Admit it, we all know a little something about education. The past year has brought K -12 education to the forefront of the conversations of many Americans. Two films, Race to Nowhere and Waiting for Superman, followed the plight of students and families striving to navigate the pitfalls of the public school. The news media has chronicled the misfortunes of accreditation loss, budget cuts and booming class size from Atlanta to Kansas City to Los Angeles to Raleigh. Washington DC has provided ample news topics from the Department of Education’s Race to the Top grants to the politics of its school system with reforms and the resignation of Michelle Rhee. The news coupled with growing concerns that American students are falling behind in the global market have many families considering private school, or independent day school, as an educational option. With many of the independent schools’ applications deadlines coming to completion, many families are already turning their attention to the 2011-2012 admissions cycle. Crisp Consulting + Coaching offers parents considering an independent day school the following information critical to the school fit and admission process.
Know your child. The most critical step of school fit is understanding your child. What are you child’s strengths and passions? Is he creative with a proclivity for writing stories or expressing ideas with drawing and painting? Is she analytical with a passion for understanding how leaves change colors or how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly? Understanding your child will help your family identify a school that will foster learning potential and opportunities.
Know the landscape. It is critical to know the educational opportunities in your area. How many independent schools are in your area? What are the co-educational or single-gendered school options? Which schools hold a religious affiliation? Are there any school options within a close vicinity of our neighborhood? What are the public and charter school options? These questions will assist your family in gathering information to the fit and admission process.
Know your resources. It is critical to understand reliable resources while navigating the school fit and admission process. The National Association of Independent Schools offers a directory of member schools complete with internet links and enrollment and admission information. The Independent Educational Consultants Association offers a directory of professionals who are knowledgeable in school fit and admissions.
This information will initiate your school search and have an impact on the admission process. How well you understand their impacts will affect your application. Being informed about all the aspects of school fit and admission will help reduce the anxiety of education and allow parents to intentionally invest in vibrant and enriching education for their children.
Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant with Crisp Consulting + Coaching who works with families in Asheville, Charleston, and Savannah to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success. As a former professor, administrator, and teacher, Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.