Welcome to Parent Tips!
We are proud members of the Parent Ambassador Team, which works with IWA’s admissions office to share our experience with prospective parents and family members.
How can we help?
We know that the process of applying and transitioning into high school can be an overwhelming process, and as current parents, we are eager to share our knowledge with those who are in the midst of decision-making. We have thought about our experience with our daughter’s selection, application, and transition into IWA, and have the following words to share on behalf of the rest of the Parent Ambassador Team. We hope you find these insights useful - please feel free to reach out with any additional questions that you have!
- Christie Birney (Kingwood), Katy Theroux (West U), Laura Moody (League City), Elizabeth York (Heights), and Gilda Mendoza (Southeast Houston)
What advice would you give about the decision-making process of selecting a high school for your student?
- "Take a tour with your daughter during the school day. It allows them to see some classes and teachers in action and it was priceless for our daughter and our whole family. Giving your daughter a chance to get a look at the students' faces during a class or hear a teacher's comments about an upcoming class in a brief chat can make all the difference. Your daughter can sense the happiness and vitality in the halls, and you can experience that with her! You will be able to guide some of the driving questions about curriculum and interests, and so forth, while seeing it all in action!" - Christie
"Developing a list of criteria for selection is always helpful. Also, each school is going to have a certain 'feel' to it. Try to identify what makes the student 'feel' most comfortable. Attending an Open House or taking a personal tour is very useful in helping to identify that "feel." Finally, parental concerns such as logistics and cost need to be addressed between parents and the student and the school". - Gilda
- "Letting your daughter experience the classroom and school environments through shadowing is very important. Have conversations with your daughter and really listen to what she is interested in seeing in high school and help guide her to the right place. Be honest with yourself about what is important to your daughter." -
What tips would you give regarding the application process?
- "Once accepted, make sure to plan for the placement testing to gauge appropriate level for math and languages. Talk to the counselors if you think your daughter needs more/less challenge, that is what they are there for and they are more than willing to help." -Katy
"The Freshman essay is a great way for the girls to write about who they are and they will be able to build upon this for college essays. I also encourage parents to make themselves familiar with the scholarships and other opportunities that their daughter will be able to apply for." -Laura
What has been your favorite experience with IWA so far?
"My favorite experience with IWA so far has been every evening when my daughter returns home. Every single day I see or hear so many positive adventures throughout her day that I can't wait to hear what happens the next day. Truly. From compassionate teachers who really make an impact on their students in every area to hearing about yet another meaningful activity or outing or just a mention of what new and old friends and peers accomplished during the day, every day has been a beautiful experience for our daughter and our entire family!" - Christie
- "I have enjoyed witnessing the beautiful holiness at an all-school Mass and eventually graduation. It is so moving to see all girls worshipping together." - Katy
In what ways have you seen IWA positively impact your daughter?
"Although spoken about quite a bit, the leadership focus has really brought our daughter's attention to how important this is and will be in their future. In looking at colleges, we continually hear about what leadership positions the girls have taken on and learned about." - Laura
"Every strength and gift our daughter has been given is positively impacted at IWA! The school offers a well-rounded, high-achieving and thoughtful approach to curriculum and activities, all centered around a solid faith and purpose in life. Because of its location, age, and history, IWA lives and breathes all that it stands for and the students love her and are proud to be a part of such a worthy institution! It brings out the best in our sweet angels, our girls!" -Christie
"Through the rigorous academics and involvement opportunities, my daughter is learning to prioritize and focus more when necessary. She has also become more confident and sure of herself." - Gilda
What other tips or tricks would you give to prospective parents?
"Go to the campuses at different times to get a true sense of the environment. Reach out to others who are interested in possibly applying to get together with current families so parents and daughters can talk directly with current students outside of the school. Our Parent Ambassador socials are a great opportunity to have those conversations!" - Elizabeth
"Attending an open house and shadowing are great ways to really get to know the school environment and the student body. As you experience the schools at different events, remember to keep an open mind as well. Sometimes a school may be much different than our initial perceptions." - Gilda
"Once your daughter has enrolled, I would encourage you to get involved and volunteer at an event to meet other parents. We are all starting over again at a new school, and it is helpful to connect with the school community. Also, come to a school Mass! - Katy