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Elizabeth Street


Five Ways To Get A Head Start On The Private Elementary School Admissions Frenzy

Jul 15, 2013

Five Ways To Get A Head Start On The Private Elementary School Admissions Frenzy

Few things can cause parents as much stress as navigating the private school admissions process. More and more, getting in to private schools, even starting at the elementary level, can be a daunting process. 

So we called on a seasoned expert, Christina Simon, to give us some pointers on how we can get a jump on the process. You know what they say: the early bird gets the worm!

Tip #1: Spend a few hours researching private elementary school websites; create a list of schools you want to tour, create a binder with sections for each school. If you prefer to organize your school search online, bookmark school sites and create folders for each school, adding information as you find it. This will save you a lot of time in the fall.

Tip #2: Familiarize yourself with the types of schools in your area; traditional, developmental, progressive, parochial. Keep an open mind and plan to tour more than one type of school!

Tip #3: Test drive the route. Drive to the school and back during morning rush hour with kids in the car to see if it’s too far from your home. If the school is a long walk or bus ride from your home, give that a try too. Many parents who enroll in schools that require extremely long commutes end up leaving the school after a year or two.

Tip #4: Tell everyone you know that you're thinking about private elementary school; you'll be surprised at the knowledge and contacts this will reveal. People are often willing to help by sharing information or even offering to write letters of recommendation.

Tip #5: If you’re interested in a school, request an application packet now, either online or by calling the school. They will gladly send you one immediately or add you to the list if the applications aren’t ready yet.

Christina Simon is the co-author of Beyond The Brochure: An Insider's Guide To Private Elementary Schools In Los Angeles. She is the mom of two kids, ages 10 and 13. Christina writes the Los Angeles private elementary school admissions blog, and is an Elizabeth Street Mom. 

Also, read an expert’s tips about how to best transition your kids back into the school year swing of things and see what this private school admissions coach has to say about getting in. 

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