Private middle school?

We weren’t really worried about getting into one of the private middle schools that we are interested in until we started talking with other parents. They were saying how competitive it is and there are potentially hundreds of applications for 20 or 30 spots. 

I don’t want to get hyped up needlessly. How difficult is it really to get into one of these schools for middle school? Park Day, Head Royce, St. Paul, and Black Pine Circle.

Our child is mixed race. They don’t have any special needs and are an average or slightly above average student. Generally social. Unless we advocate hard for them, they can get lost in the shuffle because they are perfectly within the range of normal in just about every way which is why we are seeking a private middle school. Teachers hardly pay attention to them in public schools. They are not athletic but interested in theater and performing arts. We do not need or qualify for financial aid. 

I would love to hear from parents whether it really is that competitive or are the parents at my kid’s school just hyping things up? I was surprised to find out that some of them started doing tours and research in 4th grade! I have friends with middle schoolers and they all got into the above mentioned schools and their top choice schools. I know 5 people whose kids are at Head Royce or have recently graduated and 3 of them got in at the middle school stage, so I thought it wasn’t terribly difficult. I was advised to apply, attend the school events, and highlight our diverse background as a minority and immigrants and we would be fine. 

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RE: Private middle school? ()

We are also very concerned about this issue. Competition is at a high because of OUSD wanting to close a bunch of middle schools and those impacted families are applying to private middle schools. But OUSD has now reversed their decision and it could ease the competitiveness if these middle schools stay open. I'm crossing my fingers that this is the case! 

RE: Private middle school? ()

It's true that there are hundreds of applicants, but in many cases families are casting wide nets so many of the applicants are the same (and many are also applying to public schools and charters). At the end of the day, those kids only need one seat. We are at one of the schools on your list, and while it is certainly the case that admissions is competitive, it has also been the case pretty consistently that once all the dust settles, there are still some empty seats. (People put down a deposit and then move or get into a public school they prefer; they accept at one school and then get off the waitlist at another; current fifth graders at the school make last-minute changes to switch schools or move.) If you're comfortable waiting it out, you can certainly find a spot at one of the schools you list, even if it means contending with a waitlist while people's plans sort themselves out. The bigger thing I'd consider is that you list some schools that are quite different from one another (and can be quite different in cost, though it sounds like that isn't a concern, which helps). Good luck with the process!