visiting/Testing Day

– Letters of Recommendation

– When To Use The Phrase, “if accepted, we will enroll”

– What To Do If Your Child Is Wait-Listed

– Financial Aid 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

 

http://demystifyingjune.eventbrite.com/

Q & A With Sandy Eiges, Educational Consultant: Experience and Results When You Need It Most!

1. Your company, LA School Scout, has a terrific reputation. Do you have an area of expertise that you specialize in?

Thanks so much! I think my reputation stems from the quality of what I offer my families, in terms of my in-depth knowledge of schools, preschool through 12th grade, public and private. I meet with the schools individually, I get to know them, I re-visit them over and over again, so that I can make a great match between schools and families.

And of course from the family’s perspective, my background in social work gives me an added advantage. I have the ability to elicit enough from a family interview, and the child observation or Kindergarten readiness assessment, to give me a real intuitive sense of what schools might work for a particular family – even if it’s not on their radar. So I suppose you can say that my real expertise is in being a very successful matchmaker!

2. The economy hasn’t recovered from the recession and this has impacted private elementary schools in various ways. What can parents who are applying for fall 2011 expect?

The economy hasn’t recovered from the recession, and yet people are still applying to private schools – this hasn’t changed, and this won’t change for fall 2011 applicants. While public schools, including charters and magnets, are accepting higher numbers of applicants and increasing their class size, private schools are still very committed to small class size.

What we are seeing, however, are more open spots in the higher grades, from 4th grade and up. I get quite a few families who are relocating to L.A., and I’ve got to say, I’ve had no problem placing those families in great schools this past year, even if they were mid-year placements. And some of these placements were tough! A third-grader with no previous formal schooling or English; a fourth-grader with a learning disability, an under-achieving 7th grader, 8th and 10th grade siblings requiring placement at the same school…the list goes on.

4. This is the “million dollar question”: why do you think so many wonderful families get rejected from LA private elementary schools?

If families are not getting into their school of choice – did they apply to the right school? Did they apply to more than one school? I encourage people to consider more than one or two options. Is there a match between what the school is looking for and your child? Is there a match between what you want – the kind of school that appeals to you – and what school would suit your child? These are not always one and the same.

If all of the answers are yes, then other factors might be at work. Some years there are too many applicants of one sex, and schools generally try to put together a gender-balanced classroom. Some years there are too many children born in the same month – schools try to have a range of ages within the same classroom.

Some years there are so many siblings that there just aren’t enough spaces for all of the qualified applicants. This is sad, but it happens.

5. In general, how are your fees structured?

I work with families in a variety of ways, based on their particular need and budget, whether it’s for a one-time phone consultation or throughout the process of applying to private schools. So, for example, I can offer a one-time consultation as a sounding board about current school problems, or to help a family develop a school list. I can also help the family manage the entire school application process, including Kindergarten readiness assessments, application review and interview preparation. A rush/relocation placement might include developing a list of after-school activities and summer camps, as well as placement of international students.

6. What are some of the private elementary schools your clients have attended?

My families have been accepted in schools all over the greater Los Angeles area:

Archer, Berkeley Hall, Brawerman, Brentwood, Buckley, Calvary Christian, Campbell Hall, Carlthorp, Chaminade, Children’s Community School, Claiborn, Crespi, Crossroads, Curtis, Delphi, Echo Horizon, Good Shepherd, Harvard-Westlake, High Point Academy, Hollywood School House, John Thomas Dye, Laurence, Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles, Loyola, Marlborough, Mirman, New Roads, Oakwood, Pacific Hills, Park Century, Pasadena Waldorf, Pilgrim, PS#1, Seven Arrows, Sierra Canyon, Stephen S. Wise, St. James, St. Matthews, St. Timothy’s, Turning Point, UCLA Lab School, Viewpoint, Waverly, Wesley, Westland,Westmark, Westside Neighborhood School, Wildwood, Willows and Windward

7. Is it possible for a family to rehabilitate a parent interview or other part of the application process that they think has gone wrong?

That’s a difficult question. A parent interview gone wrong – that depends on what actually happened at the interview. For better or worse, there are plenty of applicants to choose from out there, and I would always recommend that parents put their best foot forward. Manners are always in order.

So if you felt so comfortable in the interview that you used inappropriate language, no, you are probably not going to be able to fix that. As to what else might have gone wrong, you would have no idea what that is. There are some great tips on how to manage the application process in Beyond the Brochure.

Should you need more direct help, though, and a partner in the process of finding the right school, contact Sandy at sandy@LAaschoolscout.com, or through her website at www.LAschoolscout.com.