Decisions have been posted for all independent schools for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year. Many Seattle area families will be enrolling their child in a private school, but it also seems an equal amount of families did not receive the desired acceptance letter.
I have spoken with many independent (private) school admission directors over the past month and continue to hear the same thing - Applications were at a record high and schools had significantly more qualified applicants and had to make some tough decisions. Waitlists are also at an all time high, as the majority of schools only say "no" to an applicant if they are not the right fit for the school and waitlist all other qualified students.
With our area known for strong public schools, it is unknown why private schools are experiencing such a rise in applications. A strong economy is one indicator and the average cost to attend a non-secular independent middle and high school is $USD 31,000 per year, but also families seem to be moving to independent schools for smaller class size, academic rigor across the entire school population, change in school boundary lines and well supported programs in the arts and STEM.
One East side school accepted 10% of their applicant pool and another high-achieving Seattle middle through high school program had room for 1 student per 7 applications for both grades 6 and 9. Many schools did not accept any new students for the non-entry years of grade 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 or only had one available spot. A Seattle program serving Kindergarten - Grade 5 closed their application process one month early due to an overwhelming number of well qualified applicant families.
Families move to Seattle throughout the year and they rarely know about their relocation far enough in advance to apply to a private school during the application timeframe (school tours begin in October, applicationsare due by early January with decisions coming in late March for September enrollment). Even though relocating mid school year is not ideal (my own children have done it too), I am here to counsel families and provide information on the large amount of academically strong and right fit schools open to transferring students.
While I can not create an opening that does not exist, I keep in contact with a large number of independent schools from preschool through high school for mid-year enrollment opportunities. I also feel strongly about the area's public schools and I am committed to assisting your family find a school that works best for you and your children- independent or public.