By Lori Silver
In May 2019, Junior League Boston members gathered at League Headquarters for a special training and discussion called Raising the Empowered Independent Child: School Admissions and Onward!. Leading the discussion was Diana Singer, a private consultant and education specialist based in Greenwich, CT. Ms. Singer provided three training sessions focusing on different aspects of raising empowered independent children; this was the third. In this session, we discussed visiting and applying for nursery school programs in the city of Boston.
Some of the key topics covered by the training included:
What to look for when visiting prospective schools. In the city of Boston, it is important to choose a nursery school based a number of factors. These might include:
- Location, especially convenience for caregivers
- Curriculum. Some programs offer a very structured curriculum, where students are on a strict schedule learning about different subjects, while others are solely based on play and following the child’s lead. It is important for parents to think about what type of curriculum their child will best succeed in.
- Playground location. Space can be very limited in Boston. Some nursery schools have playgrounds located on campus and some do not. It is important for the parent to think about whether they are comfortable with teachers taking their child to a playground off-campus.
- Community. These nursery school programs usually have parent involvement, it is important for the parent to examine the community and see if this is the right community for them.
How to stay sane during the admissions process. Believe it or not, applying to nursery schools in the city of Boston (and other metropolitan cities) is very competitive! Prospective students and families have to undergo a series of interviews that can be long and exhausting. Interviewees must remember that they should apply to 5 to 10 schools and they will hopefully get into one. They should also remember that most open spots are given to families who are already enrolled in the program and who have another child.
Best advice for interviewees during the interview process. It is best to let the interviewers do most of the talking and to not ask a lot of questions!