We Applied Well After the Admissions Deadline: A Family Q&A
Three different academic journeys.
Two paths that run through St. Michael’s College School (SMCS).
One involved applying to SMCS in May of 2021, well after the standard Admissions cycle.
A current family shares what made their youngest son decide to switch schools and take on a roughly 75-minute daily commute by car and subway to attend SMCS.
1. Why did you choose to apply to an independent school for your son?
Schooling has always been important to our beliefs. Our goal was to have our children learn in a private setting with unparalleled quality education, an individual approach, celebrating all diversities, co-curricular opportunities, and a school that engages both students and parents.
2. Why did you decide to apply after the normal Admissions cycle?
We went through the normal admission process for Grade 7 however, our son was hesitant to come to St. Mike’s as the commute from Pickering is long and somewhat difficult. He decided to attend another private school for Grade 7. Midway through the year, he was not happy, and he did not feel he fit in well with the school. He asked us if he could apply to SMCS again for Grade 8. He knew that he would enjoy going to SMCS as his older brother did, and he thought he fit in better with the ideals and values of a Catholic education. I contacted the school admissions team the following day and because we had applied the year before, the process was not as difficult, and the staff were helpful and willing to work with us.
3. What, if anything, did you know about the Ongoing Admissions cycle in the independent school landscape?
We were very familiar with the process since all of our children went to independent schools from an early age. We were hopeful that when I contacted the school in April for our son, that spots were still available for his grade. I am happy that we decided to call and initiate the admissions process again.
4. What did you know about St. Michael’s College School when you decided to apply?
Our eldest son attended SMCS from Grades 9 to 12. We knew that SMCS was a great school. We saw an environment that was welcoming, with a rigorous academic programme and sports-oriented. The teachers are caring, approachable, and want to help students succeed to their full potential. It is a school that reflects our core values — discipline, goodness, and knowledge.
5. Why did you apply to SMCS?
We applied to SMCS because St. Michael’s College School has a great reputation, and we had a previous positive school experience with our older son. We knew that Luca would enjoy going to school in the city. SMCS would encourage him to be the very best he can be and give him the freedom to tap into his passions and give him opportunities to meet new friends and open doors which he would not have if he went to a public school in our area.
6. What were your main resources you used to learn about the school?
We went to the school website to find out about the admissions process, dates, and deadlines for the application. We also attended the open house/admission events at the school. Once we were interested, we also went for a school tour and Luca spent a day at the school shadowing ‘a day in the life’ of an SMCS student. This day was very helpful and made him feel special and important.
7. What surprised you most during this journey?
I think what surprised me the most during this journey was Luca’s courage and how he advocated for himself at such a young age. He transitioned from one independent school to another easily. He is very happy he decided to change schools and the staff at St. Mike’s were understanding and accommodating to his struggles, his needs, and his strengths. It is a school which allows him to grow and thrive and offers so much more.
8. What advice would you have for other families potentially contemplating a change of school for their child or entry to an independent school environment?
I would encourage other families who are potentially contemplating a change of school for their child or an independent school environment to give it a chance if they can, to do their research and attend the open house events, meet the principal, teachers, and other families. Parents need to get involved in the school community as a way to bridge school and home life.
9. How would you describe your son’s experience so far?
Our son’s experience has been extremely positive. He enjoys going to school every day. He wakes up happy, he looks forward to seeing his friends, he plays sports at school, he has become more independent (taking the subway, transit to and from school and home), and has already made long-lasting friendships.
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