This Spring, Get Set for Fall!
Though fall may seem like a lifetime away, it will be here before we know it. And though, you shouldn’t stress, there are a few basic tasks you can do now to minimize your stress come September.
I hesitate to say that it’s never too early to start the school search process because it can be stress inducing. It is also highly probably that your child will change in the years ahead, so what you may think would be a good fit now, might not be so in a few years.
You can start gathering information about the schools in your area at any time. Absorb information about each school’s program, the types of kids that attend, and take note of schools you want to look into further.
Peruse social media and read the posts you see from parents about schools.
Listen in on conversations you may overhear at the park or on the sidelines of your child’s games.
Visit school websites and get a sense of what makes each place unique.
In the spring before you plan to apply, you can start to dial-in on the schools you may want to consider for your child and your family.
Online research can be the most time-consuming part of this process, so it doesn’t hurt to start early. Continue to do seek out information on schools, but with a more critical eye based on your child and family.
Create a Ravenna Account. This online portal serves a majority of (though not all) independent schools. Once you create your family’s profile, select “EXPLORING” for any school you may be considering. This step signifies your interest in taking a closer look at a given school; No final decisions need to be made at this point.
3. SCHOOL VISITS
Note the dates of any Tours/Visits/Open Houses in your calendar. Ravenna schools announce events and offer sign-ups through the website. Tours tend to fill quickly, so plan accordingly. Outside of a formal tour, families can explore schools in summer by walking through campus or playing on the playground, if it’s open.
Consider hiring an Educational Consultant (EC) to help you focus your research and find the best fit for your child and your family. ECs help families create individualized school lists based on academic and social needs and customize action plans to help keep families on track throughout the process.
Get familiar with test requirements for the schools to which you think you will apply. Begin to look at available testing dates and offer your child practice tests throughout the summer. Consider hiring a tutor to help your child prepare.
Lists come in handy when it is time to fill out applications, and they help organize your thoughts as you visit schools in the months ahead. Ask your child to add their perspective to these lists.
List your child’s accomplishments and extracurricular activities.
List the attributes you would like to highlight about your child.
List your child’s opportunities for growth.
List the factors you would like in a school for your child and for you as parents.
List individuals you might ask to write a letter of recommendation for your child.
Although the application process can be onerous, a well-prepared parent gives their child every advantage of receiving an acceptance to one of their top schools. Doing all or any of these tasks will help you reduce some of the stress of the application process and get you on-track for the Fall Admission Season.
Are you reading this article in September or October? Fear not: it is never too late to start the process. I am here to help you!