We require all families to attend an open house in order to file an application for the Dillon Center. We request that families attend an open house the year prior to their child’s desired attendance. For instance, if a family wants its child to attend our 3-year-old program in the fall of 2011, then that family should attend an open house in the fall of 2010.
Note about open houses: All families must attend an open house in order to apply to Dillon. They last approximately 1 hour and include an introduction to the philosophy and mission of the preschool, a question and answer period and a tour of the building. Reservations are required. Please call 718.940.5678 after Labor Day to make a reservation.
We begin to register families (by telephone or in person) for open houses immediately after Labor Day. Please do not call earlier than this time, because we do not take names prior to that. We take registrations for our open houses on a first-come-first-served basis and all applications are numbered. We ask that parents do not bring children to the open house, the bulk of which take place during the month of October.
Once a family has attended an Open House and filed an application, it will receive an invitation to bring the child in for a “play date/visit,” most of which will happen during the month of January. We ask that only one parent accompany the child on this day, due to the size of our room. There will be several children and their parents in the room, which will have a myriad of toys and activities for the children to enjoy. The director and at least one other Dillon staff member will circulate throughout the room, visiting with each parent and child. It is in no way a formal evaluation procedure and we don’t want parents to be nervous about it. We have very minimal expectations for the children’s interaction with us, because after all, we will be strangers to them. We will actually be paying attention to their interaction with their parents and perhaps with the other children, if that occurs. The domains of development that we will consider are motor, social and cognitive/language.
On rare occasions, the director may have a concern about whether the Dillon Center is the proper environment for a child. Clearly this is the most important factor in any screening process. In this event, the director will speak to the parent privately immediately following the visit. At this point the parent can provide input about typical behavior patterns and the like. It is possible that another visit may be arranged.
However, if the Director has not expressed concerns about the appropriateness of the Dillon Center for a particular child and if the family is not wait-listed, then this family can be assured that they “have a spot” for the following Fall if they desire one. We ask that families notify us at their earliest opportunity if they decide against registering for the Dillon Center, because then we can contact a family on our wait list.
The Dillon Center complies with registration guidelines of all of the independent private schools in Brooklyn. Registration takes place in March. It is on a first-come-first-served basis. Therefore, even though a family is assured a spot for its child, it is not assured a spot in the classroom of its choice. For example, we have a limited number of morning 3-year-old spots and some families will need to register for afternoon 3-year-old spots.
Each year, we have a limited number of spots in our 4-year-old and kindergarten programs for children who have not attended the Dillon Center previously. Families of these children must understand that we give priority to our returning families, who are able to register for the next school year in February. They must attend an open house, file an application and bring their child to a scheduled visit (as noted above) and then wait to be invited to register, depending on how many spots we have available following our internal registration of returning 3-year-olds.