It’s that stressful time of year again: acceptance letters from elementary schools are coming out this Friday. High school notifications arrived by mail and email last Friday, and colleges are in the midst of sending out their letters this month.
This week when you see a rather forlorn looking parent of a high schooler, you can pretty much guess what’s going on. They’ve received their letters and some of them were not good news. There will be happy faces and others looking a bit distraught. You will be wondering who of your friends’ kids are going to be chosen for the top choice schools and how will you face them in the schoolyard when the acceptance letter didn’t arrive in your child’s mailbox.
But remember – there’s no such thing as a firm “no.” Just because they put you on a wait list, you might feel the game is over, but it’s not. Make sure you or your child calls the school you really want and let them know that you are still VERY interested in a spot. This will signal to them that if a spot opens up, you definitely want it.
Okay you’re disappointed; you didn’t exactly want this right now, this minute. But these rejections are often blessings in disguise. Because the reality is EVERYONE finds a school. The school you thought you most wanted might not have been the right fit for your child and where your child is accepted most probably is. In a couple of months you’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about. Remember childbirth? No, most of us have put it out of our mind. This too will pass.
Here’s something to think about. Now it’s the school’s turn to be frantically juggling class lists. This is when they start getting their ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses back from parents like you. They have their plates full with building and verifying enrollment, staff hiring and firing, and budget concerns for building maintenance. Institutions have a difficult time around this time of year so put a smile on your face and don’t let your kids see your despair. It’s enough that they have to go to school much less worry about which one they go to!! Hug them, hold them, and make them realize they are important, regardless where they go to school.
About Fiona Whitney
Fiona Whitney is the author of three successful school guides all published under The Whitney Guide series, about preschool, private and public elementary education in Los Angeles. As a School Consultant she has a stellar record of placing children in the top schools in LA and beyond. Fiona has lived in Hancock Park for over 20 years and raised her two children through the private and public systems. She will be contributing a series of stories for the Buzz on educating children in Los Angeles.
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