Applications 101

Updated   September 04, 2017 |
Applications 101
Use this hub to keep track of the steps in the private schools' admission process.
Admissions to a private school is a process with many components to it. Both the process and its many components can be confusing to parents dealing with private school admissions for the first time. So, I devised this article as a hub which includes all my articles describing the private school admissions process.
 
The Overview
 
Admissions to Private School: A-Z puts all the information you need to navigate the private school admissions process in one convenient place. Whether you are just beginning or have been through this before, you will find help and advice to guide you. Admissions 101 offers an overview of the private school admissions process, as well as the steps needed to find the right private school for your child. Admissions Checklist will keep you on track as you work through the private school admissions process. Essentially it takes the points covered in the previous two articles and formats them into an easy-to-follow checklist. 5 Challenges To Getting Your Child Into Private School If you are good at organizing projects, the challenges involved in getting your child into private school will not seem especially daunting. Bear in mind that this project will stretch over eighteen months or more. Play the Hand You Have Been Dealt suggests that you need to be objective as you decide which schools will be on your short list. Card games such as bridge and solitaire with multiple decks of cards fascinate me. I have learned to
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Updated   September 02, 2017 |
Outsourcing Your Boarding Program
If your school has placed boarding students with families, you might want to consider out-sourcing your boarding program. It is one way of adding value to your day school's offerings.
Roanoke Catholic School

Editor's Note:  I asked Stephen Alexander of Wilson International to explain how out-sourcing a boarding program works. ~Rob Kennedy

1. Tell us about Wilson International, its history and the services it provides for schools.

Wilson International aims to be on the forefront of global trends in private preparatory school education, providing a housing solution to schools who recognize the value of increased diversity and academic caliber of their prospective students. The company was founded just this year, specifically for our first program in Roanoke, Virginia. Beyond providing a much-needed housing solution to our affiliate schools, Wilson cherishes the opportunity to help nurture thoughtful and competent global citizens, within the framework of our affiliate schools' mission statements. Here in Roanoke, Wilson provides 16 rooms and a total of 48 beds to its affiliates in a recently restored historical building in the heart of downtown. The building is completely updated with a fully secured access control program, designated fiber optic internet service, laundry facilities, and a full-time chef. In addition to room and board, Wilson provides a residential life program for its students and is also creating a recruiting branch of the company to assist day schools that need a jump-start in their international admission goals. 

2. What prompted North Cross School and Roanoke Catholic School to add a residential option to their programs?

Both schools had engaged in specific and strategic initiatives to increase the diversity and caliber of their prospective students in the last seven years. Because

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Updated   July 20, 2017 |
A Look At An Athletic Academy
 
Editor's note: I recently asked Bobby Bossman, Director of SPIRE Academy, to explain and outline the kind of athletic programs and training which the Institute offers. It is one of dozens of athletic institutes around the country which give young women and men the chance to see whether they have the right stuff to take it a step further. ~Rob
 
1. How does a specialty institute such as Spire Institute handle the balance of academics and athletic training?
 
By having flexibility with each student's time and the ability to create custom daily schedules, our staff can plan the most appropriate training day unique to each student-athlete.  Some athletes may require more or less time in academic training based on progress.  We have the ability to accommodate accordingly by infusing more academic time when needed and allowing those who are ahead academically extra periods of athletic training.  This is versus the traditional high school setting that blocks students into a 7:30am-3:30pm structured school day before athletic activities even begin.  
 
SPIRE also has the ability to condense the academic portion of the day by removing some filler blocks such as study halls and P.E. classes to allow athletes opportunities to train in the mornings as well when their bodies are physically the freshest.
 
How do you advise your young athletes regarding their academics?
 
All of our student-athletes are advised to complete all require core courses as per the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  NCAA schools require college-bound student-athlete to build a foundation of high school
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Updated   July 11, 2017 |
IT Infrastructure For The Small School
Suggestions for the small school's IT infrastructure and services.

Disclaimer: I am writing this article about IT infrastructure with small private schools in mind. I am basing my suggestions on my more than thirty years working as an IT professional in private schools and selling technology equipment and services to them. It is my hope that these talking points will save you some money and give you and your staff some peace of mind so that you can focus on the important job you have, namely, teaching your students. ~Rob Kennedy, MCT, CSE

Most medium to large-sized schools will have professional IT staff on their payroll. But, while small schools need professional IT advice just as much, if not more, than the larger schools do, finding the money to pay for the needed expertise is always a major challenge in a small school. Here then are some practical, low-cost solutions to keep your important data secure.

1. Put all your applications and data in the cloud.

This is probably the least expensive way for a small school to deal with securing your important data. For purposes of this essay, I define important data as the confidential personal and academic information which your families and students have entrusted to you. Important data also includes the school's financials and business correspondence.

Ten or fifteen years ago you would have been told that you have to have a server and a complicated network infrastructure to keep everything secure. Nowadays you can keep everything secure in the cloud. Yes, literally there is an app for that.

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Updated   July 10, 2017 |
Choosing Schools: Reach, Match and Safe Schools
Always answer this question honestly: what is the school looking for? Is my child a match for their requirements? This article shows you how to get that important match right.

As you begin thinking about private schools, you will add schools from various sources to your initial list of potential schools. That’s fine. Accept all suggestions and advice in the early stages of your search for the right school or schools. Friends will suggest schools which their children attend. Family will mention schools that your uncle or aunt attended. And so on. Finally, you will explore on your own. Private School Review is a great place to start because the site is devoted to private K-12 schools. The following screenshot gives you an idea of number of schools within a fifty mile radius of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. (I selected that area because I am familiar with it as I have family there. Also itt is not a major urban area.)

Private schools within 50 miles of zip code 01028

After exploring schools and including all the other suggestions you will receive, you will most likely end up with a list of 5-10 schools. Now, this is where the private school search process becomes tricky. Why is that? Simply because you have to whittle that long list of potential schools down to a more manageable list of 2-3 schools.  Selecting a school is not like buying a watch on Amazon. It’s a lot like buying a house. And just as with buying a house, you have to really like the

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