In New York City, families have many options for educating their children in both the public and private school sectors. Either choice offers students the chance for a wonderful academic experience. The challenge for many families is in navigating their options to find a good match for your child and family. For Nursery School or Kindergarten, your school list would be based on your own educational preferences along with what you know of the learning style of your child. For High School, your child has an academic record, along with preferences, and should be an active participant in the research and decision process. Families should take the time to explore all of their options in making a considered decision, keeping in mind that the “right” school is the one that is best for your student and your family.
Preparing for the Admissions Process
The entry point for both public and private high schools is 9th grade with the majority of schools processing all of the applications submitted by their stated due date, which is generally during the Fall of your child’s 8th grade year. Begin your research well in advance, compiling a list of schools based on your family’s priorities, which might include location, size of school, educational philosophy, curriculum, and facilities. Typically, we recommend you consider anywhere from 6 to 10 schools.
Additional Tips for How to Begin
- Contact the schools you are interested in to see if they will be conducting Spring Tours (Smart City Kids has full list of Spring Tours that we offer our families).
- Attend Information Nights on Independent Schools that may be offered by your current school or offsite organizations.
- Meet with your guidance counselor, admissions director or a Smart City Kids consultant regarding the admissions process and your preliminary list.
- Begin preparing for testing, which might include the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) and/or the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) for private schools, and/or the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) for New York City public schools.
- Contact Smart City Kids to schedule your initial consultation.