Frequently Asked Questions
- How competitive is admission to Brentwood's Lower School, and does it vary by grade?
- Does acceptance into and successful participation in the Lower School ensure automatic entry into the Middle School?
- How does the school handle sibling applications?
- Is there much pressure in Brentwood School’s Lower School?
- Is there "extra help" in the Lower School?
- Do you have a gifted program?
- How would you characterize your faculty?
- Does the Lower School have a dress code?
- Is there a commitment to character education at the Lower School?
- What transportation resources does the school provide?
- Extended Day
- How important is the ISEE?
- Can a student take the ISEE more than once?
- In assessing candidates, do you consider more than just quantitative (standardized test results, GPA) factors?
We believe students come to us curious about the world around them and eager to learn. With that in mind, the Lower School program is designed to foster a love for learning while challenging each student to reach his/her potential. Students will be asked to "stretch" themselves as they move through a program that is designed to teach them to think critically and creatively. We often receive questions about homework expectations and, while we do have homework in the Lower School, it is assigned in developmentally appropriate ways with the goal of teaching students time management in addition to content. For example, a 1st Grade student would be expected to read for 20 minutes a night, and practice spelling words or math facts. Overall, we believe students need a balance in their lives with plenty of time to play and spend time with family and friends.
Brentwood School offers transportation options to fit a variety of needs for our West Campus families. We are a willing resource for those who want support in creating a plan. Our Transportation Manager and a secure, carpool finder website are available to facilitate bus program and carpool arrangements.
Brentwood may be the only school on the Westside to offer Extended Day, before and after school, free of charge. From 7:30-8:30 each morning there is supervised play available for all Lower School students. On Monday through Thursday, our afternoon supervision is from 2:10-6:00 p.m. and on Fridays, Extended Day is from 2:10-6:00 p.m. We also provide free extra-curricular options in athletics and performing arts at different grade levels. In addition, we offer a series of fee-based enrichment classes such as Skate Dogs, Robotics, or Mad Science. The result is that Brentwood School is the preferred after school destination for a large number of kids. It also makes a wonderful central location for friends to connect if they live far apart from each other.
ISEE results are an important factor yet not the determining one for students applying from 4th Grade and up. We have no cutoffs or minimums. We realize that, inherent to any test of this kind, there are certain limitations as any standardized test fails to measure a students's motivation, creativity, research, ability, and character. The ISEE does, however, provide us with a common denominator, given that students apply from such a wide variety of schools and thus have somewhat different educational backgrounds. The majority of our applicants fall into what is a wide middle range. In cases where we are familiar with a student's school, where the student has performed well in a solid academic program, and where the recommendations are quite positive and insightful, less importance is placed on the ISEE.
The testing company that creates the ISEE allows students to take the ISEE during three testing windows—Fall (August–November); Winter (December–March); and Spring/Summer (April–July). Students may take the test only once per window, or up to a maximum of 3 times in a 12-month admission cycle. Brentwood School and the ISEE do not encourage multiple testing. Only under very special circumstances, such as a sudden illness, should an additional testing be considered. If a student does take the ISEE more than once, we encourage parents/guardians to show their child’s progress from one test window to another by submitting all scores.
Absolutely. While academic criteria are of significant importance to the Admissions Committee, we look at a variety of information to determine a candidate's intellectual strengths. Beyond the ISEE scores and grades from the current school, we also look very closely at teacher recommendations, the administrator recommendation, and the interview. All of those factors combined give the Committee a sense of not only the academic promise of the candidate, but also the child's personality and extracurricular interests. Rest assured that we spend a considerable amount of time in our deliberations as we try to be as thorough and fair as possible in bringing together a diverse and capable student body each year.