Parent Resource

5 Tips for Your Private High School “Search”

by Trevor Waddington, DCschoolHUB Founder

It’s August 5, 2014.  Do you know what high school your rising 8th grader will be attending in the fall of 2015?

You don’t?  Uh-oh!  Now is not the time to perfect your tan on the beach.  Now is the time to PANIC!!

I’m only half kidding, but over the next several weeks parents will put themselves (and their child) in a perpetual state of Hyper-High School Anxiety (H-HSA).  Symptoms of H-HSA including sweating, nausea, irritability, demanding to speak with the high school placement counselor while he/she is on vacation, and emailing (because no one is answering their phones in August) high schools wondering why they still have last year’s open house dates the website.


Take a breath…that’s it…everything will be fine.

Beginning in September and lasting until March 1, everything you do will be focused on getting your child into his/her your school of choice.  Here are a few tips:

  1. (If your child is an athletic Phenom skip to number 2)  Listen to the high school counselor and be reasonable.  If your child is not an A/B occasional C student then top area schools (you know which ones I’m talking about) are not likely to accept your student.  If the counselor suggests you look at other schools; take that advice.
  2. Don’t get into a power struggle with your child over high school choices.  After all the open houses and shadow days, it’s likely you will have the same schools on the short list.
  3. Don’t push your child into ‘last minute’ extracurricular activities to bolster his/her application.  If all of a sudden this past summer they went from couch potato to Mother Teresa admission offices will notice.
  4. Don’t “go above” the admission office because you know someone unless you absolutely have to.  In that case be very humble.
  5. Don’t take rejection personally unless you did something personal to the school.  They don’t hate your kid, so don’t be that parent.