Private school application begins now for 2007-2008 School Year

Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:34pm
By: The Citizen

While students are just halfway through the current school year, now is the time to begin the application process for those families considering private school education for their child for the 2007-2008 school year.

South Atlanta has many great schools to choose from. To begin narrowing down choices, parents should visit Web sites and contact prospective schools to request an information packet.

"Today's schools use the Web as a vehicle to deliver information, provide forms and applications, and aid prospective parents in all phases of the application process," says Tammy McCurry, director of admissions for Landmark Christian School.

"I encourage all prospective parents to visit the Web sites of the schools they are interested in, as a first step."

Many private schools hold open houses in January or February for the following fall term, and personal tours are available by appointment. At an open house, parents can expect one-on-one interaction with teachers and a chance to meet current students, parents, and administrators. Often there are refreshments, multimedia presentations and student speakers or performances. At open house, parents tour the campus and learn about the school’s academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, clubs, and other special programs. A typical open house visit will take around two hours.

Julie Bowdoin, director of admissions for The Heritage School suggests parents visit and tour all of the schools they think they may be interested in.

"Do your homework" says Bowdoin, "visit school Web sites and then tour the schools you are interested in with a list of questions in hand."

Ask about school and teacher accreditation. What percentage of the school’s graduates go on to college? What’s a typical day like for a kindergartner? For a high-school student? Ask what special courses are offered. Are music, language and art programs offered? Intramural sports? How are discipline issues handled?

The next step is to complete the application. There is typically a small registration fee, and several forms to be filled out. Once the completed application is received, some schools require students to take a standardized entrance exam. At some schools, students are encouraged to visit the school and spend a day on campus.

Interviews are granted to applicants whose qualifications meet the school’s admission standards. After the interview is completed, the applicant’s file is reviewed. Most schools have admissions committees that meet frequently during March, April, and May to consider qualified candidates.

The application process can take from four to six weeks, depending on the paper flow, so begin early. Many schools will have only limited spaces available for new students, due to heavy reenrollment. When an application is approved and any necessary financial aid paperwork is completed, an annual enrollment contract is signed by the financially responsible parties and by the school.

The time and effort required to complete the application process may seem considerable; but if you’ve decided that a private school education is the best option for your child, then the benefits of your decision may be just as considerable.

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