This week, Junior, Middle and Senior School each hosted an informative reception for prospective parents, students and families. The events are open to anyone, either as a follow-up to the Open House or an initial introduction to the three schools.
“Our information evenings give parents and families whose schedules conflict with Open House a chance to see the school,” says Director of Admissions Sue Saunders. Unlike Open House, which occurs at both campuses simultaneously, the information evenings are split so that an interested family can look into all three schools. The visits are also more interactive and allow visitors to speak with many SMUS community members.
“There’s student involvement, teaching staff involvement, the Parents’ Auxiliary and Welcome Committee send representatives and the directors of the schools attend,” says Mrs. Saunders.
The evenings begin informally, with everyone getting a chance to chat with staff and each other. Presentations from staff about their programmes and experiences at SMUS follow the coffee and cookies, after which guests can talk to staff and sometimes to a panel of students, or take a campus tour, usually led by students.
“Most families are very impressed,” says Mrs. Saunders. “They like what they hear and find it valuable.” Tuesday’s evening at the Senior School included seven students who spoke as a panel and acted as guides.
The evenings are timed so that parents can learn as much as possible about the school before the application deadlines. Though applications are encouraged to be submitted as early as possible, kindergarten placements are finalized in January and other admissions decisions are seriously underway by February and March.
“We generally have very strong turn-out,” says Mrs. Saunders. “Our spaces are getting more competitive.” Anyone who missed this week’s events may be able to attend a second round of information evenings in mid-winter.