Wait listing this year is through the roof. NYC private schools accept and reject applicants as well as wait list and “priority wait list” them.
The best way to find out where your child stands on a private school wait list is to ask. In my experience, wait lists move, even at the best schools. Sometimes they move quickly, sometimes they move right before contracts are due, sometimes they move in spring or even summer.
This year, ISAAGNY, the group that sets wait list rules, changed them. In the past, once you accepted one ISAAGNY school’s contract, you dropped off the wait list. However, the new ISAAGNY site says:
Applicants may continue to remain active on a Member School’s wait list after the applicable ISAAGNY reply date. Member Schools are strongly encouraged not to withhold contracts from parents on the basis of a pre-existing contract between the parents and another Member School. <emphasis is mine> Member Schools shall be aware, and shall make clear in all relevant communications with families, that if a family has signed a contract with a Member School and is subsequently offered a place during the re-enrollment period or off of a wait list at another Member School, the applicant family is nonetheless obligated to honor the terms of any contract they have previously signed with the first Member School unless the family is officially released from its contractual obligations to that first Member School.
I am very interested to see how this plays out this year.
Eliza Shapiro of The Daily Beast has an interesting article today: Stuck in New York City Private School Wait List Hell. Shapiro talks about tactics some people have taken to improve their wait list standing.
“Bill Clinton is a popular choice for recommendation letters,” says Emily Glickman, president of Abacus Guide Educational Consulting.