Tenacare Country Day School


Secondary School Placement

Initial Contact
  • First impressions are important. The administrative assistants should and do pass along information to admissions officers.
  • We recommend calling for appointments in September, but not visiting schools until late October or November. It is important to give your child six solid weeks in the sixth grade before entering into the admissions process.
Interview and Visit
  • Prepare for each visit by researching the school's website and reading the catalog, thinking about why this school interests you, and what your child's strengths and weaknesses are. Make a list of those aspects or issues you want to observe on your tour or hear during the interview. Both students and parents should have a set of questions.
  • Approach each visit as if this school were your child's top choice. Disregard all stereotypes, positive or negative, or gossip you have heard about this school and really listen to what the admissions officer or tour guide is saying.
  • Maintain a balance between listening to the presentation about the school and asking questions about the school.
  • Reflect after the visit about the potential match between the school, its strengths and weaknesses and your child and his/her strengths or weaknesses. Remember that no school is perfect.
  • Send a thank you note!
Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)/Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
  • Tenacre encourages all sixth graders to take the ISEE test in January.
  • Please consult the ISEE guidebook for test dates and registration deadlines. These booklets will be available at Parents' Night in September.
  • It is important that Tenacre receive a copy of the score report. Tenacre's Identification/Location number is 222621.
  • The SSAT test is not required. The ISEE test is required. Some students take the SSAT after the fifth grade year as a practice test. These scores should not be sent on to the schools at this time. If desired, the scores can be sent later. Generally, having additional testing (the SSAT) can be of benefit to your child.
  • Complete over a 4-6 week period from mid-November to the end of December. Thanksgiving is a good time to get started with the goal of finishing one each weekend.
  • Begin with a school that is not the top choice.
  • Follow directions carefully. Your child should proofread, proofread and then proofread again - once for content, once for mechanics of writing, and once as a final check. PARENTS - DO NOT GET INVOLVED. BELIEVE ME, ADMISSIONS OFFICERS ARE QUITE ADEPT AT RECOGNIZING PARENT INPUT.
Parent Forms
  • Keep your writing to 1-2 pages! Longer writing only turns off readers and gives the impression that you are unrealistic about your child - also, you are writing so much, what are you trying to hide!
  • Answer three questions: What are the special characteristics of your child? Don't simply gloat, write a balanced profile, everyone needs to improve in some area. What do you hope the school will do for your child? What do you believe your child could add to the school?
Transcript/Teacher Recommendations/Forms
  • Your child's name must be on every form you submit to Tenacre.
  • If the teacher recommendation form requires a parent signature to release information to another school, please sign it before you bring it to Tenacre.
  • Please do not put stamps on any envelopes that you return to Tenacre, as we will mail everything in one envelope.
  • The transcript will reflect end-of-year fifth grade marks as well as mid-year sixth grade marks.
  • Teacher recommendations involve a checklist of various skills and characteristics and a written composite of each child's effort, performance and attitude in the class. Tenacre also sends to Secondary Schools our sixth grade curriculum and a list of skills taught during the year.
Head of School Profile
  • This profile is a much broader recommendation including outside of school activities, pre-sixth grade effort and performance and your child's special traits.
Personal Recommendations
  • Generally not required by schools, but certainly a good question to ask either during the school visit or as a follow-up call.