On Your Mark Get Set …. Apply!!!!!!

Hello Parents,

I hope this blog finds you well. Many of you have begun the admissions race.It’s so inspiring to see parents taking steps to have their child have a different educational experience. While your out there pounding the pavement, Just a few things to keep in mind so that you are on course with your admissions goals.

In October, many non profit organization have seminars and forums throughout the city.These events provide parents with information regarding the independent school admissions process. Keep your eyes and ears open for these events because  this is a valuable opportunity to meet  schools admissions directors and current parents. These schools use this opportunity to speak on their school’s philosophy as well as what makes their school unique . Attending these  fairs can support you in your decision to apply or help you to  determine if the school is or isn’t  the right fit for your family. Be sure to use this face time to ask questions that are of concern to your family. Some examples  of topics  that  could be discuss are curriculum, diversity or financial aid. Ask question that are not easily found in the schools admissions material.

 

By mid-october it is recommended that you have attained all your applications to prospective schools. Be mindful of schools deadlines. Applications will not be accepted once the deadline has past. Some independent schools, if they receive a large number of application they can  stop accepting applications before the deadline.

Make your appointment with the Educational Records Bureau so that your child can be tested. Please schedule the testing as soon as possible because many families will be trying to secure an appointment as well.

Have all of your financial documents in order.Have at least three years of   tax returns and any other information that will provide proof of your family’s income. Both parents financial information is needed  if your family is applying for financial aid. Most schools have a financial aid  seminar, be sure to attend one. The seminars can be  quite informative.

Every school requires a prospective student to have their previous pre-school to fill out  a teacher’s recommendation form. Please be sure to make your teacher aware that a potential school might call to request information regarding your  child’s academic record, their attendance, parent involvement and to find out if all financial obligations have been met.

In order for schools to be able to make a decision on your family’s application all information should be received by   mid January. The  necessary information to make your admission’s application complete,would be the completed application, the results of your child test scores, your families financial information, child and parent interviews as well as current pre-school  teachers report. 

Much success on your journey and I look forward to answering your questions.

Contact@operationheadstart.com

 Upcoming  Admission Events

Jack and Jill of America Inc will be hosting and  Educational Forum at The Nightingale Bamford school. The address of the forum is 20 east 92nd street between Madison and Fifth avenue. The event will be held on  October  17th from 9:30am to 12:30pm. I will be there as a parent representative  for the Dalton school. Hope to see you there!

Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 10:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

IMG_1722

Published in: on August 31, 2009 at 5:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Final Days of Summer Vacation

Hello all. I hope everyone is savoring these  last few  days of Summer vacation. I had  such a wonderful  Summer I hope you did as well ! This Summer, I had lots of opportunities  to do community outreach events, that help  to support  awareness of independent schools to underserved communities. I want to thank all my past clients , current clients and my team OHS for coming out to support me at this year’s  Harlem Week event  at the Children’s Festival. This year’s theme was “Back to school” it was a free event for all . At this event, Operation Headstart had our own stimulus package. Sandra Campos from Harlem, New York was our lucky winner of  our “Back to school ” raffle which she received a fifty dollar cash prize! I want to thank all of the parents who participated in the raffles, as well as all the kids,who visited our tent for face painting . Lenora Thorton who did the face painting did an awesome  job! Thanks Lenora! Operation Headstart will be participating in a Festival on Saturday, September 12th  in East Harlem. The Event is called “Day of Hope”. This event is a free event for all.The event will have face painters, games, food, raffles and a health fair. The Day of Hope will be   held in Manhattan,located at 115th street between first and second avenue. The time will be from 12noon to 4pm. Come and join us! I would like to also thank everyone who tuned in to Operation Headstart first live Internet talk show on Blog talk radio. I received of great questions regarding private school admissions. If you missed it, you can download the program from I tunes or you can log on to www.blogtalkradio.com. You can type in NYC  Kindergarten  admissions or Operation Headstart and you will be able to pull up our show! Just a friendly reminder to all parents who are considering applying for the 2009 -2010 New York City’s Kindergarten private school admissions season, Schools will be taking request for applications on September 9th. Much success and I will continue to keep you posted!!!

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 3:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Welcoming the end of the school year while anticipating the start of a new one

As the days become longer, and the Sun greets us earlier, the school year is finally coming to an end.Summer vacation is  just weeks away and a much need break is order for both Parents and children.The hustle and bustle of our regular routine will finally receive a time out. For Families who are applying this September for admissions for the 2010-2011 school year, really make this Summer count.  This is an opportunity  for your family to take advantage of all the free activities that the city has to offer. This is a great time to continue to bond with your children while having fun. This is an opportunity for you to create your very own “classroom” in a very relax, no pressure atmosphere. I like the idea of teaching our children common concepts under the guise of fun. I love when children are able to learn without knowing that they are actually being taught. If parents can master this feat then your well on your way. Take advantage of the free concerts in the parks and the beautiful recreational areas that the city has. Doesn’t matter if you live in Manhattan or Brooklyn or anywhere in between, you can take advantage of the many  Street fairs orfree swim classses offered by the city or even just setting up a impromptu picnic in the park all you need is a blanket and you can appreciate the beauty of mother nature. I just want to give you a few reminders so that you are prepared for the admission season ahead.

Prospective schools are wrapping up spring tours. If you have an opportunity to view the school before September, take advantage of  it will save you much neeeded time.

Monitor schools websites. Many schools accept applications online. That could be one less school to call the day after Labor day when schools phone lines will be busy.

Schedule the tests dates with the Educational Records Bureau for your child. The suggestion that they make is to have your children tested over the Summer months when they are in the best of health. It is my recommendation that you have  your child tested before the end of September because, as the admissons season gets underway, everyone will be trying to schedule testing dates early, so that their families admision files can be completed before the end of the year. It is important to know that  there is no advantage to waiting for your child to be smarter . As your child acquires more information, so will other children that your child will be compared to.

Now is the time to begin lining all your ducks in a row.Save all your personal day  from work because you will be needing them for Parent and Child interviews and School tours. Gather your team of supporter together so that your family can get through this process effortlessly. You can never have too much support. Share with others what you are committing to regarding your child’s education with people that truly love and honor you.

There is a saying that luck is  when opportunity and preparation meet. I believe this to be true. When you take one step forward the world will take ten steps forward to support you. Much success on your Journey! I am confident that you will have the ideal educational environment for your child.

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 3:49 am  Leave a Comment  

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  

Easily avoidable missteps during your parent interview

First  Never come to the interview late.

Always turn off your cell phone when  you meet with an admission director.

Never  talk bad about another school or your current pre-school

Finish your meal before coming to the interview

Dress apropriately for your interview

Don’t take notes during your interview

Avoid asking questions that you can find in the school brochure

Don’t  give a verbal commitment to a school unless that school is your first choice

Never debate with the interviewer

Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 11:54 pm  Comments (1)  

Welcome to Operation Headstart Blog

Welcome to Operation Headstart first  installment of our monthly Blog. We will be providing you with updates on information regarding private school admissons. I will be addressing your concerns and welcoming your comments and questions.My intention for this  blogs is  be a  resource to parents who are looking for information about  the kindergarten admisssions proccess without out the anxiety and stress  normally associated with it.

Published in: on March 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm  Leave a Comment