We are so fortunate to have many wonderful 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?
What are the best questions to ask when searching for a school?
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Think about your child's current learning environment. 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? Answering these questions will get you closer to finding the right fit for your child.
- Talk to your admission director. Ask questions 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? What would it be like if you were a parent in that setting?
- Ask if the school adds students in the Lower School after Kindergarten? Do they add students in Middle School or Upper School? They will be able to give you an idea of what the volume of applications looks like after Kindergarten.
When children feel safe they do their best work. They are able to take the beautiful academic, artistic, athletic and social risks. They will have the opportunity to grow.
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.
I will close with a video. It is one of my favorites!
The Value of Independent Schools