Each family applying for admission to Grayson will take part in an interview with one or more members of our admissions staff. The interview, which consists of a parent portion and a student portion, is an opportunity for us to get to know you and your child and to discuss in greater detail what you are looking for and how Grayson might fit your child’s needs, and we welcome questions before, during, and after the interview.
The parent portion of the interview will consist of a casual conversation regarding your child’s learning style and abilities, as well as whatever experiences you have had with him or her at other schools and whether or not they were able to meet your needs. It is also an opportunity for you to ask us questions about Grayson and how our program will work for your child.
The child’s portion of the interview will be a conversation, as well; we do not perform any testing as part of our time with them. A member of our admissions staff, who may also be joined by a member of our faculty, will take your child into a different room and talk with him or her about school, learning, and what kinds of things interest them. Your child will also have a chance to ask questions about Grayson and what it might be like to go to school here.
We will also ask your child a few critical thinking questions designed specifically to show us how they think. Lateral thinking, imaginative answers, and/or straightforward responses are all fine — gifted children think in myriad different ways, and our questions do not have “correct” answers. Note: each applicant is asked a unique question, so the following sample questions will definitely NOT be asked in your child’s interview, but may give you some idea of what kinds of things we have been asking:
1. Napoleon broke the rules on the proper way to conduct a military campaign. Beethoven broke the rules on how a symphony should be written. Most advances in science, medicine, art, cooking and design have come about when someone challenged the rules and tried a different approach. What rules do you want to be able to break?
2. What people do you respect for creative achievement? A leader in your field? A teacher? A parent? Now, imagine that one of these people is responsible for developing a concept you came up with. What would they do? How would they approach it? What innovative changes would they make?
3. Edison knew 1,800 ways not to build a light bulb. One of Madame Curie’s failures was radium. Columbus was actually looking for India. What were the biggest errors you have experienced? What did you learn? What new opportunities were created for you? What mistakes might you make on a current project?
4. Part of the ability to use your brain differently is seeing things in ways other people do not; many of society’s greatest innovations have arisen when someone has envisioned a new way of using something familiar or a different way of employing existing knowledge, technology, or products. Show me how you can think differently — tell me ten things you can do with an orange.
Because we ask each applicant unique questions and because children vary so widely, any sort of interview “prep” you can do is unlikely to be helpful and might actually make your child anxious that there are “correct” answers to our questions. The only information you might want to share with your child in advance is that we will be talking to them about school and about how The Grayson School teaches kids; and that they will just be having a little chat with a couple of people from the school for a few minutes while you are in the next room.
We do encourage older students to think ahead of time about any specific questions they may want to ask us about how Grayson will differ from their previous school experiences, but again, any sort of formal “interview prep” is discouraged.