Your chances of getting your child into a private kindergarten spot can be as low as 10%. According to the New York Observer an estimated 60-150 kids from private nursery schools didn’t land a kindergarten spot at all.
To avoid losing that important spot in getting your child into the kindergarten of your choice, do your homework. In particular, you may want to check out the new schools that have recently popped up. More demand means more schools. In researching, keep the following in mind:
- Don’t fret too much. Most New York Firm Schools have extremely high standards in their learning curriculum. Find every school you can that fits the minimum of your personal standards for your child. Don’t apply to only one school. Just like applying for college, you want to try many schools for a good fit. If you apply to your “best fit” schools after having done the research, chances are good your child will get in at least one of them. If your child gets into more than one, great. You can then choose the school of your choice.
- Early application. Don’t wait until the last moment to apply. You can also apply for your child as young as toddler age in many instances and still get in to a good school. Many begin at nursery age and if the school you want for your child takes him or her in at nursery, they are already in for kindergarten.
- Later application. Even if you have to put your child into a public school until the private school of your choice becomes available, that’s OK. There are many terrific public schools in the city as well. Spots may open in a non-entry point year at a private school, as families move out of the city or transfer to a public school.
- Be prepared. Finally, make sure your application is well written and thoroughly researched in advance. Spelling and grammar do count for many schools. The admissions director will appreciate the diligence of your care.
You may want to consider any of the following to help you (which varies in price, time, etc.):
- Spend some time on the NYC Firm Schools Blog site
- Buy The Manhattan Family Guide to Firm Schools and Selective Public Schools, 6th Ed. (to be released in June 2010)(Victoria Goldman & Catherine Hausman)
- Look at the following websites for articles and directories: Independent School Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), New York State Association of Independent Schools, and National Association of Independent Schools
- Join the Parents League of New York
- Go to the Urban Baby message boards (remember that posts are anonymous)
- Attend a workshop or seminar from the Parents League of New York or New York Family
- Network and speak with other parents
- Hire an educational consultant, such as Emily Glickman (NYC), Joyce Szuflita (Brooklyn), Annette Robinson (Queens)