APPLYING TO COTTAGE CO-OP INVOLVES FOUR STEPS:
- Making initial contact with the school.
We ask that you complete this short contact form or call us at 626-799-0387. A member of the admissions team will call, or more likely email, you to answer any questions you may have.
- Attending an Information Night.
Prospective parents are required to attend one of our information nights. Info nights are held at Cottage from 6:30pm to 8pm and provide you with the opportunity to meet our directors, teachers, board members, and current Cottage parents, while getting to know more about Cottage, its programs, philosophies, and responsibilities. If you like what you see, you will be able to sign up for an Admission Tour with your child, to be held in the following weeks.
- Tour Cottage with your child.
Admissions Tours give families time to explore Cottage's philosophy and programs while school is in session. Prospective families are given the opportunity to experience Cottage first hand and it affords us the chance to get to know each family and student. You will be able to really experience Cottage - play with your child, get dirty, and see a Cottage class in session. To minimize the impact on classes, playdates are kept small. You will have a chance to sign up for a playdate at an Information night. Sorry, no drop-ins allowed. Tours are typically held January through March.
- Complete the application.
Once you have attended an information night and tour and had the chance to fall in love with Cottage, interested parents are welcome to apply by submitting the final part of our application, along with a $75 application fee. The application deadline for next year is Friday, March 2, 2018.
THE ADMISSIONS DECISION
There are many factors that affect admissions decisions, but the most critical is the number of "rug spots" (spaces) available in each class. Current families notify us in early March regarding their intention to return next year. Once we then have the number of available rug spots, we begin the process of filling classes.
During the admissions placement process, the admissions team works to build each class. Thus, the focus is on the class as a whole rather than on the individual applicant. We strive to create diverse classes; we are looking for diversity and balance in age, gender, background, characteristics, interests, and abilities.
Applicants with siblings at Cottage are given preference as are applicants with siblings who may have recently attended Cottage. Special consideration is offered to alumni families, neighborhood families, and applicants who are on the waitlist.
Once the admissions decisions are made, families will be notified by Saturday, March 17th, 2018. While we would ideally be able to offer admission to everyone applying, the disappointing truth is that we get more applications than there are spaces available. This is where the waitlist comes in.
If we are unable to offer your child a spot, you will have the opportunity to join the "waitlist". When a space becomes available in a class, we go to the waitlist to fill the spot.
The name, waitlist, implies that there is some order or priority to this list. The fact is that when a space becomes available, we try to fill it with a similar student to maintain the balance in the class. Thus, there is no order to the waitlist.
Another question that often comes up is "What are our chances?". This is a difficult question to answer: a) because we don't know how many, if any, spaces will open up and b) we don't want to get anyone's hopes up or to dash anyone's hopes. It is our experience that there are families, who, in the Spring, indicate that they will be attending Cottage next year but over the Summer need to change their plans and relinquish their child's spot in his/her class. Some years, we have a great deal of "movement"; other years, very little. Some classes may see more movement than others. It is impossible to predict.
What if Cottage is your first choice, but you got into another school? The old saying ... "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." While we encourage families to be a part of the waitlist, you can't rely on getting in through the waitlist, especially after September.
We work hard to keep tuition down and provide alternative ways to contribute to the school through our Annual Fund and Fall Apple Sale Fundraiser. However, if the cost of tuition would be a hardship on your family, Cottage does offer limited funds through our Tuition Assistance program. If you are interested in learning more please visit the Tuition Assistance page. Note: requests for assistance are confidential and in no way affect the admissions decision. Tuition assistance applications for next year are due on Friday, March 2, 2018.