March 12, 2019 is a day I’ll never forget. Not only did the college admissions bribery scandal break that morning, we found out our boy got waitlisted by two preschools. Waitlisted is really just a euphemism for rejected.
The first preschool was a Mandarin immersion preschool I’ll call PooPoo about 20-25 minutes away. We had to go for an initial one hour tour, then a 30 minute parent interview with the admissions director who was hacking up a lung that day, and then a final play date interview along with 11 other kids and parents.
It was an arduous process that we found unappealing, especially given the commute. During our application process, the school canceled its 4-day a week part-time program in favor of only 5 full days a week. We found this to be too much for a 2.5 year old.
The school seemed like it was being run more like a business first, and a school second with its massive $1 million fund raising banner in the entrance and its decision to go 5 days a week in order to charge their full $31,240 a year in tuition.
Given these issues, we were not disappointed when PooPoo waitlisted our boy. We had already decided he wouldn’t attend. Spending $31,240 a year on tuition for a 2.5 year old felt extremely unnecessary. I speak Mandarin and we could use the money to live in Taiwan for a summer instead.
The second school we applied to I’ll call PeePee; it’s about a 15-18 minute drive away. We liked the school because it had a two day a week program that runs from 9:30am – 12:30pm for $8,500 a year. We thought this was a more appropriate transition for a young toddler first experiencing a school setting.
The only problem with the school is that it’s not very racially or socioeconomically diverse. Further, 11 of the 12 available spots for this upcoming preschool year for 2-3-year-olds were already preassigned for siblings. This ensured further homogeneity.
The Executive Director personally reached out over e-mail and told me that 80 people applied for the one open non-sibling position, which meant that they only had a 1.25% acceptance rate.
Given we had no connections to the school, don’t look like the majority of parents, don’t have any status since we didn’t tell them we run this site, didn’t donate any money, and learned the application numbers, we weren’t surprised about the rejection, just a little disappointed.