Applying to Private or Parochial School
Step 1: Research
Start to build a school list in the spring of 7th and refine throughout the next few months.
Some good School Research and Testing Resources:
- ISAAGNY.org (Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York)
- Timeline and information for some Catholic schools
Admissions testing (check with your schools to see what they require):
- erblearn.org (ISEE test for privates)
- ssat.org (SSAT - boarding schools and some privates)
- tachsinfo.com (TACHS for Catholic schools)
Regularly check those schools’ websites to find:
- when they will be holding open houses or tours. Private schools often hold some events on the spring. (The Parents League publishes a compilation of this information on their website; they also hold a large school fair in May, where you can speak with admissions representatives.)
- which admissions test they require
- how and when to apply and submit records & letters of recommendation
- any special policies regarding sibling/legacy status, essay requirements etc.
Save a copy of your 7th grade report card, work from 7th grade that displays teacher comments and/or a grade. Start to build your portfolio if submitting artwork or non-school writing samples
Step 2: Apply the in fall
Submit applications as soon as possible; in many cases, you cannot submit records or schedule interviews until your initial application is complete.
If needed, apply for financial aid when you submit your application.
Schedule admissions testing, if required by the school(s) to which you are applying.
In the fall, ESMS students traditionally write self-reflection paragraphs for use in the admissions process or for summer employment or internships.
TRANSCRIPTS & RECORDS (adults do this)
During the process of applying to high school, private/non-DOE schools will likely require that academic records are sent directly to them by ESMS.
Parents/guardians should make the request for records using our Google form HERE (not by email or phone). Please use this request form as many times as needed (once for each school) to authorize the release of a child's transcript and/or report card. 6th & 7th grade ESMS report cards and state test information will be sent to schools this fall; 1st trimester report cards from this year will be sent the first week of January. You should complete this form even if the school is sending us their own request for records.
All private schools looking for a contact regarding the upload of records/transcripts should be given email@example.com.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION (students do this)
Students applying to private/non-DOE schools will usually find they need teacher, guidance counselor and/or administration recommendations. It is the students who must request them, and their teachers will explain in October how to properly make, follow up on and track these requests.
Our 8th graders spend time with their homeroom teachers in the fall, writing guided self-reflections. All teachers will be able to access these statements if they are approached to write personal recommendations. Articulating their interests, strengths & learning styles in these paragraphs may help students evaluate the fit of the public and private schools they research, and it will get them off to a great start if they are applying to independent schools that require personal statements.
All requests for application support materials must be made by the Friday before Winter Break, but please note: some private schools have November application/materials deadlines. In those cases, the students should be clear with teachers about their timeline when requesting letters.
Step 3: Get results
Decisions are released 6-8 weeks into the new year.
Let the ESMS School Counselor know your school choice. If you will attend one of your private schools, she will release your public high school seat and opt you out of the DOE system.
Pay the deposit and sign the contract by your school’s deadline.
Notify all private schools that accepted if you will not attend.
If waitlisted somewhere you want to go, re-express your interest and ask if they would like additional material.