Frequently Asked Questions
We will be accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year starting September 1st. We share the same application deadlines as our peer Seattle independent schools. Here are the important dates to know:
- September 1, 2017: Applications become available online
- December 7, 2017: Early Application Deadline
- January 11, 2018: Regular Application Deadline
- February 8, 2018: Financial Aid Application Deadline
- February 23, 2018: Upper School decisions communicated
- March 6, 2018: Upper School Accepted Family Response Deadline
- March 16, 2018: Middle School decisions communicated
- March 27, 2018: Middle School Accepted Family Response Deadline
- April – September: Rolling applications considered if space is available
In 2017-2018, we are serving 430 students in grades five through twelve, and will continue to grow to 500 over the next few years. The average class size is 16 students, and the maximum allowable class size is 18 students.
- 5th Grade – 36
- 6th Grade – 18
- 7th & 8th – By attrition only, historically 1 -2
- 9th Grade – 18-22
- 10th & 11th By attrition only, historically 1-2
Yes. The Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) awarded EPS complete and unconditional status as a fully-accredited independent school in January 2010. As with any independent school, accreditation is reviewed and re-accredited every seven years to ensure that best practices and high standards are being met. For more information about what it means to be an independent school please click HERE. For more information on the accreditation process please click HERE. EPS is also accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as well as approved by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI).
Foundationally, all EPS students are challenged by our academic core (English, history, math, science, Spanish). Those courses are supplemented with a wide variety of electives, from the more traditional fine and performing arts options to the more innovative seminars. Please discover these yourself within our online course catalog. Expectations are high in all of our classes as we are preparing students to curate an experience that allows them to confidently enter the college search process. More importantly though, we are preparing students to confidently navigate life once they are in college. It’s not just about what students know, but what they are able to do with what they know and how well they know themselves. We want all of our students to find their edge. And we want to challenge them to push that edge further. What that looks like depends on the student. For some it’s pre-calculus as a ninth grader, others it’s a one-on-one conversation with a teacher going through a paper analyzing their written voice. Maybe it’s participating on our afterschool Fusor Team that incorporates math, physics, and project management to successfully make a nuclear fusion reaction happen (yes, this is safe!). For another student it may be finally auditioning for the lead role in a play, or trying Ultimate for the first time, or designing an Independent Study around web design. Finding your edge takes courage and hard work. It also takes a faculty who is willing to support and challenge students in whatever way it makes sense for each student. That ability for real challenge and genuine relationship is why teachers choose to work at Eastside Prep.
We believe an impactful education is one that is rooted in relationship. When we ask the most of students, we need them to also know support is available when needed. This is why our class maximum is 18 and why we intend to stay around 500 students. This is why we have an Advisory Program where each student has an assigned staff member that looks out for them academically, socially, and emotionally. This does not mean we make everything easy. It’s not easy, we are a college prep school. We wouldn’t be preparing our students for what lies ahead if we didn’t encourage them to risk, and learn when they falter. We get to know each student well enough to know how to best support their efforts here – whether it’s a nudge to take that extra class, an individual check-in meeting, our Learning Support Program, a hard conversation about accountability, or simply words of encouragement. Our goal is to help them become the best version of themselves.
Eastside Prep is a college preparatory school; it is assumed that students will be able to manage a homework load commensurate with a college preparatory curriculum. The amount shifts by age. Middle School students report homework load in the 30 to 90 minute range, depending on how they use their supervised study hall. Upper School students may choose to have one or two study periods per trimester. Their homework load ranges from two to three hours depending on what their study period structure looks like and how efficiently they work. As a school, we are committed to homework being meaningful. It will either reinforce concepts learned that day or is preparation for what will occur in the class meeting. We are also committed to providing a communication tool so parents and students know when homework is due. We use an online system called Canvas to achieve this goal and all homework assignments are posted a week prior to the due date. Every student has study periods built into their weekly schedule. Teachers work with all students to improve study, research, and organizational skills so they can complete their homework as efficiently as possible. We also believe community engagement outside of the classroom is an important component of student development, so homework should not consume all available hours after school.
EPS students attend a wide range of colleges and universities after they cross the graduation stage – art schools, engineering programs, small liberal arts, Ivy league schools, large state schools, and everything in between. We emphasize student ownership of the process and celebrate all school choices equally. Each fall we have college admissions representatives visit our school to give info sessions to students and for college counselors to keep reps updated on our school and academic programs. In addition, Eastside Prep is a part of a consortium with other Seattle independent high schools where only the students from those schools are able to attend a private college fair in the fall. Our college counseling program is individualized, so each student receives tailored advice on how to search for colleges and what schools might be a good fit for them. Every EPS student is assigned a College Process Coach in their sophomore year and an additional Writing Coach to help them and their families navigate their junior and senior year.
We define diversity in the broadest sense of the word, from economic to ethnic to cultural to personality to family composition. Though we are intentionally on the smaller side of the independent school options in the Seattle area, we are proud that many different kinds of families are represented in our student body. Economic diversity is promoted through our financial aid program with awards ranging from partial to full scholarship. More information about financial aid can be found HERE. Forty-five percent of our community comes from a non-Caucasian ethnic background, making us one of the more diverse secondary independent schools in the Seattle area. The ethnicities represented in our community are reflective of the demographic landscape of the Eastside area. Each year we participate in the Independent School Fair for People of Color, and work with Rainier Scholars to broaden recruitment efforts in the diverse communities around Seattle. For more information please visit their website at: https://www.rainierscholars.org/
We have several goals in mind when we set the tuition each year. First, we want to attract and retain the best teachers and compensate them well. Second, we have a campus that has grown as our student body has expanded and we continue to develop our facilities as needed. Our tuition is comparable to that of other Seattle area independent schools, and, as with those other schools, tuition covers only a portion of actual operating costs each year. All independent schools make up that difference and fund programs like financial aid though an Annual Fund drive. EPS is committed to offering need-based financial aid to those who qualify. Approximately 10% of our students receive financial aid.
We require applicants to take an admissions entrance exam but do not require that the take the SSAT specifically. We prefer to receive SSAT score but we will also accept ISEE scores without it affecting an admissions decision. Applicants must take the SSAT or the ISEE for the current year and have the scores sent to us. Our SSAT code is 2949 and our ISEE code is 481714. These exams provide teachers a common baseline to assess where students are in their learning. While we consider the these scores as part of the application process, we would not decline a student on the basis of his or her score alone. January is the last test date that will ensure test scores reach us in time for an Upper School applicant. February is the last test date that will ensure test scores reach us in time to be included in a Middle School applicant’s file.