Perspectives on Private School Rejection
“Private School Rejection? Don’t Panic Yet” covers some well travelled ground quoting a couple of consultants and touching lightly on the concept of ‘school fit’ and he’s certainly correct to do so. Quoting from his interviews:
“‘I explain that often schools reject children and families who are not the right fit for their school, rather than it being a reflection of numbers or anything wrong with their application,’ said Liz Perelstein, a consultant based in White Plains, N.Y.
‘Sometimes the denial to a school is a good thing,’ said Jean Baldwin, a District-based consultant. ‘If the student is not right for the program or the curriculum, he or she will not flourish.’
His message is on, but could be stronger.
We’ve been writing, and preaching ‘best school fit’ for years.
Fit isn’t just part of the private school admission process. The process is, fundamentally, about school fit. The fanciest school with greatest reputation is not the best school for every child. The best school for any particular student is the school that will take the student’s growth the furthest while he/she is there.
As we write in “Best Boarding Schools:”
The notion of the ‘best school’ is much like the concept of ‘best kid’- prompting the follow-up questions: Best, how? Best at what? What exactly do you mean by best? Best athlete? Best Latin scholar? Best calculus student? Best behaved? Best debater?
Several schools are quite rich with endowments larger than many colleges. Some schools have students with astounding SAT scores. Some schools produce a disproportionate number of high caliber athletes.
Which school is best? It all depends…
A good fit requires thorough understanding of both student and school. Not every school fits every student and not every student fits every school…
Boarding schools come in all flavors, perspectives and sizes- just like families and kids. Each boarding school offers a particular perspective or way of working and this method works best for students who benefit from the approach.
Frame your thinking about the opportunities and programs that your student needs. Does this school have these programs and support what’s best for my student?…
What’s the best school? The school that provides the most fertile environment for your student’s growth.
Matthews and his interviewees are spot-on observing that parents can have difficulty finding, or lose, perspective in the admission process. It’s just plain difficult to honestly assess your child when clouded by the lenses that want nothing but the best for him/her.
This is where the eyes, ears, perspectives and professional expertise of a consultant can come in handy.
An educational consultant can help with everything from student assessment to final school selection. Their services are not inexpensive, but many families find their contributions to finding the best school for their student invaluable.