Preview Aims to Make Picking Schools Easier

St. Mark’s School is a private, non-sectarian college-preparatory school for boys in grades one through 12. (Courtesy photo)

The Dallas Private School Preview offers North Texas parents and students opportunities to meet with representatives from more than 100 private day and boarding schools.

“I encourage parents to come,” said Katie Townend Doherty, an associate director of admission at The Hockaday School, the host campus for the free event presented by the Independent Schools Admission Association of Dallas from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 10.

“Parents sometimes get overwhelmed with the application process, but coming to this event will give them the knowledge they need to easily choose the best school for their son or daughter,” she said.

This year the association is adding an activity center with games for children. Steel City Pops will be selling treats.

The annual event is expected to draw about 750 people, many from Preston Hollow and the Park Cities, and attract families with students of all ages.

“We talk to a lot of parents with younger kids, preschool through middle school-age, as well as new parents,” Doherty said. “There is also a huge influx of parents with high school-age students.”

Doherty answered other questions about the private school search process.

The Hockaday School in Dallas educates girls in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and offers boarding options for those in grades eight and higher. (Courtesy photo)

Park Cities People: What are some of the common factors that help parents decide which school to send their children to?

Doherty: I think it is very important to visit school campuses to meet faculty and see classes, whether [they’re] co-ed or all-girl or boy schools. Parents also want to be assured the academics are strong and the community is the right fit.

PCP: Do parents need to bring anything?

Doherty: I would bring a list of questions for the admission representatives. I would also suggest mapping out which schools . . . families wish to speak with.

PCP: Why do you recommend private school?

Doherty: Private schools offer smaller classrooms with dedicated and experienced teachers. They provide individual attention to their students, as well as extra help if needed. Private schools have more opportunities for students to explore their interests through a variety of classes. The college counseling process is streamlined and personal and, again, gives them individual attention.

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