Natasha Estey answers this audience question: When a student includes their email address in the application process, should I direct communications to the student or the parent(s)?
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So, Natasha, on this week's episode of Ask AISAP, we have a question that in fact has come from us, from Joshua Abrams, who is the Head of School at Meridian Academy in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. And he writes that his school uses a particular database system that allows for people to submit the applicant's email address. And some families enter it and others don't.
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And as he writes, “Since we admit primarily in grades six through nine, some of our younger applicants don't have an email yet. We've always limited our email to communications with parents. But do any of you email applicants directly and at what grade? And does it feel appropriate to send the child information at your school directly to the child?
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Or should it always go to the parent?” So my question is that from Joshua to you and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Yeah, what an interesting question. And I actually have a few thoughts about it. The first thing is, I would say in terms of our process and approach is we don't collect the - and we're a school that goes from JK through grade 12. So we certainly have students in the middle and senior school level that are applying to The York School.
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We don't make a practice of emailing applicants, or we refer to them as candidates, directly. We always do communicate through the parents. That being said, the other thing that I've been quite involved with over the years is coordinating our student ambassador program, and these would be student ambassadors in grades six through grade 12. And my practice has always been, especially with the younger grades, our students are not as used to having and using email, is any time I would reach out to any students about playing any sort of role as a student ambassador in any sort of event of any kind is I would always make a habit of copying the parents on
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any email that went to the student just so that in case they missed it, they didn't check their email, that they would have a parent who was also kind of keeping an eye on things. I found that once students got into the senior school, they were much more self-sufficient around use of email and responsiveness to email. So I didn't always have to do that.
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And I was also very cautious of if it was an ask where it would be something outside of regular school hours. So that's something else that had to be taken into account, I think, if you are going to email applicants or candidates directly. I would always just also include the parents as well because I just I think you need to have that other layer of of sort of communication back up, if you will.
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At the same time, I think this idea of really including the applicant even more directly in the process, when in some cases it's actually very much driven by the students to make a change to a different school or what have you. So I think honoring that as well makes a lot of sense. But it sounds like if not everyone is prepared to give that information, that you need to have a somewhat flexible approach to that.
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But that would be my advice or my take on that really great question that was submitted.
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Great. Thanks so much, Natasha. And for any of you who are listening to this episode of Ask AISAP and you have a question that's keeping you up at night, you're tossing and turning and you're wondering what is in fact the right way to do something or go about something? Ask AISAP, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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