Families that plan to enroll their children in private school understand that it is important to start the enrollment process early if they want to get their children accepted to their top choice school.
It is easiest to get a child accepted in a private school in the grades that have large numbers of openings. Depending on the school, most children start a new private school in Kindergarten, 1st, 6th, 7th or 9th grade.
Since each grade is filled to capacity during the mass entry years, a family that decides to switch to private school in the 4th or 10th grade may find it challenging to find an open slot.
Flexibility and Relocating Families:
Over the years, I have worked with a number of families relocating to the St. Louis area that wanted their children to attend private school. These families were almost never able to meet the standard application deadlines, and usually were trying to find a school that had openings for several children.
The good news is that private schools are usually very flexible and try to accommodate relocating families. They recognize that families sometimes have to relocate, and they try to squeeze in eligible students so that they can continue their private education when they move. If the schools can enroll an additional child into a grade without ruining their pupil-teacher ratio, they will usually take an application anytime during the year and will even let the kids start midyear.
What is the Enrollment Process for Relocating Families?
There will be some variation from school to school, but the steps below will give you an idea of what to expect and how to get started.
Call the schools:
Identify all of the possible schools that might work for your family and call the admissions director. Some schools just won’t have openings for the grades you need since they only have openings when a child moves out of town or is transferred to another school. Since most schools try to balance the number of boys and girls per grade, you may also find that they have an opening for a girl but not a boy.
Your chances of getting all of your children into one private school improves if you consider a number of schools.
Complete the application paperwork:
If you are applying to schools that are members of the St. Louis Independent Schools, you will be able to use a common application form. Take a look at each school’s requirements so you know what admission tests and paperwork is required.
Plan for kids to spend a day in the classroom:
In addition to child and parent interviews, children that are applying to private school midyear will be expected to spend at least a half day in a classroom at each prospective school. Classroom time gives the school a chance to see how your child will respond to the academic environment and will fit in with their classmates.
Interview the school to find the best fit for your child:
The interview is not only a chance for the school to decide if they want your child, but a chance for you to decide which environment is the best match for your family and your child. Remember that the best school is the one that is the best for your child. Enrolling a mediocre student in a highly competitive academic environment may not be the best place for your child to shine.
Private School Enrollment Deadlines:
St. Louis Magazine recently published a list of schools and their application deadlines. The list doesn’t include every private or parochial school in the St. Louis area, so you will need to contact some of the schools directly if they aren’t on the list.
For a complete list of St. Louis area public and private schools, check out the School Information page on my other website, ArchCityRealEstate.com.
Relocating to St. Louis and need help with the school application process?
One of the extra services that I offer my relocating clients is that I assist with the private school application process. I can provide you with insights into the various schools, connect you with families attending particular schools and can arrange/shuttle you to school tours.
Prefer public schools over private schools? I can also help you sort through the numerous public school options in the St. Louis region.