As you prepare to make the next step in your child’s educational life, we at PMFS are here to help you with the process of finding the right school for them to attend in Seventh Grade. Whether you are considering an independent or public school for your child, the following information will guide you through the multi-step process.

Where Do Our Graduates Go After PMFS?

Quaker “” The majority of our graduates continue on to other Quaker schools. Within this group, the largest percentage attend Abington Friends, Germantown Friends, and William Penn Charter.

Public “” This category includes local public, charter, magnet, and special admission schools.

Independent “” Nine percent of our graduates attend non-Quaker independent schools. The majority of these attend Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.

Step-by-Step Guide

Click on the headers below to learn what you need to know to navigate Seventh Grade Placement with ease.

First Steps

Spring of Fifth Grade:

  • Explore local public, private and parochial options.
    • Check the links under the Transfer and Application Process section below to learn more about local school choices.
    • For Philadelphia residents, learn more about the different types of options within the School District: citywide admission, charter, special admission and neighborhood schools.
  • Consider attending spring open houses or request tours.
    • Many families choose to attend spring open houses and take tours of local schools while classes are still in session. This can give your family food for thought over the summer about what options you have and what might be a good match for your family.
  • Attend end-of-year Seventh Grade planning meeting (held in conjunction with Mexico evaluation).
    • Fifth Grade Teacher Leann will summarize the the grade admission process, including ISEE preparation and testing, steps for fall of Sixth Grade, and more. Time is allotted for parent Q&A to help you start this process smoothly.

Fall of Sixth Grade:

  • Set the tone at home.
    • Be calm, cool, collected.
    • If you are anxious, your child will be anxious.
  • Have individual meeting with PMFS teachers.
    • Sixth Grade Teacher Varley will organize a meeting with you in the early fall. Varley, Leann, and PMFS administrators will meet with you to discuss options and steps that meet each families needs.
  • Get ready for the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) if you are considering private school.
    • Consider signing your child up for the 8-week ISEE Enrichment Course, led by Leann, starting in late September.
    • Register your child to take the test at a location convenient to you. We recommend students take the test in November at PMFS (Go to the ISEE section below for more details).
  • Learn about schools and your school options.
    • Do your homework: do online inquiries; talk to friends, students, graduates, families, faculty.
    • Prepare questions for schools: common questions for all schools and unique questions for a particular school.
    • Visit schools: open houses, school functions, tours, sports events.
  • Create a calendar, chart, or spreadsheet to track important dates and requirements.
    • Plan ahead; you’d be surprised how long each step can take.
    • Philadelphia magnet and charter schools have an October or November deadline!
    • Each independent school will have different requirements and deadlines.

General Sixth Grade Timeline

Click here to download this timeline as a checklist.

September:

  • Individual Sixth grade parent meetings: PMFS arranges individual meetings with parents to discuss options and needs for each 6th grader
  • Parents are invited to attend evening event, “Sixth to Seventh Grade Transitions Meeting”, covering private school admission and public school transfer
  • Sign-up period for the 8-week ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) Enrichment Course with Leann (Look for information in Extended Day brochure, sent with Summer packet)
  • Parents create system to track dates and deadlines (i.e., chart, spreadsheet, calendar)

September/October:

  • Families visit schools
  • Families make school application choices
  • Families arrange student visits
  • Parents sign up for ISEE
  • Students select samples of their work for PMFS Student Work Portfolio, to use to spur conversation at student interview

September -November:

ISEE Enrichment Course with Leann takes place

October:

  • Application window opens for Voluntary Transfer Program for School District of Philadelphia (date varies yearly; parents check with School District of Philadelphia for current deadlines)
  • Parents submit Seventh Grade Placement Worksheet to PMFS Main Office by October 25
  • Parents submit signed records release forms and signed recommendation forms to PMFS office (late October into the start of November)
    (Note: Varley and Leann will complete recommendations unless otherwise requested)

November:

  • Varley and Leann begin writing recommendation letters November 1
  • PMFS recommends students take ISEE
  • Financial aid applications open

December:

  • PMFS recommends that all applications are submitted to independent schools
  • PMFS sends Sixth Grade December progress reports to independent schools

December/January:

Students complete student visits and parents complete parent interviews

January:

Independent school financial aid application deadline (school-specific dates)

January/February:

Parents arrange 2nd visits to schools for any 6th graders or parents who feel they need an extra look

February 1:

Independent schools notify families about admission

March 1:

Deadline to accept offer of independent-school admission

March/April:

Parents transferring to Suburban Public Schools enroll students for fall; talk about placement options within the district

“Spring”:

School District of Philadelphia Transfer Status letters are mailed to students’ homes

May 15:

Parents submit PMFS Records Transfer form to PMFS for end-of-year grades and medical information to be forwarded to new school

Transfer & Application Process

Here you will find basic information regarding how to transfer your child to your local public school, or apply to an independent school. Specific dates and processes may differ for each school year.

Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)

Independent schools require standardized test scores as part of the admission process for application to Seventh Grade. PMFS is pleased to be a test site for the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE). PMFS offers a closed session for the test, with only PMFS Sixth Graders permitted to take the test here. PMFS Sixth Graders who intend to take this standardized test will be able to take it in familiar surroundings and with familiar faces as proctors. PMFS is offering the test on two dates: Saturday, November 11, 2017. Read on for more information and approaching registration deadlines (Register by October 21  for the lowest price!).

What is the ISEE?

The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is administered by the not-for-profit ERB (Educational Records Bureau) and used as an admission tool by independent schools. For more information on the test, visit the ISEE website.

We encourage families to read the ISEE FAQs and to check out “What to Expect on the ISEE.”

When and where can my Sixth Grader take the test?

PMFS is pleased to be a test site for the ISEE. We are offering the test to only PMFS Sixth Grade students on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 9:00 am. The test date comes after students’ completion of the optional ISEE Enrichment Course. It will be proctored by our own PMFS staff; Leann will be on site throughout the test. 

If this date does not work for your family, you may search for other dates and locations when you go to the ISEE website and click on “View Test Dates.”

Please note that check in is 30 minutes before the test, at 8:30 am.

How do I register for the ISEE administered at PMFS?

Follow the directions below exactly to register for the ISEE test date at PMFS. PMFS will not show up as an option if you do not search by invitation code.

  1. Go to the online registration site (“admission portal”) https://iseeonline.erblearn.org
  2. Create a parent account according to the ERB instructions (or login if you have previously registered).
  3. Click on “Add Student”; add needed info on your student!
  4. More dialogue appears, under the heading “Next Steps.” DO NOT use the “Does your child need accommodations?” link, even if you wish for such accommodations. DO contact Joyce or Leann ASAP if your child has documentation supporting accommodations or for support in getting accommodations for the test.
  5. SKIP “Search and Register for Available Tests.”
  6. Under “Register By Event Code” enter the private invitation code””sent to Sixth Grade families as an e-mail blast. (Contact Joyce if you need a reminder of the code.)
  7. For “Current Grade…” choose Sixth Grade.
  8. Under “Grade applying for …” choose Seventh Grade.
  9. For “Identify Score Recipients”, we ask you to please designate “Plymouth Meeting Friends School” (member 570447) to receive your child’s scores, along with any schools to which you are applying (NB: you can add more schools later if you are unsure at the time of registration).
  10. Follow order and payment instructions to complete the registration.

What are deadlines for registration?

According to ERB…

Registration Deadlines at School Test Sites:

Registration is available up to three weeks before the test for a fee of $110.00. Late registration is available after the three week deadline has passed up to two weeks before the test date for an additional $25.00.

November 11, 2017 test registrations deadlines:

Regular registration deadline– October 21 ONLINE registration: $110
Late registration deadline– October 28 ONLINE registration: $135
PHONE registration: $135

How can I log back in to add or change schools to receive scores?

Go to the ERB account sign-on page.
Enter the e-mail address used to register for the test and the password you created during registration.

Who do I contact at PMFS with questions about the ISEE?

Test Day Checklist

Remember to bring:

  • verification letter (from ISEE)
  • 2-4 sharpened number 2 pencils
  • 2 blue/black ballpoint pens
  • a drink and snack for two 5-minute breaks (NB: No food or beverages, including candy, gum, or mints, may be consumed during the test)

Leave at home:

  • all electronic devices, cell phones, iPods, calculators, etc.
  • compass, ruler
  • dictionary, thesaurus

Check in time is at 8:30 am, in the Main Building. Bring your verification letter with you to check in. Please arrive promptly. Because we are an official testing site, we are obligated to follow the rules exactly as they are set out by ERB. Once the test is underway, we will not be able to admit late-comers. It is extremely important that you arrive on time (at 8:30), not only for this reason but also so that your child has enough time to settle in and feel ready to start the test.

The test will finish at approximately 12:30 pm. Students will be dismissed from the test room and building once all materials have been collected and accounted for. Parents may wait outside for students to be dismissed as a group.

Forms

PMFS Seventh Grade Placement Worksheet. Turn this form in to the Main Office by October 25 so that we can better assist you during the placement process.

PMFS Request for Transfer of Records. Turn this form in to the Main Office so that we have your permission to forward end-of-year records to your child’s new school. Turn it in by May 15.

ADVIS Common Recommendation Forms

ADVIS Grades 1-8 Recommendation Form
ADVIS Grades 6-12 Recommendation Form

The common recommendation form is accepted by all independent schools who are members of ADVIS (Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools). It must be signed by the parents or guardians and given to the PMFS Main Office, with a request of the school(s) to which it should be sent. The office will distribute it to teachers, who will fill it out confidentially. Please note that Leann and Varley will fill out recommendations unless parents requests otherwise in writing.

School District of Philadelphia Forms & Information

In fall 2015, the School District of Philadelphia moved to an online application system for Philadelphia Special Admission Schools and Neighborhood Schools, so there are no paper forms linked here.  Go to the “Transferring to the School District of Philadelphia” section of this site for more details and deadlines.

Charter Schools in Philadelphia

To look up a specific charter school and find out its requirements, contact information, and reports, go to the Philadelphia Charter Schools Office web site.

For a list of 2017-18 Philadelphia charter schools and a map of their locations by region, click here.

Need a form? Don’t see it here?

Contact the Main Office so that we can update this site to better serve you!