Frequently Asked Questions
What is a developmental screening?
A developmental screening is designed to assess the degree to which a child has mastered skills in areas such as language development, cognitive awareness, and information processing abilities appropriate to his or her chronological age.
How can we learn more about the application process and the screening?
ILS and the consortium schools will offer a Parent Information Night for prospective kindergarten parents. It will take place on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016, at High Point Academy in Pasadena, CA. It will be from 6:30 – 7:30 pm and is for adults only. This meeting will focus on kindergarten readiness, the value of an independent education, visiting schools, and finding a good match for your child. No appointment is necessary to attend.
Who administers this screening?
Members of the ILS staff administer a developmental kindergarten screening program for a consortium of independent schools located in the San Gabriel Valley. The staff and directors of ILS are well qualified for this important task. The ILS team is comprised of psychologists, developmental specialists, educators and other professionals who have many years of experience working with independent schools and families throughout the area.
What can I do to prepare my child for the kindergarten screening?
The ILS screening tool is designed to project kindergarten readiness for fall school entrance. Readiness is part of a child's natural development and cannot be hurried or taught. Encouraging your child's natural curiosity and interests, and providing him/her with opportunities for exploration and new experiences will support this natural process.
What should I tell my child about the screening appointment?
Be as light and low-key as possible, avoiding words such as "test" or "screening." You could say something like: "We are going to go to this friendly place where you can play a little with some other kids. Then, you are going to go off on your own with a nice teacher do do some fun activities with her. When you're done, in just about 20 minutes, she will bring you back to me and we can go do something fun together!" And by the way, please dress your child in soft, comfortable clothes or their favorite outfit, there is no need to dress up!
What should we bring to the screening appointment?
Please bring a copy of the confirmation of your child's registration that will be emailed to you once you have registered online. Remember to note any additions or changes to your school list on this form and give it to the ILS administrator on duty. If you are unfamiliar with our location, we suggest that you also print out a copy of the directions which can be found in the "Contact Us" section of our website. A picture of our building and parking information is also contained in this section.
What can we expect when we arrive for our child's screening appointment?
You and your child will be warmly welcomed by an ILS administrator in the Kindergarten Screening reception room (Suite #2). Please arrive early so that there will be ample time to check-in and give the ILS administrator your registration form with any school changes and/or additions clearly noted. You will find the Kindergarten Screening reception room to be "child friendly" with books, games and coloring materials available. You and your child will meet his/her screener when she comes to the reception room to pick up your child. Your child will be returned to you after they are finished. Often, the children ask to stay and play awhile after screening. As time and space permits, you and your child are welcome to do so.
How long will the screening appointment take?
Your child will spend approximately 25-30 minutes with an ILS screener. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early to check in with our host. This allows for extra time should you have difficulty finding us, but also so that your child can relax and settle in before being greeted by their screener.
How much emphasis do the schools place on the screening?
The emphasis placed on the developmental screening and the social readiness assessment will vary as each of the schools will have different priorities for admission. Such factors as gender balance, diversity, sibling and alumni preferences, and number of available spaces, can all weigh into the decisions made. All the schools share a desire to discover the best educational match for each child.
Why don't the individual schools do this screening themselves?
These Consortium schools have agreed to coordinate and share the results of the developmental screening in the hope of relieving some of the stress and repetition for the children. Consequently, if your child is applying to any of the consortium schools, he/she will only participate in the screening once, despite the number of schools being considered.
Will my child have an opportunity to visit the schools we are applying to?
Yes. Your child will be invited to visit each of the schools to which he/she applies.
Will parents see the results of the screening?
Yes, results in the form of a Parent Report will be mailed to each child's family in mid-February. When you bring your child to his/her screening appointment we'll ask you to address an envelope for this purpose.
Is it better to choose a later screening date so that my child will be a few weeks older when she/he visits ILS?
No, your child's age will be taken into consideration by each applicant school when evaluating his/her performance on the various screening tasks. Also, during the screening we will be observing the process of your child's problem solving, rather than merely obtaining a score.
When will the final reports be sent to the schools? Do we need to schedule the screening early, in time for the application deadlines of our applicant schools?
All of the results will be sent en mass in early February. Therefore, there is no need to schedule your appointment early to meet a particular school’s deadline. This program is on a separate timeline from the schools’ application deadlines.
Can I arrange for my child to be screened by ILS even if he/she won't be applying to any of the consortium schools?
ILS only offers this service to consortium school applicants. This service is not offered privately.
I’ve heard it can be difficult to find your building as the address doesn’t exactly match the location?
Yes, our address is 2233 Huntington Drive, but we do not actually sit on Huntington Drive. We are in a brick colonial style building just to the north on Ridgeway, right behind the Starbucks in the center of San Marino. So, as mentioned above, please print the directions under “Contact Us” on our website and bring them with you. Do not use GPS or you will not be able to find us. If you are unsure, please do a practice drive-by on a day prior to your appointment. There are two photos of our building on the "Contact Us" page. The first shows the building from the intersection of Huntington Drive and Sierra Madre Boulevard; the second shows the front of the building looking north from the back of Starbuck's, showing the breezeway where you will enter to find the Suite 2 waiting room.
If my child is just learning to speak English, will this be taken into consideration?
Yes. You will be able to note this information when you register your child for screening.
How much does the screening cost?
During the regular screening period, the cost of the screening is $150.00. The amount is for the screening itself, you can have the results sent to as many of the schools as you'd like. The screening cost includes the time spent with your child, evaluation of his/her performance, report writing, and sending of results to the parents and to the schools you designate on your registration form. For your convenience, payment is made through our secure website via credit card. If you are unable to pay online or have some other special circumstance, you may call or email our office for assistance.
Can a screening appointment be scheduled once the registration period closes?
After the regular screening period, contact the school(s) you are considering to see if they will accept a late application. If so, ILS will arrange a late screening appointment. The fee for a late screening is $175.00. This includes a $25.00 late screening fee which helps to cover additional administrative costs.
What if I need to change my child's appointment date/time or the schools we plan to apply to after I've completed and submitted the online registration?
If you must make a date change after you have scheduled an appointment, you can call or email our office for assistance. A $25.00 rescheduling fee will be charged in order to help defray administrative costs. Any informational changes you wish to make to the confirmation form can simply be added and given to us at the time of your visit.
What can I do if I wish to change or designate additional schools after the day of my child's screening?
You may call us or email our office with the additions or changes. We will make any requested changes to your child's registration form. There is no charge to add to or change your list of applicant schools.