Theresa Kiernan is the Director of Advancement and Admissions at Trinity Hall. Questions? Email [email protected].
This is your plan of attack for those busy first few months of school.
Parents everywhere know the summer offers something busy families desperately need: downtime. Following that blessed last day of school, weeks of unblemished boxes on your calendar stretch ahead in June, July and August. It is very tempting to fill up that time off in an effort to make the most of the summer, yet I find the lazy days of summer to be my favorites.
But parents – and their students – know what’s coming. September rolls in like a wave and it’s best to brace yourself for the hit. For me, as time moves from early to mid-August, I start itching to get organized. I dig out all of the school paperwork, summer reading assignments, and supply lists my kids’ schools sent home in June, and I start getting myself and my family back on track. I feel more centered and prepared knowing what to expect during the Back-to-School season. It is a satisfying task to start filling the calendar boxes with a schedule.
If you have a student going into eighth grade this fall you may also be feeling the pressure of the high school search. In addition to the wonderful celebrations that come during a student’s eighth-grade year, you now have to carve time out of your busy schedule for high school admissions events such as Open Houses, standardized testing and campus visits. Lists are made, research is conducted, dates are cross-referenced, and priorities are determined. We have many great high school options here in Monmouth County, NJ, and it is a rare family that doesn’t visit multiple schools throughout September, October and November. It can be stressful and exhausting.
That thorough process is quite important though, so I recommend using the last days of summer to organize your plan of attack. Start with looking at the admissions calendars of the schools your student wants to consider and chart out the dates of those events. Prioritize Open Houses – at some schools it is mandatory to attend one in order to be able to apply for admission, but even if it is optional you should find a way to get there. There is simply no better way to see what a school has to offer than during an Open House. At Trinity Hall we offer two Open Houses to accommodate our families, as we find that a weekend morning may work for some but a weeknight event works better for others. This year our Open Houses are scheduled for Saturday, October 5 (9 – 11 a.m.) and Wednesday, November 6 (6 – 8 p.m.).
Whether your appointment calendar is on your phone or on your desk at work (like mine), mapping out admissions events in advance sets you up for success. The more you can plan the more you can do, and the more you can do the more accomplished and informed you’ll feel when it is time to file those admissions applications. You’ll be well ahead of the deadlines for each school, and your child will have a full understanding of the academic expectations and admission requirements for her top choice school. Feel free to start by adding Trinity Hall’s admission dates
to your calendar now!