Applying to Private School

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March: The Waiting Period

• Once your application process is complete, the best thing to do is relax. You’re going to need a little patience. Admissions offices across the state are going through huge stacks of folders and need time to make good decisions.

Between Feb. 1 and the end of March, schools make their decisions and send out notifications to parents. There is no standard date for schools to mail out acceptances. However, the schools to which you apply should give the date they will notify you, so you don’t have to drive yourself crazy hanging out at the mailbox.

April: The Final Decision

• If your child is accepted to more than one school (and that’s probable if you’ve applied to four or five), now is the time to arrange formal campus visits, if you have not done this earlier. The best is a whole day in which your child can visit a school, sit in on classes and meet other students. This is also a good time to listen to your child about which schools feel most comfortable.

May: You’re Almost Done

• There’s one more step after your child is admitted. You have to say yes—usually in the form of a check for several hundred dollars. You don’t want to send money to one school while still considering others, so it’s best if they all have the same decision day. For most HAIS schools, the common-reply day, as it’s called, is April 15 (sixth through 12th grades) and May 10 (kindergarten through fifth grades). Not all schools honor these deadlines.

June: Finishing Touches

• As soon as you’ve settled on a school, don’t forget to check if summer school is required for new students. Some schools make it mandatory for all new enrollees, some recommend it, while requiring it for only certain students, and some only encourage it. It can be a good orientation to a new school.

July:  If You’re Wait-listed

• Some students may be placed on a waiting list. Find out whether attending summer school can help their chances. Usually by mid- to late summer, wait-listed students are notified of their status. With most schools, wait lists are not continued from year to year.

August: You Did It!

• Celebrate your child’s new place in a private school.