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Synapse Admissions Team
Marsha Rideout
Director of Admissions
Dana Story
Associate Director of Admissions & Financial Aid
Lena Chane
Director of Advancement
Questions about Ravenna



Admissions Process

Applying to Synapse School

Deciding on a private school program is a major family decision. Thus, we make every effort to share our mission, vision, and curriculum in the pre-enrollment process. Given that we offer a unique program, integrating academics with social-emotional learning and the practice of innovation, we want the families who join our community to be fully informed and eager to participate. We are currently accepting applications for mixed-age classes in the Lower School and Middle School.

If you would like to attend an admissions information event in a language other than English, please email Dana Story or call (650) 468-0205.

1. Attend a Synapse Information Night

A Synapse Information Night is the required first step in the admissions process. These nights are designed to guide parents/guardians in deciding whether the Synapse School philosophy and program are a fit for their child and family. During this interactive evening with parents/guardians, Synapse leadership and faculty will present its Vision and Mission, and provide both general information and examples of the Synapse constructivist curriculum model. Current Synapse parents/guardians will also share their families' experiences. We welcome parents/guardians and other interested adults to attend the Synapse Information Night.

2. Sign Up for a Synapse School Tour (Optional)

Once you have attended a Synapse Information Night, you are invited to join an optional Synapse School Tour. This is an excellent opportunity to see our classes in action, meet our wonderful teachers and visit with Leadership. At the end of the information night, School Tour sign-ups will be available. In addition, you will receive a registration code to sign up for tours through Ravenna.

5. Applicant Visit

After you have attended a Synapse Information Night and submitted your child's application, the Admissions office will contact you to schedule an applicant visit.
Kindergarten Playgroup
Kindergarten applicants are invited to experience Synapse School through a Playgroup. It is an opportunity for your child to meet our teachers and participate in fun Synapse classroom activities. The playgroup does not involve one-on-one or formal testing. During the playgroup, parents are invited to stay and join a Q&A over coffee with members of our Admissions team.
Synapse Experience
On February 2, 2019, 1st - 4th Grade applicants are invited to experience our dynamic program with Synapse teachers and fellow applicants. Your child will participate in interactive, collaborative and hands-on classroom activities, typical in the day of a Synapse student.
Shadow Visit
Middle school applicants are invited to visit Synapse School for a full day. It is an opportunity for your child to get a taste of Synapse by accompanying a current student throughout the visit and engaging in classes and activities. During the day, your child will have their One-on-One Student-Teacher Meeting which is an opportunity for Synapse teachers to better get to know your child.

3. Submit a Synapse School Application by January 17, 2019

Complete the application steps online using Ravenna.

Preliminary Application Steps due January 17, 2019

We recommend that you submit your application early in the admissions season to activate the next steps of the admissions process.

  • Synapse School application
  • Family photo
  • $90 application fee
Supplemental Documents due February 8, 2019

Please complete these steps as soon as possible so that there is enough processing time to receive the documents before the deadline.

  • Teacher recommendation form: In Ravenna, delegate the form to your current teacher and allow appropriate time for your teacher to complete and return it to Synapse School. Parents/guardians may also delegate a teacher recommendation form to a second teacher if desired. If possible, please have your child's teacher submit their recommendation before the Parent/Guardian Interview so that we have a broader sense of your child.
  • Educational and any additional assessments:Assessments inform our holistic evaluation of each individual child. If you have any educational or academic assessments (WISC, WPPSI, Qualitative Assessment, ISEE, SSAT, etc), please submit them. If you do not have any assessments, this step is not required.
  • Transcripts: (1st-8th Grade applicants) Submit the records release form to your current school for the school years: 2018-2019 (1st term) and 2017-2018.

All applications submitted after our January 17, 2019 will be considered in our 2nd Pool Applications. Depending on the availability of spaces in the applicant grade after our March 20, 2019 decisions, we will activate the application process for 2nd Pool Applicants.

4. Parent/Guardian Interview

A member of our Admissions team will meet with all parents/guardians to clarify any questions parents/guardians may have and to review the philosophy and program of Synapse School. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for parents/guardians to share about their child. The interview is designed to help all parties assess the family fit. The Admissions office will contact you to schedule your Parent/Guardian Interview after you have attended a Synapse Information Night and submitted your preliminary application and fee. If possible, please have your child's teacher submit their recommendation before the Parent/Guardian Interview so that we have a broader sense of your child. Parent/Guardian Interviews start in October.

6. One-On-One Student-Teacher Meeting

The One-on-One Student-Teacher meeting is an opportunity for Synapse teachers to get to know your child better.
  • Lower School (Kindergarten and 1st - 4th grade) applicants - The Admissions office or a Synapse teacher will contact you to schedule a time. These meetings are scheduled after the Parent Interview and Kindergarten Playgroup have taken place.
  • Middle School (5th - 8th grade) applicants - The one-on-one meeting takes place during the Shadow Visit.
Synapse School admits students of any race, gender, religion, color, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin. All Students are entitled to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, color, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid, athletic and other school-administered programs.