Abacus Mom, a NYC top private school consultant, was thrilled to get these two emails from happy clients recently.
I just want to reach out and tell you that your advice from the past two years has been amazingly spot on. The classes and tutoring and clubs that you suggested after hearing about <child's> interests and the approach to the process and the rigor you advised with interviewing... It's been incredibly helpful. Obviously this is your business, so it's expected to an extent. But I think you have a very nice, authentic touch which makes all the difference. We feel very positive about how things are going, and I attribute it to your help to a big degree.
and from another parent:
honestly, i wouldn't make it through this process without your help. having kids, i know you know -- there is no greater gift to us than helping us with our children's education. we love your down to earth and upfront style -- it helps us to really know which direction to turn and where to steer clear. also, your positive energy is so appreciated and means a lot. you have made this process seem doable and less daunting and we cannot thank you enough.
How many times can you take the ISEE when you are applying to NYC private middle and high school?
The Educational Records Bureau, taking advantage of an easy source of additional revenue, has changed their testing rules so students applying to 5th - 12th grade can take the ISEE one to three times per admissions season. From their site:
Starting in August of 2016, students may register to take the ISEE up to three times in a 12-month admissions cycle, once in any or all of three testing seasons. The seasons are Fall (August-November), Winter (December-March), and Spring/Summer (April - July).
The ERB states that "ISEE does not encourage multiple testing, but we do offer students and families that option." By offering this option, and splitting the seasons so that students can easily take the test in both fall and winter (November and December), the ERB in fact does encourage multiple testing. In response to the testing rules change, many families have been anxiously contacting me, wondering if their children should sign up for multiple test dates.
The ISEE, an admissions test required for admission to most NYC private middle and high schools, competes with a rival admissions test, the SSAT, offered by another company. Students have always been able to take the SSAT multiple times, which contributed to the SSAT's popularity. By changing the number of times students are allowed to take the ISEE, the ERB should gain more test-takers as well as more students taking multiple tests.
In my experience, taking the ISEE or the SSAT once is usually enough. For more information or to sign up for my NYC private middle and high school educational consulting program, email New York's best private school consultant.
NYC private school notification and reply dates are set by ISAAGNY, the Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York, a group of private school administrators. I have always been troubled by the kindergarten notification and reply date.
A multitude of NYC families apply to kindergarten, a process that begins as early as mid-August and stretches into early February. Families attend parent interviews, child interviews, open houses, and tours and often additional events such as diversity nights, chapel services, and theater performances. For six months, families must be on call and ready to show great enthusiasm for whatever event NYC private schools decide to organize. Often, parents' work and family schedules are severely compromised as moms and dads work hard to do their best by their children in hopes of succeeding in the admissions game.
And then, on the first Friday in February, notification arrives. Decisions. Acceptances, rejections and wait lists.
My concern? Families get ONLY ONE WEEK to decide.
And note, this is ONLY kindergarten families. Accepted high school applicants have a month to make a decision, and middle school applicants, three weeks. Why should kindergarten families, after this extensive and arduous admissions process, be pressured into making such a quick decision about where their children will likely spend the next thirteen years?
NYC private school kindergarten notification date is today Friday February 5th! And it was Tuesday February 2nd for NYC private school middle school! What an exciting week!
At Abacus Guide Educational Consulting, we love this time of year as our clients keep the celebratory emails flowing into our inboxes. Just now, in from a dad whose child will be going to one of Manhattan's most elite private single sex schools next year:
Definitely the place for <child's name>! No question.
We'll chat more later! Thanks for your help!!
And from another Dad:
Emily, just wanted to share the amazing news that <child's name> was accepted to <top Riverdale private school>.
She is very excited. Thank you very much for all of your assistance and support making this happen!
I am now giving NYC Private School Admissions Corporate Talks, speaking to professional parent groups about NYC Private School Admissions -- How to Get Into Lower, Middle and High School.
I have been in the admissions field now for over 20 years (!), so I am excited to share my expertise about NYC private schools with working parents in corporate settings. Working parents are often too busy to do educational research on their own. I love showing them efficient and effective ways to help their children succeed.
Most recently, I spoke about NYC Private School Admissions to law firm Davis Polk's Parents' Group. Organizers emailed me:
Thanks again for coming to speak to our parents group. The feedback from your presentation has been extremely positive.
The other organizer wrote:
It was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for coming to speak to my colleagues and our firm's clients. One of the best presentations we have had all year. I do hope to keep in touch! It was a pleasure to introduce you.
NYC private schools, home of New York's wealthiest families, are racing to build new facilities and improve existing ones, using public money.
According to Martin Z Braun of Bloomberg Business, NYC private schools borrow through Build NYC Resource Corp., a city agency that facilitates nonprofits raising money through the municipal-bond market.
In his article NYC Prep Schools Binge on Debt to Lure Rich With New Pool, Labs, Braun explains that the schools later repay investors, who earn lower interest rates which they accept because the income is nontaxable. NYC private schools are eager to quickly improve their offerings, as today's parents are very demanding.
“It exactly parallels what is happening with colleges,” said Emily Glickman, a New York City-based private school admissions consultant. “If you have to pay a boatload of money, you want to get the most that you can. It’s hard to claim to be a really prestigious private school if your facility looks old.”
Avenues, a for-profit school that opened almost three years ago in a 10-story Chelsea warehouse, raised the standard for what a private Manhattan school should look like, said Glickman, the admissions consultant. With a bi-lingual curriculum of Spanish or Mandarin and English, it costs $45,350 a year to attend.
Braun details building projects going on at Riverdale, Fieldston, Saint Ann's, Packer, and La Scuola.
Municipal bonds are debt obligations issued by cities and other governmental entities to raise money to build schools and other projects for the public good. Is it a public good when only those lucky and wealthy enough to go to private school benefit? Mayor De Blasio's spokesperson says yes, because all this expansion means more jobs.