Kindergarten Admissions Where Do you Begin?

So, your thinking about having your four year old go through the kindergarten admission process. Good for you! This is a very exciting time for your family and your in for quite a Journey.You will be learning so much about your child.  There are phone calls to be made seminars to be attended open houses, ,spring tours, applications,parent interviews, child interviews, IQ testing. Are you exhausted yet?  Well we are just getting started. I speak with many parents that have made the decision to apply for a private Kindergarten education however I don’t believe that they have all the information that is needed to make an informed decision. I will be sharing with you some aspects of the process that you will need to be aware of. Don’t pick up  the phone or request and application before you read this.

Have a conversation with your partner or mate about the decision to apply to private school


If you have ever been in a committed relationship you know that  there are times that our communication with each other is not as optimum as we would like it to be.Many times as partners we  may often assume that we know what the other person is feeling. Sometimes we assume that the other feels the same way we do about  certain topics such as education. More times than not some partners have felt that this is a project that one partner wants more than the other and will go along to get along. When going through the kindergarten admissions process, partners need to be aware of  the time commitment from the application process to graduation. The financial commitment, that can be from nine to Thirteeen years for tuition and possibly for academic support in the event your child  might need tutoring  to support their learning. A social commitment where their are several events a your child’s school that will require you to communicate with others and share who you are as a individual or a family.You must feel that you are going to be able to contribute who you are to a prospective school. This way of thinking will add some much to a school and to your child. It’s important to find out from your partner if they are in alignment with this decision and will they be able to fully participate in this experience. If your child has the fortunate opportunity to attend a private school, your child will have experience rich in resources, committed teachers and administration and a dedicated and committed parents. However, If   you do not have the support you need to have a successful experience,this committment we feel like a burden and will cause undue stress when it doesn’t have to be. If you are just fearful of the unknown or you haven’t had an experience with private school and you don’t know what to expect but, you are willing to put  forth the effort, I suggest that you move forward fearlessly. This is a process that you having everything to gain and nothing to lose.

I find that in many household there is a separation of responsibilities such as  you handle taking out the garbage while I do the dishes. I will handle the bills while you take care the children. When it comes to private schools Schools believe that the decision to apply to a school is a joint venture and schools expect that both parents participate in all aspects of the process. For example, Parent interviews. The parent interview is an opportunity for schools to share there perspective of the school while they hear about your views. Schools are looking to see if your family is in alignment with the school philosophy. School are expecting thoughtful answers to the questions that they will pose to you. It is important that both parents are informed about basic information such as, schools philosophy, is the school single sex or co-ed. What is the level of formality of the school. Is the school progressive or traditional. You would be surprise that some couples don’t talk about these things before going to an interview. This is not the place where your mate would say ” I really don’t concern myself with these matters my wife handles everything.”  If the school gets they impression that your mate is just present because you dragged them there It will be very apparent and obvious to the school and more than likely you will not be a part of their community.

Creating a team if you are a single parent

This topic is very near and dear to my heart because I am a single parent. So I am well aware of the challenges that being a single parent can  present. Schools are looking for all types of families not just  the traditional family that is not so traditional anymore. The family composition is changing in so many different ways that in my opinion it adds to a diverse community. Great schools are  looking to build a strong community of parents who  views mirrors that of a prospective school. Many schools have adopted families, same sex families, families of divorced parents  grandparents raising their grandchildren and single parents. The point I want  make to single parents is as long as you have a supportive team of individuals in place such as friends, family, community organization, babysitters  your child current school, or whatever the network you have created for yourself   this will convey to a prospective school  that you and your child are well supported. Are there single parents raising children on their own without any support ? Yes they are but, are they winning at it? Do they have the space to attend to their own interest ?  Do they feel that their well being is being nurtured are they prosperity in several areas of their lives? I have to be honest with you if  you decide to take on this process you will need to know how to delegate, and trust others because you can do it all but can you do it all and be a success. How will  schools be able to figure out if your well supported? Your child will be an indication of that. What do I mean by that? How your socially interacts with others, how well your child is doing in their pre-school, Is your child well groomed and  healthy, are they confident? Do they have barriers or breakdowns with their self expression.























Being very honest and up front about your feelings of racial and socio- economical diversity in  independent schools.

Although sometimes we feel that we have come so far and that humanity has made great strides in the area of race relations in society, and in the workforce, there are still many areas that racial diversity is still lagging behind. One area that that  I want to discuss is racial diversity in private schools. There are many opinions on why people of color (a term used in independent school to describe families who are non-white), are not represented in greater numbers in private schools. I want to touch on examning your own feelings about race and  inviting you to ask yourself questions such as, would I be comfortable in a school where my child could be one or two kids  of color in a  class or a grade. How comfortable am I in my own skin when I am around very wealthy and affluent families that have more material posessions that I have. How do I feel about being a part of a community that I will be a minority and how does that make you feel. These question  must be address. Many times the experiences that have happen to me are a reflection of  that feelings that I harbor inside myself. It is very important that we are clear and comfortable with the experiences that we are requesting to have and that they are an honest reflection of how we truly on the inside.  Ypur end result will reflect what you feel.The reason why some families are not as successful in gaining admissions into these highly sort after school is not for reasons that we would think such as not enough spaces, It was a competitive year, the child is not smart enough or the family is not wealthy or the child didn’t do well on the interview the list goes on and on. It is our belief system our previous encounters our friends and families thoughts of race and wealth that we now have adopted as our own. My reccomendation is to be open to diversity and new ways of being and when you feel the fear of the unknown creeping in your thoughts fight through it. Much success on you journey and share with me your thoughts.

Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm  Comments (1)  

OHS’s Favorite Things

There are times when I’m traveling around the city, I come across some amazing stores that have great resources for our children. I am a firm believer that as parents we are our children’s first teachers and every other teacher that comes into our child’s life is just to augment the foundation that we have already laid out. I believe that every resource that you ever need is right in front of  you. I found this to be particulary true when it comes to educational resources. My motto is if it’s not fun don’t buy it.  Here are a few of my favorite places where I found to have great toys, games, books,experiments and much, much more. Have fun and remember learning is about having fun and being engaged it should not be viewed as a chore or a punishment. If  you come across any resources that would benefit the larger community of parents and educators, please share and I will post it on my blog.

Bank Street Bookstore

2879 Broadway NY,NY,10025   (212) 678-1654

Barclay School Supplies

166 Livingston Street   Brooklyn,Ny  11201  (718) 875-2424

Essential Plus

2259b Broadway bet 80th and 81st Ny,Ny  10024 (212) 721-2818

  Lakeshore Learning Store

2079 Hillside avenue New Hyde Park, Ny 11404 (516) 616-9360

Mary Arnold Toys

1010 Lexington avenue  Ny,Ny 10021 (212) 744-8510

Westside Kids

498 Amsterdam avenue Ny,Ny 10024 (212) 496-7282

Scholastic Store

557 Broadway Ny,Ny 10012 (212) 343-6166

Published in: on April 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm  Comments (1)  

The Nuts and Bolts of Financing a Private school education for your child

A  New York City private school education comes at a cost. The annual tuition can range between 18,000 on the low end of the spectrum to about 33,000 a year. Many school have the ablity to support a family by offering tuition assistance awards  to families that have  demonstrated a financial need. Some schools can offer about 50% while others offer less. All Families are expected to contribute to the cost of their children’s education. How schools make their determintion of how aid in awarded are in several ways. Many schools use the SSS service that you fill out a form the sss make their own calculation and then send their findings based on the information that you have provided to them about your financial picture. The school in turns reviews their findings along with detrmine how much aid that particular school has in their budget. Some schools offer  financial aid by a sliding scale and other schools make their decisons internally without the assistance of an outside party. The options for paying for tuition are paying half of the amount of tuition in July of that yearthat your child will be attending the school, and the remaining balance in January of the following year. There is another option by payng tuition in monthly installments set up by a company called AMS. The final option is financing your child education by taking out a loan.

Published in: on April 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment