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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q What is the earliest date I can apply for my child?

A      Applications go online after labor Day.  You may only apply the year before the child is to attend.

Q Are there any exceptions to the Early Childhood, Kindergarten, and First Grade age requirement?

A      No.  The AOS program is designed for the age they are to enter AOS.

Q How and when will I receive notification of the Admissions Committee’s decision?

A      Letters are emailed in mid-March.  

Q What if I decline AOS’ offer of placement for my child and decide to reapply?

A      If a place is offered to an applicant and that place is declined, a new application will be required for future admission consideration. Any priority status may be forfeited.

Q Are there any preferences or priority status given in the admissions process?

A      Yes.  If there is space and if the applicant is qualified, preference is given to members of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, other Orthodox, siblings, alumni, legacies and children of faculty members.  

Q Should I apply to more than one school?

A      Yes.  It is imperative that each family finds the right match or “fit” for their children.  Visiting other independent schools’ campuses and websites will assist parents in their search.  The Houston Area Independent Schools – Admissions Directors website is a great place to begin.  Visit www.houstonprivateschool.org.

Additionally, the demand for independent school placement is great, but the spaces are limited. Parents should apply to at least three schools. AOS does not guarantee openings or admission, so applying to more than one school provides more opportunities for placement. 

Q What is a wait pool?

A      A wait pool is a group of applicants who have completed the admissions process, qualified, but for whom there is no space.  The wait pool is kept until the start of the school year.  If a space becomes available for a particular gender, all files of applicants in the wait pool of that gender are revisited by the Admissions Committee and a selection is made.  New information such as the dynamics of the formed class and the “fit” of the applicant for that class is added to the process.  The wait pool is not ranked.

Q What is a call list?

A   If parents missed the deadline for application, but would like the opportunity for their child to be considered, they may contact the Admissions Office and ask that their child be placed on the call list.  There is no application, evaluation, or fee and the likelihood that the family may be called off of the call list is limited; however, AOS does provide the off-chance opportunity.  Should a space become available and the wait pool has been exhausted, then the admissions director may contact the parents of applicants on the call list to determine their interest.  If the parents are interested, then the admissions process will begin.

Q How can I prepare my child for evaluation?

A      The purpose of an evaluation is not to obtain the highest score.  The purpose of the evaluation is to determine, as much as possible, whether the child will be successful with a particular school’s philosophy, vigor, and expectations.  Evaluations are instruments that assist with placement. They also provide an opportunity to see the child’s personality, behavior, maturity, strengths and weaker areas to determine whether the school is a good “fit” for the child.  

AOS considers the AABL scores, WPPSI, WISC, ISEE, and group visit as part of thr overall assessments.  Each grade level has specific developmental considerations.  These are assessed by using different types of assessment as appropriate for that grade level in order to provide a more complete profile for each child when being considered for admission.  The AABL and ISEE can be found on the ERB website: www.erblearn.org.  There are tutorials for these assessments there.  Tutoring for the WPPSI or WISC is not appropriate.

Tutoring can be counterproductive by placing undue stress on the child.  It can send a negative message to the child and possibly create test anxiety.  If the child is taught the answers, then there is the danger of placing him or her in a situation where expectations are higher than what the child can achieve.  We strongly discourage parents from trying to prepare children for testing. If “teaching the test” is suspected, it will invalidate the file.  The best preparation for testing is a good night’s sleep, a nutritious breakfast, calm parents, and the anticipation of a pleasant experience.

Prior to the group evaluation in the lower levels, parents may explain to their children that they have been invited to do some activities at Annunciation Orthodox School. They will be in a room that has many things to do that are just right for them.  It is a great opportunity for children to “show what they know” and to use their very best manners.

Q If my child is not accepted and we reapply, will my child have to retest?

A Yes.  So much can occur in a year that the evaluation is necessary.  However, the Wechsler Scale of Intelligence tests may be given only once per year.

Q Are letters of recommendation beneficial?

A      Only to a small degree.  AOS strives to assist parents in determining the “fit” for their child.  One or two letters of recommendation for the child, not for the parents, is acceptable.  The person who is giving the recommendation should have firsthand knowledge of the child.

Q Can Teacher Recommendations be given to my child’s teacher from last year?

A      No.  The Teacher Recommendation forms are for your child’s current teacher.  However, a letter of recommendation can come from a former teacher.

Q What if my family is not an Orthodox Christian?

A      AOS accepts children of all faiths.  The Orthodox faith is the very heart of AOS.  AOS students will learn about the faith, its beliefs and traditions. All children will attend Chapel, religion classes and wear the school’s emblem on uniforms.  All Christian holidays are celebrated.    To find out more about the faith, parents are encouraged to visit the Archdiocese website at www.goarch.org

Q What other faiths are represented in AOS?

A The percentages are:  Baha’i – 1%, Baptist – 4%, Catholic – 27%, Christian – 10%, Episcopalian – 10%, Greek Orthodox – 12%, Orthodox – 4%, Jewish – 1%, Methodist – 15%, Presbyterian – 7%, Protestant – 1%, not reported – 8%

Q Do you offer extended care?

A      Yes.  AOS’ Extended Day Care opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 6:00 p.m. and is open on some holidays.  Additionally, there is a summer camp available.  

Q What percentage of applicants receives an offer to attend AOS?

A      Approximately 25% of applicants are invited to attend AOS.

Q What is AOS’ average attrition rate?

A      The attrition rate for AOS is 3.4%.

Q What is AOS’ diversity commitment?

A      AOS strives to maintain a diverse community both in the student body and in the faculty and staff.  AOS holds Diversity luncheons throughout the year in the homes of AOS parents.  The Board of Trustees formed a Diversity Committee to ensure that the School stays true to its mission of celebrating differences for the good of the entire community.  Diversity includes, but is not limited to ethnic, cultural, religious, national, and experiential differences.  AOS is proud to report that 32% of its student body is from diverse backgrounds.

Q Why is there so much testing for private schools?

A     Because the admissions process in Houston is competitive, each school strives to obtain the best picture of each child.  Therefore, each school utilizes different tests to assess different aspects of the child.  For example: the WPPSI and WISC tell the school about the way a child thinks about things, while the AABL and ISEE give a picture of school readiness.  While a child may be intelligent, they may not be ready for a particular school.


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