10 Tips for Surviving Fort Worth Private School Admissions

It’s October and Summer is officially over. Fall is in noticeably in the air, and you’re supposed to be basking in the glow of another successful, injury-free summer and dropping temperatures. But, instead, many Fort Worth households are faced with climbing blood pressure as they encounter yet another foreign land in the world of parenthood: the Fort Worth private school kindergarten admissions process. For those considering private education for their children, chances are your days have started to fill with “kindergarten coffees”, school presentations and paper work galore.

Did you know that the private school enrollment per capita is higher in Fort Worth than in the state of Texas? And the private school enrollment per capita is already higher in Texas than in the United States as a whole.

While kindergarten private school admissions can be overwhelming to the parents and even competitive at some schools, it’s important to remember that with 51 private school options, ranging from 20-1,200 students, in our great city of Fort Worth, the school doesn’t just have to choose you. You have to choose the school.

There are so many considerations:  What is the best fit for your family?  A secular or religious affiliation? Alternative learning or traditional curriculums? Tradition of athletic success? A legacy of prestigious college and university acceptance? Exposure to music and arts? World languages offered?

You could fret about it for days. Or you could  take a deep breath of 73°-and-sunny-air, and keep these tips and tricks on hand while you navigate the sometimes-treacherous terrain of the Fort Worth private school kindergarten admissions process:

  1. Gather information. 30 of the aforementioned private schools are represented at the annual Tarrant County Private School Preview at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
  2. Attend campus-recruiting events and set any preconceived opinions that you may have about the schools aside.
  3. Schedule individual campus visits to take a tour, ask questions and meet important admissions personnel.
  4. Visit campus for not-so-scripted events and take your child.  Feeling comfortable on campus is a good first indicator. Fall Carnivals, football games and special events are hosted on most campuses during this time of year.
  5. Remember to evaluate school  through high school, not just elementary school levels. What is the long term vision? How is the faculty? The facilities?
  6. Keep your options open and submit an application for every school you plan to include in your decision.
  7. Do NOT choose or gravitate toward a certain school because YOUR peer group is doing so.  Your child will thrive and learn to love to learn in the school community that is most conducive to him/her.
  8. Four of the largest and oldest Fort Worth private schools share one single test or “Early Childhood Development Assessment” – Fort Worth Country Day, Trinity Valley School, All Saints Episcopal and Fort Worth Academy. If you have a preference for a certain school, choose that campus for your child’s test site.
  9. Be honest with Admissions Counselors about your child’s personality, likes and dislikes, but refrain from giving your own assessment evaluation. Refrain from “selling” your child’s strengths or “revealing” weaknesses as you see them.  Most admissions counselors have interviewed and assessed more pre kindergarten students that you have can dream of.  The results and feedback you get as a parent can be invaluable as your begin the school career.
  10. Make sure your child is well rested for the school visitation or play date. These typically last 1 – 1.5 hours, and evaluate how your child interacts with others during a series of activities.  The Wall Street Journal has great tips for preparing for this visit.
  11. Be patient! Decision notices will be sent to you and no decision will be indicated before that point.

For more information about Fort Worth private schools and the admissions process, visit some of these helpful links.

Fort Worth, TX Magazine Private School Guide

Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Private School Listings

DFW Child Private Schools Resource Directory

Council for American Private Education

Finally, if all this talk of Fort Worth private schools is stressing you out, check out the Tumblr, Reasons My Son Is Crying for an all-too-relatable humor break.

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