Congratulations! Now the real work begins…

You have beat the odds, congratulations!

You and your family did your best to impress, and check out the results – you got that letter of acceptance. But don’t take all the credit mom and dad, Janie and Jimmie were the real stars. And, because of this we have our work cut out to support them. If you are really into an independent school education then I am confident you will navigate it well and proudly show up to graduation!

Let’s just make sure that we do a few things so that there is well-balanced retention. I mean, just keep an eye out for any opportunities to show up and support this environment with its challenging curriculum, expectations of attending ivy universities, incredible networks, great families, vast socio-economic variances, and the presence of a dominant culture.

So here are just a few strategies to get you and your family off to a fantastic start at your new school. I realize that the needs of a lower school family may be different than that of an upper school family, yet there are some fundamental truths about the institution itself that merits mention.

  1. Somehow, once you make that final leap called, “We got in!” then all of a sudden you are no longer looking into the window, your inside and that is precisely when you look around and notice that socio-economically what was once middle class is straight up at the poverty line. The amount of wealth that exists and the atmosphere of privilege can be intoxicating, and perhaps nauseating. Stay grounded and true to your set of norms for your family and express this to your children. It is tough to keep up with the Joneses!
  2. Get involved!!! Join something. A committee and affinity/support groups require consistency over time with meetings. But if time is not a commodity for you then support an annual event – sort of get in and get out. And by all means please donate to the annual fund in whatever denomination fits your budget-your name will be proudly displayed in annual report!
  3. Be prepared for a ton of birthday parties in lower school – especially kindergarten. And of course the bar/bat mitzvah in middle school. Prom, graduation and a new school to write a similar tuition to all in senior year.
  4. And last but not least, entering kindergarten or pre-k families, this early in the game your child’s apparent genius status is not a true indicator for independent school success, I mean really they are only 4 and 5 year olds. So, be diligent and patient over the next 12 years.

For more tips, check out the RIISE TOP 10 Brochure

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