Tom Petty had it right …. “the waiting is the hardest part.” A number of parents I’ve spoken to this week have received news that their child has been put in the wait pool. Hockaday, St. Marks, Greenhill, Good Shepherd, and Parish are some of the schools that have parents sitting on pins and needles in hopes that a spot will open up.
Many schools have moved away from having a traditional ‘wait list’ and now use a ‘wait pool.’ Both are for students that meet the school’s entrance requirements but are not offered a place. A waitlist means that for each grade prospective students are ranked, so that when a spot opens up the first on the list gets an offer. The next opening goes to the second person on the list, and so on. Schools that maintain lists tend to be smaller, have a smaller number of applicants, and may use the sign-up date as a basis for entry.
A waiting pool consists of all of the ‘approved’ students for each grade, without any ranking. If a spot opens up, the admissions committee reconvenes to review the students again to determine who is offered the spot. Though it requires more work on the part of the school, it also gives them the most flexibility, as they may consider gender and other variables that change from year to year, grade to grade.
Honestly, when your child is ‘approved’ for admission but denied a place, it stings. You know how wonderful your child is, why doesn’t the school see that? As difficult as it is, try not to take it personally. There are many reasons why another child was offered a spot. She may be a sibling, a member of the church, an alumna child…you’ll never really know. The best thing you can do is let the school know you are still interested and then just wait……and hope.
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