Your Sixth Grader is ready to apply the skills and confidence they have gained at PMFS, and PMFS is committed to accompanying you and them in finding the right school for 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 the transition to Seventh Grade 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: Neighborhood, City Wide, Special Admission, and Charter schools.
  • Begin attending open houses or requesting 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.

Fall of Sixth Grade:

  • Set the tone at home.
    • Be calm, cool, collected.
    • If you are anxious, your child will be anxious.
  • Attend Seventh Grade planning meeting(s)
    • Leann will summarize the seventh 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.
  • Attend individual parent meeting with PMFS teachers.
    • Sixth Grade teacher Leann and Head of School Brenda discuss options that meet each student’s learning needs and family’s culture.
  • Get ready for the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) if you are considering private school.
    • Sign your child up for the after-school ISEE Enrichment Course, led by Leann, starting in late September.
    • Register your child for the ISEE test. Take the test at PMFS in November or at a time and location convenient to your family (more details in the ISEE section below).
  • 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.
  • Track important dates and requirements.
    • Plan ahead; you’d be surprised how long each step can take.
    • Philadelphia Special Admission and City Wide schools have an October or November deadline!
    • Each independent school will have different requirements and deadlines.

General Sixth Grade Timeline

September/October:

  • Attend 7th Grade Transitions Meeting(s) and individual parent meetings
  • Sign-up for the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) Enrichment Course with Leann
  • Create system to track dates and deadlines (i.e., chart, spreadsheet, calendar)
  • Visit schools
  • Make school application choices; submit Intention info to PMFS
  • Arrange student visits at independent schools
  • if applicable, check with School District of Philadelphia for current year deadlines for Voluntary Transfer Applications
  • Sign up for ISEE test at PMFS or elsewhere (begin work on accommodations ASAP with Learning Specialist Maura)
  • Students, with teacher assistance, select samples of their work for PMFS Student Work Portfolio, to use to spur conversation at student interview

November:

  • Submit signed records release forms and signed recommendation forms to PMFS
  • Begin any financial aid applications
  • Take ISEE test

December:

  • Submit all applications to independent schools (recommended)
  • 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

January 15 – February 1:

Independent schools notify families about admission

March 1:

Deadline to accept offer of independent-school admission (most independent schools)

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:

Submit Records Transfer Request 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 Saturday, November 14, 2020. Read on for more information and approaching registration deadlines (Register early for the lowest price; speak with PMFS even earlier if you are applying for testing accommodations!).

What is the ISEE?

The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE), administered by the not-for-profit ERB (Educational Records Bureau), is 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 14, 2020 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.

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.

What should I do if my child may benefit from accommodations during the exam?

Families of students with documented learning differences or physical disabilities may request approval from ERB for testing accommodations like extended time, use of a calculator or assistance reading the exam.  PMFS is a test site able to provide approved accommodations.  Families should begin this process as soon as possible it the fall. To begin:

  1. Read about ISEE Accommodations.
  2. Contact PMFS Learning Specialist Maura Sutherland to discuss which accommodations are available and would benefit your student.
  3. Please note that the ISEE registration process is different for those requesting accommodations.  You must create an online account and make the accommodation request before registering for the test.

How do I register for the ISEE, administered at PMFS?

Follow the directions below 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.” See above for what to do about accommodations.
  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 and prices for registration?

ERB states that registration is available up to three weeks before the test. Late registration and phone registration are available for an additional fee; late registrations may be made up to two weeks before the test.

2020 Deadlines

Regular registration deadline for 11/14/20 test
(three weeks before test date)
October 24 ONLINE registration: $125
October 24 PHONE registration: $150
Late registration deadline for 11/14/20 test
(two weeks before test date)
November 3 ONLINE registration: $155
November 3 PHONE registration: $180

Students who are applying for testing with accommodations need up to five weeks for approval by ERB; parents should contact Learning Specialist Maura Sutherland ASAP to inquire about this process.

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?

  • For questions about registering for the test: Contact Maura Sutherland
  • (610.828.2288 x248 or mauras@pmfs1780.org)
  • For questions about content of the test: Contact Leann Stover Nyce (leannsn@pmfs1780.org)
  • For questions about accommodations during the test: Contact Maura Sutherland (610.828.2288 x248 or mauras@pmfs1780.org)

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 7th Transition Intention Sheet. Turn this form in to the Main Office by the end of October so that we can better assist you during the transition process.

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

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

The School District of Philadelphia uses an online application system for Philadelphia Special Admission Schools, City Wide, and Neighborhood Schools.  Go to the Transferring to the School District of Philadelphia section of this site for links and details.

Charter Schools in Philadelphia

To look up a specific charter school and find out its requirements, contact information, and reports, go to https://www.philasd.org/charterschools/directory

Need a form? Don’t see it here?

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