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SCHOOL TALK - DECISION

Many schools inform parents of their decision starting in March by mail. However, the practice can vary widely so be sure to check with the admissions representatives at each school. Under most circumstances, if you have done your research carefully, your child will be admitted to at least one school. In the case where your child is admitted to multiple schools that are equally proficient , revisit your criteria and see which school comes the closest in matching all your needs. Do not hesitate to talk to the school officials again or call on current parents of these schools for additional perspectives. For children entering kindergarten, parents should be the ones making the decision. However, let your child voice his/her opinion and try to obtain a rational explanation if your child prefers one school over another.

In schools where competition for admission is fierce, many qualified applicants will be turned down. Unlike public schools that are required by law to accept all students in the school district, private schools are not designed to serve the entire spectrum of students. Instead, each private school will choose from their applicants those they feel the school is best equipped to serve. The admission decision is based on interviewers observations,  records of past performance, and recommendations from the childs current teachers. Schools also try to balance each class by gender, personalities, interests, needs, and talents. Most schools give preference to continuing students from their preschool, siblings of current students, and children of alumni. In addition, parochial schools give priority to children of families in their own parish. Hence if your child is not admitted to a school, there is no reason to assume he/she is somehow inferior. An applicant may be denied admission on reasons of balance, limited space, or because the school, based on its experience, determines that it is not a good match for the child.

Regardless of the outcome, it is key for parents to maintain a positive attitude and support their child. Discuss with the admission officials about their decision and ask them to suggest alternative schools. Do not focus on what is wrong with your child since admission choices were a lot of times made for reasons that had no relation to the merit of the child.

If it turns out that multiple schools recommend that your child wait a year before starting private school kindergarten, trust the judgment of these well-trained educators and the advice they offer. It is in your child's best interest to wait a year rather than being forced into something he/she is not ready for.

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