Stiff competition, help and hope for applying to private primary schools
By Wendy Altschuler For Sun-Times Media
Navigating the private school admission process jungle can be quite tricky, especially if you’re somewhat of a neophyte. Pay attention to details. In some cases, parents must put in a great deal of to achieve right of entry to your desired school. Many schools integrate arduous interviews and incorporate specific submission guidelines and deadlines, testing requirements, and wait-list protocols into their application procedure. Getting into the top schools can be rather competitive and necessitate the inclusion of writing samples and detailed admission forms. Stellar grades and test scores are, thankfully, only part of what most schools consider. The potential intellectual growth of your child as well as how she will fit into the school community are also of utmost importance.
Some common mistakes could possibly impair your likelihood for admission. Habitually calling an admissions office, not keeping the lines of communication open, failing to tour the school at the scheduled time, tardiness, repeatedly missing deadlines and canceling appointments could all be detrimental to the chances of your child earning a coveted spot.
The application process can be an anxiety producing exercise for many parents, thus the motive behind the inception of a brilliant organization called Primary Readiness Enrichment Program (PREP). This Chicago-based test-tutoring curriculum prepares students and parents for the grueling application process for private schools. In a twelve-week session, kids will learn invaluable language maturity, listening techniques, orientation and spatial interactions, among other skills, which will give them a competitive edge when applying. Parents may go through a series of informational sessions to learn about the myriad of options that exist.
Advice, insight and what to expect moving forward
Delve into the process early, as the spaces available might be scarce and the competition high.
“First and foremost, parents should do their research. Take tours, talk to directors. While exploring the educational options available for your student, it is important to realize “the best school” is the school that fulfills student’s needs,” said Geri Redd, founder of PREP. “By first determining their academic motivation, personality and how they process information, you’ll have a clearer understanding in the selection process of which schools’ philosophy, goals and long-term plans are best suited for them.”
Redd also recommends submitting your application promptly, providing respectable letters of recommendation, making sure your child is ready if testing is required and sending a personal and pensive thank you letter to the director after your interview or tour with the school.
“Put your best foot forward during your interview. Treat this like a job interview. Dress to impress,” said Redd. “Ask thoughtful questions that show you have done your homework. Be clear and concise in your responses to questions. Be yourself! Schools are looking for a diverse population of families that would be a good match for the school. Let them know what benefits your student and your family would bring to the school.”
Why should all of these measures be taken?
“Would it be fair to send your child to take the SAT or ACT without any idea of what to expect? The same concept applies here. There are certain skills that are required for anyone to be successful while taking tests or participating in interviews,” said Redd. “They need to be familiar with the types of questions that are asked, be able to sit and pay attention for a longer period of time and even be comfortable answering questions from a stranger.”
Visit www.prepchicago.com for more information.