Admission:

Frequently Asked Questions


You probably have many questions about Francis W. Parker School and the admission process. Hopefully, some of your questions will be answered here. If not, please do not hesitate to contact our office.


General:

When is the best time to apply for admission?

We accept applications for every grade level, JK–12. It is best to consider applying for Junior Kindergarten (our entry grade level), 6th grade (the first year of the Middle School) and 9th grade (the first year of the Upper School).

How many spaces are available for new students in each grade?

Junior Kindergarten: As our entry grade, 54 spaces are available.

Senior Kindergarten–5th Grade: Historically, spaces for new students in these grades are created through attrition and few spaces are available.

6th Grade: This is the entry grade for Middle School and as many as 15 new students may join the class.

7th Grade: Typically this grade, the “middle of the middle school,” has from two to four new students join the class.

8th Grade: Historically, spaces for new students in this grades are created through attrition and few spaces are available.

9th Grade: Like JK and 6th grade, this is an important entry point. Between 15 and 20 new students join the class.

10th–12th Grade: Historically, spaces for new students in these grades are created through attrition and few spaces are available.

When will I be notified about admission decisions?

The dates below represent the first round of admission decisions. Admission decisions will continue after that depending on availability of space.

Junior Kindergarten: Sibling, Staff and Faculty Applicants: January 30, 2017; General JK: March 3, 2017

Senior Kindergarten–4th Grade: Based on attrition, rolling.

5th–8th Grade: Sibling, Staff and Faculty Applicants: January 30, 2017; General 5th–8th: March 3, 2017

9th Grade: Sibling, Staff and Faculty Applicants: January 30, 2017; General 9th: March 3, 2017

10th–12th Grade: Based on attrition, rolling

What does it mean if my child is placed in the waiting pool?

All applicants who were considered acceptable candidates but were not offered admission are placed in a waiting pool. This pool is not ranked, and if a space becomes available, the Admission Committee will reconvene to to select a waiting applicant for an admission offer based on the needs of the class.

Should I prepare anything for the parent meeting?

The parent meeting, which lasts about 45 minutes, is an informal conversation between the parents and an Admission Director. The purpose of the meeting is to find out more about your family and the things you are looking for in a school. Please come prepared to talk about your favorite subject—your child! We also encourage you to ask any questions that you have about Parker at this time.

Who is given a preference in the applicant pool?

Although there is no guarantee that any child will be offered admission at Parker, we recognize that most families prefer to have all their children in the same school. Therefore, we give preferential consideration to siblings and equivalent preferential consideration to children of faculty and staff. Alumni applicants are given some special consideration because of their previous association with the school, but with a lesser priority than that given to siblings or faculty children. 

What are the admission requirements for international students?

All international students must adhere to the standard admission requirements and demonstrate a proficiency in English. International students must reside with a parent or legal guardian while enrolled at Parker. 

As I fill out my application and check a box for racial ethnic self-identification how do I know which box to select?

Parker references the racial ethnic self-identification categories as defined by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Click here for detailed definitions.

Lower/Intermediate School (JK–5):

When should I apply for my child for Junior Kindergarten?

Each child applying for admission to JK must be four years old by September 1 of the year of entry. Our application process runs a year in advance, so you need to apply between September and December of the year before you want your child to enter.

For example, if your child was born between:

9/2/12 and 9/1/13, apply for the 2017–18 school year in the fall of 2016

9/2/13 and 9/1/14, apply for the 2018–19 school year in the fall of 2017

9/2/14 and 9/1/15, apply for the 2019–20 school year in the fall of 2018

What happens in a play group?

A “play group” is our way of getting to know new applicants to JK–1st. We invite about 10 applicants at a time to come to Parker in the afternoon for an hour to participate in activities in our classroom and interact with our classroom teachers. When possible, we will invite your child to attend a play group on the same date as other applicants who are enrolled in his or her preschool. Dress your child in comfortable play clothes, suitable for enjoying games, puzzles, stories and light refreshments. Please notify the Admission Office of any food allergies your child might have. Parents will walk their child into one of our JK or SK classrooms. Once the child is settled, parents will meet in a classroom nearby to learn more about the school while the children play. 

What if I am concerned about my child's ability to separate for their play group?

We find that children are often able to separate successfully if he/she have been prepared at home for their visit. Please discuss the play group visit with your child—let him/her know they will interact with peers, new teachers and enjoy a new classroom environment.

Should I hold my child back if he/she has a summer birthday?

We do not recommend that you automatically hold your child back if he/she has a summer birthday. We find that most children with such birthdays are perfectly ready to begin the JK program. However, we encourage you to talk with your child’s preschool director or teacher if you have concerns about your child. They know your child well and can help you determine the appropriate placement.

Middle/Upper School (6–12)

How much weight is given to the ISEE results in the admission process?

Parker seeks information about a student’s academic performance, including strengths and weaknesses, from several sources and from more than one academic year. The scores on the entrance exam are just one of these sources that help us better understand each student as a learner.

What will happen during the student visit (for Middle and Upper school applicants)?

The Student Visit Day is a “research” day for the student. This is a great opportunity to explore the life of a Parker student, observe and participate in classes, sample the cafeteria fare, meet new friends, perhaps say hello to old friends and ask questions. During the day, the student will also meet with teachers for an informal, personal conversation about hobbies and interests, favorite projects and subjects at school, etc. This one-on-one conversation provides a good time for the student to ask questions as well. 

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Middle/Upper School (6–12)

How much weight is given to the ISEE results in the admission process?

Parker seeks information about a student’s academic performance, including strengths and weaknesses, from several sources and from more than one academic year. The scores on the entrance exam are just one of these sources that help us better understand each student as a learner.

What will happen during the student visit (for Middle and Upper school applicants)?

The Student Visit Day is a “research” day for the student. This is a great opportunity to explore the life of a Parker student, observe and participate in classes, sample the cafeteria fare, meet new friends, perhaps say hello to old friends and ask questions. During the day, the student will also meet with teachers for an informal, personal conversation about hobbies and interests, favorite projects and subjects at school, etc. This one-on-one conversation provides a good time for the student to ask questions as well. 

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