We are so fortunate to have many wonderful primary public, independent and parochial school options in the Northern Virginia / Washington D.C. / Maryland area. This blessing does not come without challenges. You are left to wonder...
What is the right match for my child?
What would it be like for my child to attend an independent school?
When is the right time to apply?
Should we wait until Middle School or Upper School?
Here are some tips on questions to ask when searching for a school?
- Think about your child's current learning environment to get you closer to finding right fit for your child. What setting does your child thrive in? What is the class size in their current setting? Does your child have a passion for science, music and art? Does your child need challenge? How independent is your child?
- Talk to your admission director about what school would look like for your child next year. How many children would be in their class? What would the range of ability be in their class? Are there special events or trips taken each year? What would it be like if you were a parent in that setting?
- Ask about what grades are the most common entry points. Does the school add students in elementary school grades after Kindergarten? Do they add students in middle school or for high school? Does entry become more competitive in upper grades? They should be able to give you an idea of the volume of applications in each of the major intake grades.
When children feel safe and supported they do their best work. Positive nurturing communities provide support to students to take academic, artistic, athletic and social risks. Where do you see your child best growing and thriving?
In the end, for your child to become ready, you want her to be enrolled in a school where she is known and fully appreciated for her unique gifts. I, too, am a lifer. The happiest days of my life were spent at my independent school and I feel so fortunate to help families through the admission process so their children can have an amazing educational experience as well.