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Summary of Seminar: Common Mistakes to Avoid for Grade 2 & Up for Private School Admissions

Written on November 3, 2016

On Oct. 27th, KEY hosted a seminar on “Common Mistakes to Avoid for Grade 2 & Up Private School Admissions.”  With increased competition to private school, there is so much information coming from unqualified consultants (no experience attending or working for private schools), parent rumours, and social media groups.  At our session, we dispelled some pervasive myths, but more importantly, offered some real life stories and tangible tips.

The primary focus of the seminar was to advise parents on how to avoid missteps, overcome challenges and put their best foot forward during the admissions process.  We highlighted that schools look at the entire family when considering a student for admission; as a result, parental involvement, interaction, and behaviour is important from day one. Of particular interest to the audience was how to maximize the chances of getting into their top school choice and the conversation about donations. This is still a common question that we get asked, and it was important to address the topic and the cultural perceptions surrounding charitable contributions to various schools. We reiterated that this should never be discussed during the admission process, rather, something that can be addressed after a student has gained admission. The vast majority of private schools have a policy that families cannot make a donation unless they are a part of the school community (alumni or children are attending the school). Schools value parental contributions and welcome donations, but certainly don’t expect it as part of admissions. We advise our families to focus on what they can do to become a better candidate, and encouraging the behaviours and habits that will help them succeed when attending a private school.

Overall, the audience was highly engaged, as the Q&A session extended the seminar to close to three hours.  Many stayed behind to ask additional questions and were very receptive to the ideas presented in our seminar.