By Laura Perillo, Oak Knoll School of The Holy Child
With COVID-19 still lingering about, the routine of going to school this year has been anything but normal, adding more layers of confusion onto an already tumultuous 2020. If you’re lucky, your child’s school has reopened its doors for full-day instruction or turned to a hybrid learning model while taking heavy safety precautions. Some schools have also switched to completely virtual platforms.
As you navigate the uncertainty of this school year, Kelly Dun, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid, has provided some helpful tips for families applying to private school as they navigate the pandemic.
1. Start Early!
If your family is considering applying to an independent school – particularly a Catholic school – the best thing to do is to start the application process early. It could take extra time to get to know a school this year if you are not allowed to visit the campus due to COVID-19. First, gather all the deadlines of the schools you are interested in and make a running list. This includes transcripts, letters of recommendations, rounding out the profile section and scheduling interviews. Then, register for their required test dates as soon as possible to secure your spot.
2. Take Advantage of Virtual Platforms
Once you have locked in your testing and interview dates, take some time to visit each school website. It is true that we are drained from too much zoom and screen time, but in the case of applying to independent schools, you will want to take advantage of their virtual platforms. Many schools, including Oak Knoll, have stocked up on new, live on-demand content including virtual tours, opportunities to talk to a current parent or student, interviews with faculty and administration or videos that showcase the COVID-19 health and safety protocols that are keeping current students safe. To get a sense of what classes are like, speak up! Contact the admission office to ask if your child can virtually “drop-in” to a live class.