If you’ve never sent your kids to private school before, then the private school may seem like some secret society. Applicants should not be leery of private school applications; they should be informed and confident. There is no secret society of private school students; there is just a more informed and advanced applicant pool to which your child may belong! Here is a beginner’s guide for everything you need to know about private school applications.
Depending on where in your kid’s academic career you are this will affect what it is you need. When kids are younger; pre K and kindergarten, you will need to have all vital statistics like a birth certificate, any documentation related to the family structure (divorce documentation, if applicable) any early childhood prescreening, and teacher recommendations. It is also important that your younger kids have a “play visit.” This is where the kids will come down and basically give the program a test drive. This can be especially helpful just to see where all involved parties stand.
As kids get older the admission requirements actually get a lot more competitive. Of course, you’ll need all the vitals listed above but your child entering grades 1-4 will need to have several other things. There is a “family interview” where admissions people are able to see the dynamic that the family has together and with those conducting the interview. There is also the matter of standardized test scores that should become available at this point. Also, your child is going to need their academic transcripts for any semester they have completed thus far.
For children entering private school even later on, grades 5-8, the requirements are notched up even further. There are all of the above-listed things that are still required. Then there is the matter of a writing sample that children will be required to complete. If your kids can’t communicate through their writing this is going to hurt their chances of being accepted. This application process is pretty similar for kids who want to go to a private high school. Kids entering the private school during high school are obviously going to need to perform at a far superior level than those applying during 5th grade.
Another point about this time frame is that as your kids get older the teacher recommendations requirements etch up slightly. Depending on where you are sending your kids to school, they may actually be required to have a math teacher recommendation. So depending on when your kids get into private school, math recommendations and writing samples are going to be things that will be closely scrutinized.
All this might seem like a lot and it is! But the application process for private school is part of what has earned it its shadowy cachet. There really is nothing to be fearful about private school applications. Your child should just behave as they do and if your child was meant to go to private school, they will find their way there!