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Old 10-04-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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I have two questions about North Dallas private schools. I've been feeling out my friends, but I want a broader audience.

1. What are the politics of switching from one private school to another? Details are that last fall we applied my preschool daughter to most of the "elite" private schools in North Dallas -- Greenhill, Lamplighter, ESD, etc. We applied to all but Hockaday at my husband's insistence that our children have a shot at attending the same school (we also have two young sons). She is incredibly happy at the school we chose and so are we, with one big exception. She doesn't seem to be learning anything and seems to be boring now that the excitement of the first few weeks are over and has started to complain about wanting to do "more" (her words). With all that as background, I'm wondering if we should have also applied to Hockaday.

So, given that Hockaday will want a teacher evaluation and a school record when she applies and there is obviously no guarantee of admission, would we just be destroying our relationship with our current school on a 20% chance of moving her to Hockaday? We are hoping that our current school will work with us to cure the current problem, but I don't want to miss the application window nonetheless.

2. If we do consider Hockaday for our daughter, we would also look at St. Marks for our sons. But, where do these kids go until first grade? It seems silly to try to get them admitted at ESD or Greenhill just to plan on pulling them in a couple years, doesn't it? Is there a feeder school for St. Marks?

Any input is welcome, including "Chill out and quit over-thinking things."
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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Sent you a PM, but yes, you can chill a little. :-) Having a child who is a teen now, I think back to the days of flipping out about schools and realize that, as long as you are involved, everything tends to work out in the end.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:37 PM
 
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If your kid can read at a third grade level, what's the point of putting them in Pre-K with kids who are still learning their letters and paying $20K a year for that privilege?

Sometimes no school is a good fit for your kid.

Something to think about.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX75007 View Post
If your kid can read at a third grade level, what's the point of putting them in Pre-K with kids who are still learning their letters and paying $20K a year for that privilege?

Sometimes no school is a good fit for your kid.

Something to think about.
You make a good point, and it is something we actually considered for quite a while. Ultimately it didn't work for our family, but obviously we are still struggling to find a good solution. And right now I am feeling like a bit of a chump for writing the check we did for a year of social time and review.

And I don't mean to be misleading. She isn't reading on a third grade level. She reads, but my random guess would be only on an early first grade level or so. I don't think she has ever been tested. And emotionally she is very much a preschooler. Right now I have no idea where the best place for her is. I want to do better for her than my parents did for me, so I put a lot of pressure on myself.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:15 PM
 
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A lot of St Mark's kids do preschool through kinder at Lamplighter, among other private preschools in North Dallas.

I'll let the current private school parents address your concerns about how to apply to one private while enrolled in another.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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Can't offer much input on #1, but re: #2, you might want to look at Meadowbrook: Meadowbrook School Meadowbrook typically sends several boys a year to St. Mark's. Kindergarten is usually all, or mostly, boys waiting for St. Mark's. The first year (PK-3) requires getting on a wait list early, but there are usually spots at PK-4 and K when girls start leaving for Hockaday, Greenhill, ESD, etc. Good luck!
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:55 AM
 
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First, the easy question. St. Marks traditionally has a significant number of kids from Lamplighter, St. Alcuin, and Meadowbrook; however, I would not describe St. Marks as having a feeder school. Kids from all over the metroplex get admitted to the school and I would guess that less than half of the students come from the three schools listed above.

Now, the more difficult question, do private schools hold grudges? Specifically, are you hurting your sons' chances of being admitted to the same school that your daughter currently attends if she switches to Hockaday? My gut feeling is that it is a definite possibility. For example, we have friends who have a daughter in middle school at Hockaday. When she was applying for pre-k programs, she applied at Hockaday and Greenhill. She choose Hockaday over Greenhill. The younger brother applied a couple of years later. Despite the younger brother having substantially higher scores (he was off the chart), Greenhill denied his admission (he was admitted to St. Marks and every other school). Did Greenhill deny his admission because his parents declined to send his sister there- that is a real possibility. Did Greenhill deny his admission because it just assumed the brother would pick St. Marks over it? Who knows...
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HockDad View Post
The younger brother applied a couple of years later. Despite the younger brother having substantially higher scores (he was off the chart), Greenhill denied his admission (he was admitted to St. Marks and every other school). Did Greenhill deny his admission because his parents declined to send his sister there- that is a real possibility. Did Greenhill deny his admission because it just assumed the brother would pick St. Marks over it? Who knows...
Or perhaps Greenhill has a quota or faculty kids get in on "waivers"? That would explain the relative under performance of the school with respect to Hockaday and St Marks.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:46 PM
 
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I guess that it one explanation, but I think the more likely explanations are one of the following: 1) Greenhill was still upset the sister did not go, and 2) Greenhill did not really expect that brother would go since his sister was at St. Marks sister school. (why waste a spot on a kid that they know St. Marks will accept and likely would not choose Greenhill if given the option). This boy is in now in third grade at St. Marks and is a star.

As for faculty kids getting in on waivers, that happens all of the time at Hockaday. All of the time. As for diversity (I believe your responding to your quota comment), Greenhill is probably more diverse, but 29% of the girls at hockaday are girls of color. That is pretty diverse.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:18 AM
 
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I am interested in this thread as well. I have three daughters in public school in Plano and we have had no complaints. Several of my nieces/nephew are in one of the top tier privates, and my children are without a doubt at their level or can be argued, well above. However, our youngest is bored silly. She is in 2nd grade now and has been at the top of the class since kinder. Her teacher in K said she could definitely test to place out of 1st, but as she is a summer birthday, was really too young for that choice. Last year in 1st we applied her to Hockaday, feeling that it is the best fit for her personality and desire to learn. She did not get in. We met with the admission director who basically said that she was competing with children a year older and testing for 2nd is the hardest since there is a large mix of ages and years of schooling. The testing was fine, math could use a little boost, but we were also told it was more from never having seen the information vs not being able to grasp it. We have had her IQ tested privately (during kinder year) just to see if she was really as smart as we guessed. She is definitely exceptionally gifted.
So my concern is knowing that her chances of getting into Hockaday are slim until 5th grade, but is it worth it to take another shot? The private school where her cousins go is not a choice as we feel it seems to be little more than a very expensive public school.
I have already talked to her teacher this year. She has been in the PACE program since K and gets differentiated work on a daily basis. We are doing Kumon on the outside.
Especially those of you with children in MS and beyond, is it reasonable just to sit tight in public or continue to try for private? thanks in advance.
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