This fall, over 200,000 students will be entering private schools across the greater Los Angeles area. For many of those students and their parents, Friday, March 17, signifies the receipt of the much-anticipated admissions decision letter. This notification determines which school they will attend, or deliver the disappointing news that they will remain on the private school’s wait list.
Deciding on which school to enroll your child is one of the most important choices parents will make. The task of determining which school is the best fit for your child can be overwhelming for some parents. With many elite schools to choose from, it’s important to note that the decision does not have to be stressful.
Parents can make this process an opportunity to bond with the entire family. Here are tips from Candice Schreuders, senior director of operations for Stratford School, on how parents can choose what is the best school for their child, while still enjoying the process.
- Don’t stress – There are many wonderful schools and teachers in Los Angeles and Orange County that offer the educational foundation to a life of learning.
- Know the deadline – It’s important to note that not all schools place a deadline on enrollment. Admission can be selective, but some schools offer rolling admissions if space is available.
- Schedule a tour – Getting to know the school leadership, teachers and support staff can answer many questions such as, are the faculty inviting, knowledgeable and friendly? On a private tour, parents can ask specific questions to be assured about the school environment.
- Identify the fit – Determine if the curriculum and teaching techniques of a school support your child’s interests and educational requirements. Knowing your child is in a caring and nurturing environment can alleviate the stress around choosing a school.
- Extracurricular activities – Each school provides club and leadership opportunities for its students. Ask about what options a school offers to understand how your child’s interests and skills might be expanded.
- Mandatory parent volunteering and fundraising – Many schools have expectations of parents, including mandatory volunteering and fundraising. Be sure you are comfortable with the commitment your school expects.
- The real cost of attending – Ask about any extra costs beyond tuition, such as books, school trips, lab fees, Parent Association dues, fundraising and annual giving. These costs can add to the yearly tuition cost by thousands of dollars. Knowing this information upfront allows you to evaluate the total cost of attending a school and avoids any surprises.
Many factors come into play when deciding in which school to enroll your child. Once you’ve taken everything into account and narrowed down your choices, follow your instincts and enjoy the process of preparing your child for the wonderful experience the new school year will bring.