Introduction Dear Waterside Parent(s)

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Dear Waterside Parent(s):
There comes a time when each family must face the inevitable transition from Waterside School. This annual right of passage consumes parents and children alike with pride. However, the journey to that point can be filled with anxiety and fear. Not because of what lies ahead necessarily, but because of the uncertainty as to whether or not you will find another school like Waterside! At Waterside your children have been exposed to experiences and personalities that have prepared them for what lies ahead. While there may not be another school like this, find comfort in knowing that your children possess a core understanding of what is important in school regardless of the institution they will attend. Using the tools that they have been given your children will be successful. This is due in part to your commitment to and ongoing partnership with Waterside.
The content found in the following pages is intended to provide you with an overview of the counseling/placement process that you will undergo alongside your son or daughter. There are a number of pieces that make up this process that Waterside hopes to address either in this document or through individual conversations. There are bound to be questions along the way. For many of you, this is the first time you have gone through an experience like this. You will not go through this process alone and ample amounts of time will be set aside to answer all questions and to allay any concerns or fears that either you or your child might have.
Waterside School is a respected name among schools in the area. Schools want your children to attend their schools, not only because they are prepared academically, but they possess the intangibles of character that the Waterside Commitment has instilled in each and everyone of them: They work hard, they are kind, and above all else, they respect learning.
As we begin, please keep in mind that the completion of this process is time consuming and requires attention to important deadlines. The reality is that your child will not be the only one applying to schools in the area. Therefore, it is critical from the onset that you do everything that you can to make each school feel like they are your first choice. There are numerous choices for middle school in the area and during the next several weeks, members of the Waterside School community will be involved in helping you assess the school(s) that would be the best fit for you and your child.
This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a journey filled with excitement and pride. We trust that this document will serve as a valuable reference for families throughout the counseling/placement process. Upon review, if there is any information that you think should be included or clarified, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at or by phone at 203.975.8579 ext. 205.
Thank you for entrusting your child’s education with Waterside School. I look forward to working with you on their behalf.
Warmest regards,

Samuel L. Gaudet

Director of Admission & Placement

Why go through the process?
Over the summer families should have given serious consideration to the various schools available to their children. The choices families make will vary and we will certainly support their decisions. However, the process of looking at different schools has value in itself. Throughout his or her educational careers, your child will complete applications and go on interviews at many different points. We believe that preparing them well now will give them important experience for the future (high school, college, graduate school). Some important skills that your child will develop and strengthen include: Interviewing, persuasive writing, communication, organization, and time management.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that each family’s set of circumstances are different, as is each child. So whether you have applied to schools before, or have another child attending an independent school, the process is never the same and should be treated on an individual basis.
What are the choices?
Stamford and the surrounding area host a variety of different types of schools. From public to parochial, from independent to charter, there are numerous options for families. Each family is asked to keep an open mind with regard to the types of schools being considered. Therefore, we ask that you cast a broad net. Factors that might influence the types of schools being considered are financial, size, school culture, special interests, location, and school schedule. The following describes some of the different choices divided between public and independent schools.
NOTE: Parents should consider schools based on what they feel is right for their family and child. The type of school does not determine the success of a child he/she attends, but rather the time and commitment they invest in their studies.
Public Middle Schools: (including Charter and Magnet Schools)
Public Schools: Each year students decide to attend one of the local public schools; therefore, public school must remain a viable option for families. In Stamford alone there are several public middle schools: Cloonan, Dolan, Rippowam, and Turn of River. In Norwalk, your public middle school options are: Nathan Hale, Ponus Ridge, Roton, and West Rocks.
The Board of Education determines eligibility based on your address.
Charter and Magnet Schools: The Stamford Board of Education states “magnet schools in Stamford are intended to manage student enrollment and racial integration and to provide educational choices for families.” Charter and magnet schools in Stamford include: Rogers’ International School, Scofield Magnet, Toquam Magnet, Westover, and Trailblazers Academy. In Norwalk, Side by Side School is the local magnet school. Students are selected by lottery and applications are typically due in the beginning of March.
Independent & Private Schools:
Independent Schools: Waterside is an independent school modeled after many of the more established day schools in the area. These schools typically have small classes, excellent facilities, and high academic expectations. As a member of the Waterside community, you are well aware of the advantages of an independent school experience. Students must apply and there are a very limited number of openings for middle school students.
Some independent schools end in eighth or ninth grade, while others continue through twelfth. Although it is hard to conceive of your child going away to school at this age, there are several boarding schools that serve students in grades 6 through 12.
Each family’s situation is different and in the case where a student might be better served in this setting, a discussion with a member of the Placement team will take place. For those families interested in learning more about boarding schools go to:
Day and boarding schools require completed applications, interviews of the child and his or her parents, and a school visit for the child. The schools also require report cards and teacher recommendations. This process is very similar to the one you experienced when you applied to Waterside. The tuition at these schools is very expensive (about $30,000/yr). Although these schools do have budgets for financial aid, it is not an unlimited resource. Therefore, families will be asked to complete a financial aid application as well as provide important financial information in order to help calculate and determine need.
Private/Parochial Schools: Parochial “Private” school options include: St. Aloysius, All Saints, and Trinity Catholic. These schools call themselves private schools and pride themselves on smaller classroom settings and value centric learning. Unlike independent schools that are managed by an independent board of volunteers, private (religious schools) schools are governed by the Diocese of Bridgeport that oversees and sponsors schools.
Although not as time consuming, these schools do require an application. Financial aid is in short supply at each of these schools. Parents should be prepared to discuss how financial aid is determined and distributed at each school.
Additional School Type Definitions:
Montessori Education: Montessori is an innovative, child-centered approach to education. The goal of Montessori education is to foster a child’s natural inclination to learn. Montessori teachers guide rather than instruct, linking each student with activities that meet his interests, needs, and developmental level. The classroom is designed to allow movement and collaboration, as it also promotes concentration and a sense of order. Classrooms consist of mixed age groups. (Ex. Wilton Montessori)
International Baccalaureate: The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. (Ex. Whitby School)
Progressive Education: The progressive education philosophy embraces the idea that we should teach children how to think and that a test cannot measure whether or not a child is an educated person. Commonly referred to as “Child-centered” or the “Whole Child”, progressive education challenges the traditional approaches, placing value on what is being taught rather then how it is being taught. Examples include schools emphasizing hands-on learning, student collaboration, and schools that steer clear of the standardization of practice and student assessment. (Ex. New Canaan Country School)
How do we prepare for this process?
Between September and November, Waterside will host several information seminars to assist parents with various aspects of the application process. From filling out the application, to writing parent statements, from information on financial assistance to managing the decision-making process, families will be able to navigate the process with confidence. Parents should refer to the Placement Calendar on the Placement website.
Each family will schedule one-on-one appointments the Director of Placement. A discussion will cover important aspects of the process as well as guide the family through the various schools being considered. The placement counselor is not telling you where your child should attend. This is an important conversation to have as a family. However, the placement counselor will help you think objectively about your choices, and what the likelihood of admission maybe based on each child’s academic profile.
During our initial placement orientation on Saturday, September 6th, we will answer all questions and present strategies for completing the applications. Throughout the fall, we will monitor your progress so that when December 1st arrives, your applications are ready to mail. We ask that you follow our timetable carefully. Schools truly appreciate receiving applications and supporting materials (teacher recommendations, report cards, and financial documents) early. They look favorably upon families that can meet deadlines! Important: All pieces of the application and admission file will be mailed from Waterside School.
Please remember that we are here to support you and your child throughout this application process. We know we can count on your family to put in the hard work that can result in an extraordinary opportunity for your child. Please be mindful of the pressure your child may experience as they try and balance their daily Waterside experience with applications and other outside commitments. As part of the process, we have asked Dr. Agnes Sprouse and Mr. Munroe to offer strategies that will help families cope with difficult decisions. In addition, they are available to students and parents as a layer of support throughout this process.
Lastly, at the end of this document you will find a list of online resources. Please take advantage of these sites to help you become an expert in the process.
How am I going to pay for all the applications?
Each school has an application fee of about $75. All applications will ask if you are applying for financial aid, and when you indicate that you are, the school generally waives the fee. The placement advisors will write a cover letter to each school your child applies to; the letter kindly asks the admission office to waive the application fee.
Why attend an independent private school?
Think about your child’s own Waterside experience. The reasons most families send their children to these schools include individual attention, small classes, teacher excellence, and high academic standards. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, found that independent school students:

  • Do twice as much homework as their counterparts

  • Watch only two-thirds as much television

  • Are significantly more likely to participate in sports

  • Are more likely to agree that students and teachers get along well, discipline is fair, and teaching is good.

Your decision to consider an independent school is just the beginning. You must choose the right school from among almost 20 schools in the Fairfield/Westchester area. Before visiting your first school, sit down with your family and determine your “ideal” educational community. Here are some important aspects to consider:

  • Budget: What can we realistically afford?

  • Size of School – Large vs. Small

  • Size of School – Student Teacher Ratio vs. Avg. Classroom Size

  • How far are you willing to travel?

  • Day School vs. Boarding School? What is in our child’s best interest?

  • Coeducational or single-sex? What is in our child’s best interest?

  • Community atmosphere? How important is it to be a part of the community?

  • Should a school’s mission or philosophy mirror your own family values?

  • What special programs (arts, sports, computers) are you seeking?

  • Is a diverse school community important to you and your family? Can we see ourselves?

  • Does your child have special needs or interests? Can the school serve our child’s needs?

Remember, this is just a starting point! Your first step will be to call the admission office to request their application materials and brochures. You can also get a good feel for the school by checking their website. Even if you check the website, please call the admission office so there is a record of your family’s interest in the school. Once you inquire, schools will put you into a database in order to communicate with you about important dates and events during the process.
Once you are in possession of each school’s admission materials, or as you look over the website, here are some questions for you to consider:

  • Are the academics rigorous (Number of AP or Honors courses offered)?

  • Where is the school located and what are the transportation options?

  • What types of learning experiences are available at the school, in class, on the playing field, and in community service?

  • Are extracurricular activities obligatory?

  • What are some of the costs beyond tuition?

  • Does the school seem to have a diverse student body and faculty?

  • How do parents get involved at the school?

What should I look for in a school?
As a means of comparison, we recommend that families look at a variety of schools. It is perfectly natural to begin thinking beyond middle school and how each school will help prepare your child for high school and beyond.
Public Schools:
Please, please visit your district middle school.

  • Try to set up a meeting with the principal or faculty member.

  • Does the school provide additional help for students who may need it?

  • Does the school have any enrichment programs?

  • What are the strengths of the school?

  • What is the average class size? Are children grouped (tracked) by ability?

  • Learn more about their technology program, foreign language, music, and after school programs.

  • How did their eighth grade score on the Connecticut Mastery Test relative to the other middle schools?

Word of mouth is by far the best way to learn about the experience students have in the local public schools. Therefore, we recommend that you do your homework and speak to a neighbor, relative, or a friend who has a child at the school.

  • Are they pleased?

  • Is there good communication between teachers and parents?

  • How active is the Parent Organization?

  • Do they play an important role in the life of the school?

  • Can you attend and observe a PTO meeting?

  • How does the school handle discipline?

In April (check to be sure), all students are invited to spend a day at the middle school of their district. They get their first orientation to the school and have an opportunity to learn about clubs and extracurricular activities.
Independent Schools:
All of the independent schools offer “Open Houses,” which is an excellent opportunity for your family to visit the school and learn about their programs. Most schools hold an open house or “take-a look” day at some point during the fall.
Please see the enclosed Schedule for School Open Houses. These events are a good starting point for families who wish to gain an overview of the school before committing to an application or formal school visit and interview. Frequently held on a weekend, these events often include a tour of the campus, information session, student and/or parent panels and remarks from school administrators. These open houses are free and may require a reservation. (Please check to see if you must make a reservation prior to attending a school’s Open House).
If we applied last year and my child was placed in the waitpool, will we need to do the whole application again?
This varies from school to school. Parents are encouraged to contact the school directly and ask to “roll the application over”. In most cases, the school will ask for the student to update their statements, essays, recommendations, and testing. Parents, typically will not need to redo their parent statements, but would benefit from having another interview.

How many applications is enough?
It’s typical for families new to the process to have little to no idea about the number of different choices in and around the area. As you learn more about the schools, your list will be considerably larger at the onset. However, as you go through the process and take the time to visit and learn more about each school, you will quickly notice those schools that may or may not be the right fit. Ideally, the Placement Office would like to see families submit anywhere between four and six applications. This may very according to each family.
Note: It is not uncommon for families to receive additional schools to consider beyond their original list. There are several factors that determine eligibility with our goal of placing students in the best possible school. Sometimes this may result in a child gaining admission to their first choice, but this can never be guaranteed as each school has its own set of enrollment needs.
What is the purpose of a school visit?
One of the most important and exciting aspects of the application process is the opportunity to visit several schools. More personal than an open house, the purpose of the school visit is two-fold. First, the visit offers you and your child the chance to observe the unique culture and daily routine of each school. Second, the visit offers the school a chance to gain a sense of you and your child.
Generally, the school will schedule a visit for you and your child after you have submitted the application for admission. Some schools do not require an application on file to make a visit. Regardless, the procedure for setting up the visit is outlined in the school’s application booklet and should be read very carefully. You MUST call the admission office to schedule the visit, unless specified that a member of the admission office will contact you to schedule a visit upon receipt of your child’s application. When in doubt, be proactive and call! In most cases, your child will have a student host for the day. The student host is responsible for making your child feel welcome and informed about the daily life of the school. Depending on the school, parents may drop off their child at the beginning of the school day and return later to have a tour and interview prior to being reunited with their child. You will receive instructions from each school about what the visiting day entails. Again, if you have any questions about what to expect, do not hesitate contacting the admission office directly.
What does my child wear during his or her visiting day?
It is the job of the admission office to communicate effectively about what you should expect. This is true for student visits and interviews. Prior to your child’s scheduled interview, be sure to visit the school’s website to get a sense of the dress code. While there may be exceptions from time to time, students should be prepared to adhere to the formal dress code as outlined. Remember, this is an interview and an opportunity for your child to make a meaningful first impression. Again, if you have any questions, or the admission office has not made it clear, do call the school directly to clarify. Doing so will spare you and your child any unnecessary embarrassment. When in doubt, the Waterside uniform is perfect and easy to identify.
What is the expectation of my child on the day of his or her visit?
You would want your child to behave and perform as if they were at Waterside School. During the visit, students sometimes fall prey to the behaviors of children who already attend the school. In some cases, these students do not set the best example and our kids think that what they are witnessing is acceptable. Our students should be mindful of the fact that their behavior and participation does get reported back to the admissions offices. Our students must lead by example, helping pave the way for other deserving Waterside students.
What is the purpose of the interview?
At a scheduled time during the school visit, an admission officer or teacher will interview your child. In addition, they will also interview you. The purpose of the interview is to gain a sense of how you and your child might (or might not) be a match for the school. Schools seek students who show enthusiasm, a healthy work ethic, strong communication skills, and a consistent record of academic success.

In addition, schools seek parents who value education and indicate a strong commitment to support their child and their child’s school.
Independent schools accept students, but they also pay careful attention to positive parent involvement. We cannot emphasize enough how essential YOU are in this process.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the parent interview.
What if I don’t speak English well, how will I communicate?
Parents’ ability to communicate should not have any bearing on admission. If you have a friend or family member who can accompany you to the interview to translate, try to bring them along. If this is not possible, we will try to arrange to have a translator available for your interview.
What should I wear?
Parents should dress in professional attire. Men should wear a tie and jacket and women should wear a skirt, dress, or dress pants and a blouse or sweater.
It is NEVER appropriate to wear jeans or sweat pants. Please remember, the impression you make is an important part of your child’s application.
What will the admission officers want to know?
This is NOT an interview to see how educated or smart you are. It is designed to see that:

  • You are committed to your child’s education

  • Your family values and supports education

  • You are a partner in your child’s education

  • You will be willing to donate time and energy to your child’s new school.

The degree to which you are knowledgeable about the school sends a strong message about your interest.
Should I ask questions?
Absolutely! It shows how interested you are in the school. Please make certain to read the school’s application packet first so you are prepared to ask thoughtful questions. Be sure your questions are designed to cover topics of interest to you and align with the school’s mission
Some questions parents might want to consider are:

  • How many new students are accepted into the 5th and 6th grades?

  • What is parent/teacher communication like? Frequency?

  • How does the school address each child’s unique set of abilities and talents?

  • If the school only goes to 9th grade, where do most of the students go afterward?

  • What are the benefits of attending a school that only goes until 9th grade?

  • If your child has a particular interest, will he/she be able to pursue that interest at the school?

  • If a child were to experience academic difficulty what kind of response can we expect?

  • How are new students and families welcomed into the school community?

  • How will the school help families like ours become acclimated?

  • What transportation does the school provide?

    • Not all schools have transportation and you must find out what the options are. Please remember, that beginning in sixth or seventh grade, almost all students have athletic games after school. You must be able to make the necessary arrangements on game days.

  • Parent Led Tour:

  • Student Led Tour:

    • Ask for their perspective on social integration of new students “fitting in”

What if my work schedule interferes with the parent interview/school visit?
Since school visits are held on weekdays, it may be necessary to take time off from work. While this may be difficult, it is essential that a parent attend rather than sending another family member or friend. If your work schedule is restrictive, do not be afraid to ask the admission office to arrange a time where you will be able to attend.
For example, you may wish to ask if it is possible to have the parent part of the interview early in the day so that you can then head on to work. Most admission offices are flexible, particularly if you politely explain the situation.
As you visit each school, try to imagine your child there. Would it be a good fit? What is the student body like? What is a typical day like for a fifth or sixth grade student? How important is the sports program? In what grade do students start playing on teams? If your child loves singing and music, is there a school chorus or orchestra?
Lastly, before you leave, be sure to check on the status of your application. This is a good time to make sure that all things are in order.
How will I keep track of all of the schools?
Since every school offers its own set of unique attributes, it is wise to keep a written record of the impressions you take away from each school visit. Sharing observations can be very helpful since your child may see things you will miss entirely, and vice versa. Plan to discuss each school visit (perhaps during the car ride home) and appoint someone, perhaps your child, to take notes. This is a good way to give your child more ownership of the process. Please put any notes in a centralized location (ex. Journal, notebook), so that you can check back and compare how your family felt about each school. Referring to these notes will be an important part of helping your child determine some of the attributes he/she seeks in a school. Some examples of different organizational templates will be provided during one of your placement orientations in the fall. (See School Record & Reflection)
In addition, be sure to write down the names of the school officials you speak with as well as the student host so that your child can follow up with a thank you note. It is good training for your child to write a thank you note as a courtesy to the school.
Important: Please be sure to communicate with the Placement Office and your child’s teachers any time you visit a school. We will always be looking for your feedback.

Why do independent schools want some of our children to repeat fifth grade?
Any parent would wonder and worry about a child repeating a grade. In moving into these schools, your children will be placed with youngsters who are older. The age cut-off for admission to a grade is generally July 1. All children who do not turn 11 by July 1 may be asked to repeat fifth grade.
Often to the detriment of the student, they enter a new educational setting too young. Repeating a grade not only reinforces the foundation that Waterside helped to build, but it helps students to transition by growing stronger socially, emotionally, physically, and academically.
If my child repeats does that mean they will learn the same things all over again?
No, the curriculum in all independent school is demanding, and it will NOT be a duplication of the work done at Waterside. Independent schools have found that children who are slightly older perform better academically and therefore, might find themselves placed differently then if they entered the higher grade. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss with a Waterside family who has had a child repeat a grade.
What is involved in completing an application for admission?
Application for Admission consists of the following (may vary from each school):

  1. Preliminary Application – Collects basic background information and prompts office of admission to open a file and schedule student or parent interview.

  2. Application – Collects more specific background information from parents, including occupation, education, marital and citizenship status, etc.

  3. Recommendations – Academic recommendations are submitted to teachers for comments on language and math performance. Extra-curricular recommendations should be distributed by the family.
    Admission File

  4. Parent Statement – A series of questions that gauge how family values and educational priorities mesh with that of the school. Parents will meet individually with a member of the Placement team to construct your own short answers and essay responses.

  5. Student Statement – a series of short answer questions that ask a child to reflect on his or her strengths and weakness, personal interests, and awards and accomplishments. Responses reveal how a child processes information, organizes thoughts, and how well they articulate ideas and opinions on paper. Questions vary from “tell us about a special moment in your life,” to “if you could possess a special power, what would it be.”

  6. Responses will reveal how a child processes questions, organizes his or her thoughts, constructs an essay, and articulates his or her thoughts on paper. During the year, Waterside’s 5th grade teachers will be working with them on the essay writing process.

  7. Entrance Exam – The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is the standard assessment used by independent day schools. Waterside students will take the exam on November 21, 2013 following eight weeks of exam preparation. Performance on this exam reveals areas of strength and weakness in Math, Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Writing. Results of the exam compare the performance of your child with that of other students applying to that grade over a period of time.
    Financial Aid File

  1. Financial Aid – Forms and deadlines may vary from one school to the next. Waterside will work with each family to ensure that the applications and any other supplemental material are submitted on time. It is important that families adhere to all deadlines.

What is the ISEE?

The ISEE or Independent School Entrance Exam is the required standardized test used by independent school admission offices. It is comprised of 5 distinct parts:

  1. Verbal Reasoning: Measures current knowledge of vocabulary

  2. Reading Comprehension: Measures strength of ability to read for meaning

  3. Mathematic Achievement: Measures current knowledge of standard math concepts

  4. Quantitative Reasoning: Measures how well you think about math

  5. Essay: Measures ability to organize thoughts in response to random prompt

The ISEE measures various aptitudes in each category and covers the skills we are teaching daily at Waterside. We want our students to be capable readers, to have rich vocabularies, to be able to manipulate words with ease and to understand and apply mathematical concepts. The results from the ISEE provide some sense of where each child is in relation to their peers nationwide.
Our students will take the Lower Level of the test (applicants for admission to grades five and six). The format is like the SAT test your child will take for college admission. We believe that the process of studying for these tests and learning the strategies for taking them prepares our students for the many entrance exams they will face as high school students.
How will students prepare for the ISEE?
In preparation for the ISEE examination, Waterside offers a mandatory eight-week course on Saturday mornings from September through November. The material covered will not only familiarize our students with this test and others like it. We will register the students for the ISEE exam in October.
ISEE Examination Preparation Schedule:
In order to prepare students for the ISEE, Waterside has scheduled eight Saturday sessions. Each session, including the final examination, will begin promptly at 8:30 and will last until 10:00 am. All sessions will be held in the 5th grade classroom.
Class #1: September 13th***

Class #2: September 20st

Class #3: September 27th

Class #4: October 18th

Class #5: October 25th

Class #6: November 1nd

Class #7: November 8th

Class #8: November 15th
ISEE Exam: November 20st
ISEE Test Prep is followed by tour of GCDS
How do schools decide on whom they will offer admission?
This is one of the great questions that not too many parents really understand. It can seem both cut and dry and arbitrary all at once. Simply put, decisions are based on the best overall fit for the school and the child. Remember, admission directors are the social engineers for each school.

There are several factors that are taken into consideration as decisions are made. They are as follows:
Initial Considerations: Prior to the start of a new admission cycle, admission offices will assess availability according to the following institutional needs:

  1. How many spots are available for admission? Determines selectivity

  2. What is the gender breakdown? Do we need girls or boys?

  3. What is the demographic breakdown? Where do children come from?

  4. Amount of financial assistance distributed to rising class?

  5. What is the ethnic / racial composition of the class?

Applicant Considerations: Once school has determined what their needs are, they then begin to look at each individual applicant based on:

  1. A demonstrated and consistent record of academic success

  2. Performance on the ISEE – Easy measurement for comparison

  3. Contributions to school – Measures the value of each student and family

  4. Special relationships – Legacy? Sibling?

  5. Financial Assistance – Decisions are need blind, but limited resources could prevent family from considering the school of their choice.

What role does a family’s need for financial assistance play in the decision making process?
None. To make a decision based solely on a family’s request or need for financial assistance is discriminatory. However, limited financial resources prevent schools from taking well-qualified applicants.
What are the decisions made and what do they mean?
We understand what goes into each decision; however, we do not always know how to interpret them. The following are the different decisions that will be made and what they mean to you.
Accept – Congratulations! Your child has met and/or exceeded the qualifications for admission. Your child stands out among all the other applicants. At the time of admission, most schools will notify you of the financial assistance award. At this time, the ball is in your court and you must determine whether or not the assistance is manageable. Schools allow for approximately two weeks to make a decision. Any questions regarding financial assistance should be addressed with Director of Admission and Financial Aid. Important: Do not sign any enrollment contract until you are aware of and have finalized your financial assistance award.
Wait Pool – In this case, a child possesses the qualifications of an acceptable student. However, due to a limited number of openings, or greater number of applicants than expected, children may find themselves in the wait pool. At which time, a student must “wait” until a spot becomes available. Selection from the wait pool is based on the school’s need at that time.
A wait pool is often misinterpreted as a “denial” from a school. Parents of a child placed in a wait pool, must check in regularly with the admission office as long as they remain interested. During the time your child rests in the wait pool, it is possible another school will make an offer. If that is the case, a family must commit to one school by either remaining in the wait pool, or accepting the offer from the other school.
Important: A family may not commit contractually to one school in order to buy time while you wait to see if your child is selected from the wait pool. This is frowned upon by all schools and could jeopardize a child’s admission at both schools.
Financial Assistance Wait Pool – This is essentially the same thing as a standard wait pool. However, admission is contingent on the availability of funds. Once funds become available, students will be selected according to the needs of the school at that time.
Denial – This decision is often a measure of a child’s level of preparedness compared to other applicants for the same grade. Although the news can be particularly hard to digest, you have immediate knowledge of your standing in the applicant pool; where as a wait pool could last all summer. It is always important to keep in mind that there are a variety of schools that will suit your child. We understand how disappointing this kind of news can be and ask that you work with your child as they manage the stress associated with these decisions.
What if my child is admitted and the financial assistance award is not enough?
You must communicate directly with the financial aid officer. First, you must be gracious for the opportunity. Second, you must share with the financial aid officer why it is you are unable to afford what they have set aside. Families should be prepared to submit a detailed expense report and/or budget to show how income is coming in and out of the household.
If this occurs, please be sure to notify the Placement Office, to assist with the appeal process.
What members of the Waterside community will be supporting the placement process?
Ms. Jody Visage – Head of School:

Mr. Sam Gaudet – Director of Admission & Placement:

Mr. Jamel Keels – Dean of Students:

Mrs. Jennifer Rivera – Admission & Placement Associate:

Mrs. La’Vandra DuPree – Financial Aid Coordinator:

Dr. Agnes Sprouse – School Psychologist:

Mr. Lorenzo Munroe – School Counselor:

Mrs. Megan Evans – 5th grade teacher:

Mrs. Elizabeth Skidmore – 5th grade teacher:
What are the books and materials used to support the 5th grade curriculum?

  • Mathematics: Singapore Math 5A and 5B

  • Language Arts: Ridgewood Grammar, Language Exercises, Various ELA books/curricula

  • Science: A Closer Look (Macmillan/McGraw-Hill)

  • History: The United States, The History of US series

  • Language: Not applicable

What resources are available if we would like to learn more about different schools?
Independent Schools:

Connecticut Association of Independent Schools -

National Association of Independent Schools -
Local Day Schools:

Fairchester Independent Schools -

Boarding Schools:

The Association of Boarding Schools -

Public Schools (including charter and magnet schools):

Stamford -

Norwalk -
Financial Aid:

School and Student Services for Financial Aid -
ISEE Testing:

Educational Records Bureau –

Directory: uploaded -> faculty
faculty -> Familias Mexicanas-americanas: Las Tradiciones/Los Eventos Especiales
faculty -> Welcome to Boerne High School
faculty -> Option 1: Choose one of the following questions and answer it in an extended single-paragraph essay or two shorter single paragraph if that fits your content Choose among these topics
faculty -> College Planning Night for Juniors & Parents
faculty -> Welcome to back to school night
faculty -> Ap world History
faculty -> Final Exam World Civilization Heers Spring 2007
faculty -> Perk h495 ap art history 2012-13 fine arts department course Outline Jean Thobaben
faculty -> Inconvenient Truth Essay! Remember to answer the following questions in a typed essay
faculty -> Becoming a Cultural Insider: How Holidays Can Help esl students' Acculturation and Language Learning

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