Every year, I have out of town clients that tell me which private school their child is planning to attend. Most parents aren’t aware of the process, the schedule, and how competitive it is. I have a post about “off cycle” admissions but most private schools in Atlanta don’t accommodate off cycle admission, creating a challenge for executives who are relocated during the summer months. Holy Innocents is the only one I know of that my clients have been able to get into off cycle.
Part of being a realtor is helping families with relocation and transition and a big part of that process is finding the right schools for your children. I’ve done a few posts with tips and information about the process of application for Atlanta private schools in order to help parents navigate the process and minimize disappointment when unexpected things pop up. For me, it’s not just about selling real estate, it’s about helping people create homes here in Vinings and Buckhead!
The “on cycle” process typically starts in October the year prior to the year you want your child to start, usually with testing beginning in October. Then in November the private school Open Houses start and the schools may schedule private tours of the schools as well. By January, schools have booked the individual interviews and they stop accepting applications in January to early February. Decisions are made and announced at the same time, usually the first Saturday in April.
There are wait lists and a lot of movement during those first two weeks after announcements, so don’t give up on your first choice too soon. But it’s interesting because schools are pretty good at knowing which students are the best fit for their curriculum and education styles so I’d prefer a school that wanted my child on their first list personally. Trust the process and apply to at least three. Schools are looking for candidates that are going to succeed in their environment so it is not usually the parent’s choice at the end of the day, it’s up to the schools.
The psychologist that does your child’s testing is a good resource in directing you to the schools that would be the best fit, but if your heart wants one in particular, don’t give up, wait out the wait list. I know people with siblings tend to just apply to the school they have a child in already and many regret it later when that child doesn’t get in, so expand your search and consider others; a school program that is a fit for one isn’t always a fit for another and you don’t want to be in a position of having to move to get in a good school district after the fact! Trust me- it happens more often than you can imagine! So, to help you get rolling, here are this year’s Open House dates:
- November 14 – The Westminster Schools: Lower School Open House and The Lovett School Kindergarten Open House, 1:00 PM
- November 15 – The Lovett School Grades 1-5 Open House 1:00 PM ; Grades 6-8, 3:30 PM and Atlanta Girls’ School: Admission Open House; 1:00 PM
- November 16 – The Lovett School: Grades 1-5 Open House 1:00 PM Grades 6-8, 3:30 PM
- November 17 – Trinity School Open House, 9:30 AM
- November 21 – Pace Academy: Middle and Upper School Open House, 1:00 PM
- November 22 – Pace Academy: Lower School Open House, 1:00 PM
- December 4 – The Westminster School: Middle School Open House
- December 5 – Holy Innocent’s Episcopal School: All School Open House starting at 11:00 AM: The Westminster School: Upper School Open House, 2:00 PM
- December 6 – The Galloway School Open House for all grades and St. Benedict’s Episcopal School Open House
- December 10 – Trinity School Open House, 9:30 AM
- January 20 – Trinity School Open House, 9:30 AM
- January 21 – Lovett School Open House Grades 9-12, 6:30 PM
- January 23 – Whitfield Academy Family Open House, 2:30 PM
- January 24 – St. Benedict’s Episcopal School Open House
Woodward Academy offers group tours by reservation on select dates through February