Virtual Admissions: What Schools Are Doing To Make The Process Easier

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The coronavirus has created a roadblock for schools all around New York City. Admissions teams have been struggling over the last few months shifting from in-person meetings and interviews to strictly online. Although this transition might be difficult, schools have been working on creating virtual admissions that will be easy and helpful for both students and staff! Not sure how virtual admissions will work? Here are a few tips and tools that admissions teams are using to help students and parents learn about schools for the upcoming season!

Do you want your child to keep their mind active while stuck inside? Check out The Best Virtual Storytime and Read-Alongs for Kids!

Virtual Tours 

When trying to decide which school students would want to attend, one of the best ways to explore different options is by visiting and touring the campuses. Even though campuses across the country are closed down, admissions teams are setting up virtual tours that kids and parents can sign up for. “We have a 360 virtual tour that we got shot just about a month after we started to shelter in place,” said Jim Gaines, the Director of Admissions at Green Ivy Schools. “That has been hugely beneficial in terms of being able to take parents on an actual tour of the school, everywhere from walking in the front door, up the steps into their child’s classrooms, seeing all the different specialist rooms, etc.” Through virtual tours, you can get an idea of whether or not your child will feel comfortable at this particular school and feel like they will be able to fit into the environment around them.

Video Interviews

One of the most important parts of the application process is the parent and student interviews. These interviews allow both the admissions team and the student to get to know one another while also seeing if this certain school will be a good fit for them. Phone interviews can be a good alternative, but admission teams prefer doing interviews via video platforms, such as Zoom, in order to stimulate a proper interview. Alex Ragone, Director of Enrollment and Marketing at Williamsburg Northside School, said, “Depending on the age of the child, if the child who is three to first or second grade we will do a parent conversation with the child there so we’ll get to know the child and the parent. For older students, for middle school applicants, we will do an application process that has a parent interview as well as the student interview.” When it comes down to how interviews are conducted, every school is different depending on grade levels. “In those older ages, a lot of times we will have a couple of students come along in the Zoom conversation to answer questions and have a conversation with the child who is applying. That gives us a view into kind of how they [the applicant] would engage in the community,” said Ragone. 

Make Sure to Do Your Research

You might not realize it, but many of the schools you might be looking at usually have tons of information that could be beneficial when it comes to picking a school. Especially since coronavirus has caused in-person visits to be canceled, schools have been reviewing and updating their websites to make sure they have the right information that people will need such as tuition and financial aid, as well as lists of virtual events that schools will be hosting. “Definitely do as much research as they [parents] can by visiting the websites. A lot of the website indicates what the school is about,” said Emily Benson, Director of Admissions at International Academy of New York. Research can feel repetitive and challenging for some people, but the benefits of having some of your questions answered early on will make the admissions process a little less stressful

Communication Is Key

Since there isn’t an option to meet one on one with administrators and potential students, being able to have good communication is a good factor when it comes to choosing a school. Once the potential students and parents do research and see what the different schools have to offer, the next step is to relay questions that you still might have to administrators. Benson said “Something we’ve always had in place is strong communication, so if a parent asks us a question we’ll answer it right away. We make it very obvious from the beginning that we’re really transparent and open to answer anything.” Asking as many questions as possible will not only help the school get to know what kind of person the student and their parents are, but also help the students get to know the school’s values and how they function. “Have your list of questions ready. Be very thoughtful, deliberate, and intentional about what your values are as a family, what is important to you in terms of education, [and] how you perceive your child as a learner,” said Gaines. The better communication you have, the better experience the student will have at the school that they choose. 

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Manhattan Mandarin

<p>Manhattan Mandarin runs the Mandarin after-school programs at over 40 schools</p> <p>nationwide, including St. Bernard's, Chapin, Allen-Stevenson, and Buckley. Whether</p> <p>in schools, students' homes, in the office, online, or on our beloved China trips, our</p> <p>teachers and tutors have helped hundreds of students of all ages master the Mandarin</p> <p>language on their own unique paths to fluency. Our philosophy has always been to</p> <p>make private lessons and classes perfectly tailored for each individual student. We</p> <p>look forward to working with you.</p> <p>- Jamie Keyte, Founder</p>

Franklin School

<p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Franklin School is a visionary new high school </span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">where students have the freedom to chart their own course through an </span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">innovative curriculum where academic excellence meets real-world readiness. Franklin’s innovative hands-on curriculum empowers students to pursue their passions and have agency over their futures. </span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In addition to a rigorous core curriculum, </span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">students can choose from a wide range of AP</span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> and </span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">elective classes, as well as micro-courses </span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">taught by industry leaders. </span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Franklin emphasizes applied learning — learning by doing both within and beyond the classroom. Much of what students “do” will be driven by their own interests and where they want to go on their educational journey.</span><strong id="docs-internal-guid-20eed8a2-7fff-eb59-fbf0-5008e984af46" style="font-weight: normal;"></strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Franklin’s makerspace houses design and technology courses and serves as an inspiring hub where students can apply their learning and innovate. </span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It’s also home to the School’s incubator — Franklin Student Ventures — where students can bring their ideas for new businesses and nonprofits to fruition. During that process, they gain entrepreneurial skills, which are invaluable as technology and the working world continue to change at a furious pace.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">A Franklin four-year journey also includes built-in academic support, skills curriculum, and communication training; built-in SAT/ACT prep; expert college counseling; access to state-of-the-art athletic facilities; personalized internships; and more. Attend an open house to learn more </span></span><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap;">— </span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">register </span></span><a style="color: #35a3bf; background-color: #ffffff; text-decoration-line: none; font-size: 16px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;" href="https://www.franklinjc.org/admissions/visit-us" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.franklinjc.org/admissions/visit-us&source=gmail&ust=1697321264007000&usg=AOvVaw0asz8yqoO78UnweqRMdq3A"><span style="font-size: 1.1rem; font-family: 'Brown Light', sans-serif; color: #0563c1; background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-alternates: normal; text-decoration-line: underline; vertical-align: baseline;">here</span></a><span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-alternates: normal; font-size: 1.1rem; font-family: 'Brown Light', sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span></p>

George Jackson Academy

<p dir="ltr">GJA fosters a love for learning, instills resilience, and encourages curiosity, making it an ideal environment for boys to thrive academically and personally. </p> <p dir="ltr">GJA’s comprehensive curriculum includes not only the sciences, humanities, math, and Spanish, but also classes that expand students’ horizons, such as Fencing, Muay Thai, and Percussion. Their strong emphasis on social-emotional programming provides students with the necessary tools and resources to navigate challenges and maintain a positive outlook. With small class sizes and individualized attention, students feel valued and supported. GJA’s is a close-knit community and fosters a sense of brotherhood that lasts a lifetime.</p> <p dir="ltr">High School placement is an integral part of GJA’s program. The process begins in seventh grade with initial school visits, test prep, mock interviews, and a preview of the high school admissions process. The guidance and support provided by the Director of High School Placement and the dedicated faculty ensure that each student finds the right match school. Graduates attend elite day and boarding schools and top parochial and selective public schools throughout the tri-state area.</p> <p dir="ltr">GJA accepts applications for grades 6 and 7. Visit <a href="http://www.gjacademy.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.gjacademy.org&source=gmail&ust=1701530891494000&usg=AOvVaw2zFixhCUc3DIQ2kr2RSBX1">www.gjacademy.org</a> to apply by December 9.</p>