Admission

Kent Place seeks brave and brilliant girls who are eager to learn, excited to lead and ready to take on the world. We encourage applications from students from every kind of family, neighborhood and background, and consider previous academic effort, written recommendations, an entrance test or screening and a personal interview when making academic decisions.

About

The only non-sectarian girls' day school in New Jersey, Kent Place provides a rigorous and fulfilling education for more than 600 students in Kindergarten through Grade 12. We also offer a coed Junior Pre-Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten program, The Preschool at Kent Place. Our 26-acre campus in Summit, New Jersey, draws families from more than 80 communities.

Academics

We're the vibrant, visionary school with an innovative, integrated curriculum designed to educate and empower the next generation of female leaders. Our rigorous coursework challenges their brains, our spirited community supports their dreams and our Honor Code helps them learn, work, play and live with integrity and respect. Our students graduate with a strong dedication to academic excellence.

Arts

Kent Place offers visual arts, dance, theater and music instruction in all grades. Whether students sing or dance, play an instrument, act and direct or paint, draw and sculpt, they learn to see themselves — and their world — from a new perspective.

Athletics

Go Dragons! Participation in athletics is an integral part of the overall school experience for our students, and our athletic teams are a source of pride for the Kent Place community. Our philosophy is to provide a competitive athletic program where our student-athletes can reach their full potential.

Student Life

From the first day of the school year, each class becomes a cohesive unit. Students support each other. The sense of community is strengthened through the many traditions throughout the year. In this atmosphere of acceptance and respect, students, teachers and coaches forge bonds that endure long past graduation.

Signature Programs

Kent Place demonstrates its commitment to providing unique learning experiences for students, faculty, staff and our community, within and beyond the school, through its signature programs. These programs augment the school's rigorous curriculum and spark the interest and imagination of our community from our Ethics Institute to our camp's Summer Academy.

Alumnae

Confident in their abilities and eloquent in their communication, our alumnae become leaders on college campuses, and later, in their workplaces and in their communities. KPS graduates succeed in a wide range of endeavors, from science and business to writing and the arts. Many alumnae maintain their bonds with KPS, coming back to campus for events and to share their experiences with students.

Giving

Support from our community is a vital element to Kent Place's mission of maintaining a tradition of excellence. Your contribution, no matter the size, enables the school to fulfill its commitment to the principles upon which KPS was founded — to inspire young women to leadership and to strengthen moral awareness.

Innovation for Brave & Brilliant Girls

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

by Kim Clary
01/19/2019

Early Childhood Education Literacy Mathematics Reading Kindergarten Kent Place SchoolOne question I hear often in my role as Director of Primary School Admission at Kent Place is this: “Is my child ready for kindergarten or should I give him or her another year in preschool?” This is an especially common dilemma for parents of kids with summer birthdays. But, it can apply to any child depending on personality, interests, strengths, and weaknesses.  

Research indicates that academic pressures are starting early, before first or second grade. We don’t often give our children enough time to just be kids—time to play in the mud or with clay or to spray the hermit crabs with water to see if their heads will emerge. Things we did in first grade when I was growing up are now expected of our children in kindergarten or even preschool.

There are many things to consider when deciding if your child is ready for kindergarten. Is your son showing interest in learning to read? Can your daughter sit still through an academic schedule for a whole day? Does she exhibit self-control and a willingness to cooperate? How are her language skills? Does your son demonstrate skills in self-care?

Perhaps you’re thinking that you do, indeed, want extra time for your child, but you also want him to be prepared for kindergarten without repeating his preschool program. Here are some things to look for if you want your child to enjoy another year in preschool:

  1. Literacy and math concepts with a tailored approach to learning. Your daughter already knows her letters? You want teachers who can individualize the instruction to each child’s level. Your son knows his numbers up to 15? You want to make sure he’ll develop more skills in arithmetic.

  2. Satisfaction of curiosity. Does the preschool encourage your child to explore things that interest her? Do the children learn through hands-on experiments and projects that relate to the world around them? You want a place that will engage her mind.  

  3. A step up in schedule. Does the preschool offer a full-day program? You want a place where he can build his academic stamina in preparation for kindergarten. Additionally, an ideal program will be enhanced by expert teachers and specialists who have an eye toward the expectations of more rigorous elementary schools.

On a personal note, I have a son with a July birthday. After a year of preschool, my husband and I debated whether to enroll him in kindergarten. We labored over this decision and, in the end, decided to go ahead and enroll him in kindergarten. If we could go back to that discussion, we’d definitely give him that extra year in preschool. He just wasn’t ready, and sometimes struggled to keep up. That’s true, even now that he’s in middle school. It’s too late to hold him back; he has friends at his age and there’s a stigma attached to repeating a grade—a stigma that doesn’t exist when a child is in preschool.

Visit our Preschool

Ironic, right? As the saying goes “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” or “the shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” Admission and placement guidance is what I do for a living and I regret the decision I made for my own son!

You can learn from my mistake. Evaluate your child (or children) as needed; every kid is different. Your daughter may have entered kindergarten after one year of preschool, but your son may benefit from an extra year. A boy with a late birthday may thrive in kindergarten, while the maturity level of a different boy may necessitate another year in preschool. You know your child best! Trust your instincts and confer with your child’s most recent teacher. My only advice is this: don’t feel obligated to plow ahead. Our world asks so much of our kids and so early. What harm is there in slowing down and letting them be kids just a little longer?

To learn more about Kent Place’s Preschool Program as an option for an extra year click here, or feel free to reach out to me directly at (908) 273-0900, ext. 269 if you’d like to talk.

Related: 5 Ways to Help Your Toddler With Preschool Readiness

Topics: Kent Place School, kindergarten, early childhood education, literacy, reading, mathematics

Kim Clary

Kim Clary

Director of Primary School Admission
Kim Clary earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ohio University and earned her master’s in school leadership from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Ms. Clary has taught kindergarten to third grade in both public and independent schools, and was also a math specialist. Before joining Kent Place in 2013, she had been a division director and assistant director of admission at other independent schools in New York. Ms. Clary is now the Director of Primary School Admission.

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