Tours and More! The Private Elementary School Application Process Has Begun

It’s starting! The private elementary school application process, that is. Here are a few ideas to help you get started with the process and keep going with it when you think you can’t stand one more second of it.

If you think you’ll need more help than a book, a blog or advice from friends, get help early, rather than later. Check out our interviews with some of LA’s top educational consultants (see below).

Get organized, stay organized. This process is crazy-making! Try to find a notebook or folder to keep yourself organized, with notes, important dates, etc. If you’re the spreadsheet-type, all the better.

Develop a broad, rather than narrow, list of schools to tour. You can always eliminate schools, but once tours are over, you can’t add a school!

This is a competitive process in every way. Your ability to cross the finish line and not drop out before its over is key. Some parents give up before the admissions process is over. Schools want families who can go the distance both during the admissions process AND once they are at the school.

Just do it! Schedule your tours, request applications and jump start the process.

Here’s a roundup of some of our most popular posts as well as a few we think will be useful as you think about what’s ahead for your private elementary school application process. Just click on any of the links below:

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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

9 thoughts to “Tours and More! The Private Elementary School Application Process Has Begun”

  1. Thank you so much for uploading this interview. I attended your seminar in the spring and it was wonderful to see so many of the issues raised here again. Especially, those that I'd forgotten.

    One of the dilemmas I've faced in choosing schools is knowing which if any of my schools are sure things. Without an ERB test (like they do in NY), it's difficult to truly ascertain your child's chances of getting in any of these highly competitive schools. Is there a list one could access to see which schools are considered top tier, or highly competitive and which are less so, so that we have our bases covered and are not shut out come the spring?

    Thank you so much!

  2. Hi Anonymous, I don't know of any list that ranks private elementary schools in LA. There are definitely schools that are less competitive or second, third tier. By that I really mean they are less competitive to get into. It doesn't mean they offer any less of an education! Its really a numbers issue. The challenge is to find schools you really like that don't get hundreds of applications per available space. If you ask around, you'll quickly find out which schools are the most popular and which ones are less in demand. That's what I did. Sometimes they can be smaller schools that don't offer all the "bells and whistles". But, the school I thought would be our backup school– a sure thing– turned out to be the one where we had a terrible parent interview. So, the bottom line is you just need to apply to enough schools to cover your bases. By that I mean at least 5 schools, possibly more.

    Good luck!

  3. Christina, do you think it's a good idea to walk in your application and drop it off in person to your favorite school? I am thinking about this, but didn't want to be presumptuous to drop in on them during a busy work day. Thanks!

  4. Christina, when you say some schools are less competitive or second or third tier, just curious, which schools are those? They all seem to popular and competitive on the westside! 🙂

  5. Hi Anon. I know some parents who have hand delivered their applications and it was fine. But, I don't think it's necessary. What is important, however, is thank you notes! Hope that helps!

  6. yes, very much – thanks Christina!! Happy holidays, and thanks so much for your amazing blog. It's a truly amazing resource through this process.
    Best wishes to you and yours!

    1. Hi Anon, sorry about that. We switched from Blogger to WordPress and lost links. All the posts are on the blog and if you use the search function in upper right corner you should be able to find those blog posts. Christina

    2. Hi Again! I fixed the broken links on this post. A few of them are no longer available, but I think the links are working now. Thanks for reading the blog! Christina

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