What Do Private Schools Really Look For in Student Applicants?

It is no secret that test scores and grades play a big role in academic admissions, but it is important to remember that private schools take a holistic approach when it comes to admissions. We break down what is widely considered the 5 most important elements private school Admissions Committees look for in a student applicant.

  1. Academic Performance and Intellect

As previously mentioned, committee members, of course, look at a student’s grades and test scores as a benchmark. However, they also look to evaluate a student’s academic potential by reviewing written essays and teacher recommendations. All of these components combined allow the committee to determine the student’s academic strengths and areas that could use some improvement. It is important for private school admissions to identify areas where a student could use some extra assistance, because the school can then tailor the learning experience in a way that will help the student achieve his or her highest potential.

For younger students, test scores are still important, but teacher recommendations are equally important. Admission Committees want to know what a student is like inside the classroom. Is he/she well behaved? Is he/she attentive? Is he/she engaged in the activity and showing eagerness to learn? This is all information that can be collected in a teacher recommendation or by observing the child first-hand in a classroom environment.

It is important to note, that for both younger and older student applicants, Admission Committees want to see a willingness and even desire to learn. The test scores are important, but a private school wants to see that a student is excited to learn and willing to put in the effort needed to perform well.

2 . Extracurricular Involvement

Private schools want well-rounded students who are interested in activities outside of the classroom. This includes music lessons, sports, drama classes and everything in between.

However, as a parent of a younger child, be wary of signing up your child for too many activities. You want your child to explore a range of involvement and determine what interests him or her, without overwhelming him/her. Plus, some private schools have reservations about students who appear to be “over-involved” in activities, due to the concern that it might interfere with the student’s ability to handle the rigors of private school.

3. Character and Independence

The Admission Committees look for students who are going to be a positive member of their community and an excellent ambassador of the school. For older students, this means being more independent and a leader inside and outside of the classroom.

For younger students, this is more behavioral based. Admission Committees look for students who are well behaved in and out of the classroom. Committee members want to ensure that prospective students will be respectful of teachers and classmates, and often times, committee members gauge this by observing how the child interacts with their parents. In addition to good behavior, they also want to see signs of independence in younger children. Does the student show his or her own desire to improve and grow? Does the student require constant prompting from parents, or does he or she initiate the completion of school work?

4. The Right Fit for The School

Admission Committees are looking for students who are the right fit for their school. They want students whose values align with the school’s mission statement and will excel both academically and socially. During the application process, the committee is looking not only to see if the student has the aptitude needed to succeed, but also the right behavior and interests to fit into the school’s culture.

Although Admission Committee members are tasked with finding students who are best fit for their school, as a parent, you are tasked with finding the right school for your student. Just because a school has great reviews or outstanding accolades does not mean it is necessarily the right school for your child. Be sure to do the research on the school’s values and mission statement to ensure they align with you and your child’s.

5. A Supportive Family

In addition to the previously mentioned 4 elements, private schools want to see a supportive family around the applicant. They want to know that the student is well supported, but also that they can count on the parents to be an active member of its community.

Again, it is important to remember that more than just grades and test scores make up a successful student. Encourage your child to be involved and practice good behavior and leadership skills. These are all qualities that the top private schools look for in their student applicants.

Introducing the Love and Logic™ Method

Raising and educating children isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not “one size fits all”. However, there are tools and principles you can use and follow to set your children up for success.

At The Guthrie School, we are firm believers in the Love and Logic™ method. What is that?

Love and Logic™ is a research-driven philosophy on raising children, founded by Jim Fay, a former school administrator and Foster W. Cline, M.D., a school psychologist. It’s the practice of combining both love and logic into the raising and disciplining of children. The root of this practice is building a respectful and trustworthy relationship with your child.

Let’s start with the first element; Love.

Love: All parents love their children. But what does that look like? To most, love looks like providing for your children, showing affection and taking care of their needs. The Love and Logic™ philosophy teaches that there is more to showing love than what typically comes to mind.

The “love” in Love and Logic™, emphasizes the importance of setting and enforcing limits that are in your child’s best interest. You should love your children so much that you set reasonable boundaries to ensure they stay on the right path, and reprimand them in appropriate but compassionate ways when they push the limits.

Logic: Most parents have a harder time implementing the “Logic” element of the Love and Logic™ technique. The logic is what happens when we allow our children to make decisions and experience the natural consequence, good or bad. Naturally as parents, we want to protect our children from any negative emotions or feelings, but it is actually very important that children feel their instinctive emotions and are held accountable for their actions. When children experience the consequences of their actions, they understand the fundamental thought process that their actions and decisions directly impact their emotions.

This technique teaches children responsibility and promotes compassionate and thoughtful behavior.

Now that you have learned the basic principles of the Love and Logic™ method, are you interested in learning more?

Certified Love and Logic™ Trainer, Amy Egan will be leading a seminar on implementing the Love and Logic™ method into your parenting style. She will provide a more in-depth understanding of the philosophy and provide you with the practical tools and knowledge to help parent your child and raise him or her to be a respectful, independent and caring individual.

Please join us on October 17th, 6:30pm – 7:30pm at The Guthrie School for Amy’s presentation. This is an open session and all are welcome! Please spread this message to any parents you think would be interested in learning the Love and Logic™ method.

For more information on the Love and Logic™ Method, visit the
Love and Logic™ website or MedicineNet.


https://www.loveandlogic.com/articles-advice/what-is-parenting-with-love-and-logic

Class Size is Key to Children’s Education

The Guthrie School Prides Itself on Maintaining Small Class Sizes.

The Guthrie School Typical Class has 15 Students

The Guthrie School Typical Class has 15 Students

Reducing class size to advance student achievement has been tried, debated, and analyzed for decades. On its face, the premise is logical: with fewer students to teach, teachers can better accommodate individual student needs, foster personal connections with their students, and ultimately, can help each student realize their fullest academic potential. Multiple studies have scientifically confirmed this premise. In the aggregate, studies have found:

  • When class size reduction programs are well-designed and implemented in the primary grades (K-3), student achievement rises as class size drops;
  • A class size of no more than 18 students per teacher is required to produce the greatest benefits;
  • The experience and preparation of teachers is a critical factor in the success or failure of class size reduction programs; and
  • Supports, such as a rigorous curriculum, enhance the effect of reduced class size on academic achievement.
  • Smaller classes can benefit all students in terms of individual, active attention from teachers, but lower achieving pupils particularly benefit from small classes.
  • If placed in large classes, evidence shows that students are more prone to go off task and teachers spend teaching time bringing them back on task instead of teaching.
  • Longer exposure to small classes in the primary grades (K-3), produces higher levels of achievement for low, medium, and high achievers in grades 4-8. In other words, additional years in small classes in early grades result in benefits in achievement in later grades for all students. [1]

    The Guthrie School Provides an Excellent Education Environment

    The Guthrie School Provides an Excellent Education Environment

The Guthrie School prides itself on maintaining small class sizes, employing qualified educators, and teaching carefully crafted curriculum to ensure our students receive the highest quality education possible. Indeed, students at The Guthrie School enjoy:

  • An overall student-to-teacher ratio of 5:1 and an average class size of 15, compared to the 23:1 ratio in the Dallas Public School system during the 2014-2015 school year;[2]
  • An impressively qualified core teaching staff, over 80% of whom have obtained a Master’s Degree in education;
  • A challenging curriculum that pushes students to learn material one full grade level above their same-age peers educated elsewhere.

    Guthrie School Students Thrive in Smaller Classes

    Guthrie School Students Thrive in Smaller Classes

 

[1] For more information about the various studies, visit: Center for Public Education; ClassSizeMatters.org; Michigan State School of Education.

[2] To learn more about the class sizes in the Dallas Public School System, visit: DISD

Top 10 Reasons Why The Guthrie School is Right for Your Child

The Guthrie School knows what is missing from most educational facilities in the North Texas market and they fill that gap.

Our Bright, Large and FUN Classrooms and Playground Provide a Wonderful Experience

Our Bright, Large and FUN Classrooms and Playground Provide a Wonderful Experience

 

  1. Personal Attention—We get to know each student and their unique set of needs, both academically and socially.
  2. Low Student to Teacher Ratio—Our overall student to teacher ratio is 5:1, and our average class size is 14.
  3. Advanced Academics—From Pre-K to Fifth Grade, our students are taught one full grade level above their same age peers in the general community.
  4. Passionate Teachers—Over 80% of The Guthrie School’s core academic teachers have completed Masters Degrees in their teaching fields.
  5. Foreign Language in Elementary Classrooms—Studies show that foreign language is most efficiently learned when taught at an early age. We provide full-length academic foreign language classes to all of our students from Pre-K to Fifth Grade.
  6. Early Emphasis on writing, public speaking and participation in productions—The Guthrie School promotes strong leadership qualities and self-confidence by giving each student frequent opportunities to publicly share and develop their writing and and speaking skills in front of small and large groups. We incorporate custom made Harkness tables and utilize the Harkness method of teaching to foster students to incorporate their own voice in their writing and see how best to promote their ideas effectively. Our students participate in a minimum of three special productions each year, including our amazing year-end show.
  7. Specialized Art and Chess classes—These classes are taught by master teachers during the school day to nurture important artistic and critical thinking skills.
  8. Community Involvement—We give back to our community in order to develop a community spirit of generosity and concern for others.

    We are an Academically Advanced Prep School

    We are an Academically Advanced Prep School

  9. Personal Responsibility and Resilience—these traits are actively taught and highly valued at The Guthrie School. We believe that each student may be guided towards the development of independence, respect for him or herself as well as others, good stewardship of personal and community property, and the very important concept of perseverance through difficulties. We strive to develop active leaders who will not give up, and will rely on their own abilities to problem solve.
  10. Focus on the Family—parent/teacher access and communication are paramount. We want to know each family well, and to form strong community bonds with them. There is positive energy and a spirit of teamwork among students, parents, faculty, and the administration.

 

For more information call us for an appointment at 972-596-6929 or email us at info@GuthrieSchool.com.

 

Jill Guthrie Founder & Headmistress of The Guthrie School

Jill Guthrie Founder & Headmistress of The Guthrie School

Jill Guthrie is the Founder and Headmistress of The Guthrie School. A magnum cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas. She has been educating children in Texas for over 30 years.

Why Smaller Classes and Higher Teacher Ratios Matter

Reducing class size to advance student achievement has been tried, debated, and analyzed for decades. On its face, the premise is logical: with fewer students to teach, teachers can better accommodate individual student needs, foster personal connections with their students, and ultimately, can help each student realize their fullest academic potential. Multiple studies have scientifically confirmed this premise. In the aggregate, studies have found:

 

Pre-K to Grade 5 - The Guthrie School with a Typical Class Size of 15

Pre-K to Grade 5 – The Guthrie School with a Typical Class Size of 15

  • When class size reduction programs are well-designed and implemented in the primary grades (K-3), student achievement rises as class size drops;
  • A class size of no more than 18 students per teacher is required to produce the greatest benefits;
  • The experience and preparation of teachers is a critical factor in the success or failure of class size reduction programs; and
  • Supports, such as a rigorous curriculum, enhance the effect of reduced class size on academic achievement.
  • Smaller classes can benefit all students in terms of individual, active attention from teachers, but lower achieving pupils particularly benefit from small classes.
  • If placed in large classes, evidence shows that students are more prone to go off task and teachers spend teaching time bringing them back on task instead of teaching.
  • Longer exposure to small classes in the primary grades (K-3), produces higher levels of achievement for low, medium, and high achievers in grades 4-8. In other words, additional years in small classes in early grades result in benefits in achievement in later grades for all students. [1]

Students Thrive on The Guthrie School Class Size

Students Thrive on The Guthrie School Class Size

 

The Guthrie School prides itself on maintaining small class sizes, employing qualified educators, and teaching carefully crafted curriculum to ensure our students receive the highest quality education possible. Indeed, students at The Guthrie School enjoy:

 

  • An overall student-to-teacher ratio of 5:1 and an average class size of 14, compared to the 23:1 ratio in the Dallas Public School system during the 2014-2015 school year;[2]
  • An impressively qualified core teaching staff, over 80% of whom have obtained a Master’s Degree in education;
  • A challenging curriculum that pushes students to learn material one full grade level above their same-age peers educated elsewhere.

 

Students Learn Better Communication Skills

Students Learn Better Communication Skills

To learn more about The Guthrie School contact us at info@GuthrieSchool.com or call us during school hours at 972-596-6929.

 

 

 

[1] For more information about the various studies, visit: Center for Public Education; Class Size Matters; Michigan State University Education

 

[2] To learn more about the class sizes in the Dallas Public School System, visit: Dallas Public Schools 

 

 

Jill Guthrie Founder & Headmistress of The Guthrie School

Jill Guthrie Founder & Headmistress of The Guthrie School

 

Jill Guthrie is the Founder and Headmistress of The Guthrie School. She graduated magna cum laude from UTD and has been educating children for over 30 years.