Dean of Admission's Blog


Post #2: How admission decisions get made?

Our parent question for this week is “Why are there so many steps to the application and how does Keystone Academy select its students?”

Keystone’s application process has several different elements and each element gives us some insight into the student, their family, and the potential fit with our Academy. Below is a list of each of the elements we require and what they reveal.

Admission Requirements

School Records and Teacher Recommendation
Records from the students current school and the recommendation from the teacher help us to understand how a student performs in a school environment, and give us a sense of the student’s strengths and challenges in that context.

Student Essays and Interview
Essays and interviews provide students an opportunity to express themselves, their thoughts, and their ideas. They give us a chance to get to know the student more personally and to get a sense of their interests, activities and passion. Older students will be asked to express themselves in both English and Chinese, which also helps us to assess their verbal and written communication in both languages.

Student Assessments
Student assessments vary depending on the age of the student. Younger students will be observed in a classroom environment with a group of students. This helps us to observe their readiness for the Keystone classroom environment as well as their interactions with teachers and other students. Older students will do standardized assessments that evaluate them relative to other test takers of the same age. These assessments help us to understand students’ areas of strength and the areas where they might need support. They also help us to evaluate a student’s understanding of English.

Parent Statement and Parent Interview

Parents know their children best, and they also see them in settings that are very different from the school environment. We want parents to have a chance to show us their children as they see them. We also want to have an understanding of the goals that parents have for their children and their sense of how Keystone can help to support those goals. We want to be sure that parent expectations are consistent with the mission of our school and the program we provide.

Decision Making Process

So what happens after a student has completed after the application requirements? Once an application is complete, it will be read by two members of the admission team and summarized in detail. These summaries, along with the application details, will be reviewed by members of the admission committee, which includes admission counselors, the Dean of Admission, the Head of each division and other faculty members as appropriate.

Having a committee process allows us to make decisions within the context of the entire applicant pool and within the context of school goals (such as class size and gender balance). This helps to ensure that the relationships or preferences of individuals on the committee will not overly influence final decisions. Several people will be involved in debating the merits of a student’s application before the final decision is made.

Posted by S. Liang on Wednesday February, 12, 2014 at 01:00PM


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Dean of Admission

Rachael Beare

Rachael Beare comes to Keystone Academy from The Hotchkiss School, one of the top boarding schools in New England, where she was the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid from 2008-2012.

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