Enrollment Office

Deanna Bocchetti
Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid
(302) 892-4323

Alissa J. McGrisken
Associate Director of
Enrollment and Financial Aid
(302) 892-4296

Pam Brice
Admissions Associate
(302) 892-4285

Admissions Blog

The Office of Enrollment at The Tatnall School hopes to provide you insight into the admissions, financial and onboarding process by providing tips and tricks through a blog platform. Our goal is to ease your worries and help you sail through the process, which can seem a bit tricky to navigate at times. To register for our blog updates, please click here.

If you have any questions throughout the application process, please feel free to reach out to The Office of Enrollment. We are here to support you and your family!

List of 5 items.

  • 6th Grade for a Day

    Have you ever had those moments when you wish you could just relive your childhood? Well, today, I got to put “adulting duty” aside for at least part of the day, to reclaim the joys of being a 6th grade student and IT WAS AWESOME!

    You, much like our 6th grade students, may be wondering why I did this. The truth is that as an admissions associate, it is my job to be one of the storytellers of Tatnall. What better way is there to get the story of life in 6th grade than to live it for myself? Thus, this is where my 6th grade journey began.

    At 7:30 a.m. I arrived at school and dropped off my things in the office, let my colleagues know I was off to be a 6th grade student for the day, and that is where adulting temporarily ended and being a studious young adult quickly came back to me. Heading into the Beekley Lobby, I was a bit nervous about re-introducing myself to my 6th grade buddy, but she quickly put me at ease and began introducing me to her friends. She even quietly asked me to explain to her friends why I was shadowing with her because she was getting a lot of questions. Before I knew it, 7:45 a.m. came and we headed to the lockers to prepare for our day.

    8:00 a.m is the official start of the day in middle school. It was nice to have fifteen minutes to chat with friends, organize the locker, and then head to advisory. Three days a week school begins with Morning Meeting, and two days a week we begin with advisory. Advisory is a little mini family within the large middle school community, where advisors have an opportunity to talk about things like internet safety, keeping lockers neat and organized, and other miscellaneous topics that come up unexpectedly. In my advisory, we spent some time discussing how people deal with grief and how we can show empathy. One of the student’s dogs had recently passed away and the 6th grade class decided to write a card for that student. It was touching to watch the advisory teacher address the concerns of the students in such a caring and thoughtful way and to watch the students empathetically debate the best approach for helping their classmate through this difficult time. 

    At 8:15 a.m. we were off to history where students were working on creating posters for the Daisy values, including integrity, empathy, citizenship, and more. The objective was to share how they have demonstrated these values in their personal lives. This activity was a part of a larger project where students had to explore their family history. Often students think of history as memorization of dates and names; however, through these projects, students discovered the importance of connecting with their personal history to better understand the importance of studying world history. 

    At 9:05 we journeyed to music class. In middle school students alternate daily between chorus and band. I had the privilege of sitting in on a chorus class, soaking in the music our 6th grade students were working on in preparation for the Winter Concert. From singing in French to chanting “Old King Cole,” it was motivating to see our students dive in with every fiber of their being.

    At 10:00 a.m. back at our lockers, we donned our coats and ventured outside for recess. Whether they circled up for some conversation, played on the beloved Gaga court, or headed onto one of our nature paths to build a fort, being outside was truly awesome. It reminded me that in our adult world, going outside for even a short window of time is so healthy for the mind, body, and soul.

    At 10:15 a.m. science class and I was welcomed to the world of bugs, bugs, and more bugs! Our students were deeply involved with putting the finishing touches on their bug identification project, though they were very kind to entertain my plethora of questions. Some were beautifying their displays, while others were busy identifying and labeling specimens. Our students certainly took pride in their work and aimed to meet the highest standards of the grading rubric.

    11:10 a.m. brought a change of pace with physical education. Unfortunately, my admissions duties pulled me away for a tour, but when I caught up with my 6th grade buddy I was informed that, as usual, it was a fun and engaging class. Students rotate each day between art and PE/Health and they equally look forward to both.

    12:00 p.m. is lunchtime! Our 6th grade Hornets took to lunch while I took to emails! However, I must tell you, lunch here at Tatnall is fantastic. Middle School students eat together in Beekley Commons and either bring lunch or purchase lunch from the Tatnall Caffe. Lunchtime provides a welcome mental break for our students and a nice break to socialize and catch up with friends. 

    12:30 p.m. is “Read and Review,” a block of time for students to meet in their advisory classroom to study and meet with teachers for extra help. Additionally, Read and Review helps our students prepare for Upper School where they will have to manage their time, be productive in study halls and open periods, and see teachers when they have questions or need additional help.

    1:05 p.m. we took our seats in math class and my host took a test. Since it was after the Read and Review period, my host had used the time to study with her classmates and so she was feeling confident. I didn’t want to be a distraction, so I did not attend math. However, it would have been fun to flex my Pre-Algebra thinking and give the test a go!

    Before I knew it, 2:00 p.m. arrived and it was the last period of the day. In language arts, we worked together on independent and dependent clauses. It was wonderful to watch students engage with their teacher and one another openly. There was no fear of being wrong, just a genuine desire to want to understand the material. 

    Poof, 2:45 p.m came and the academic day was complete. Because the schedule rotates and one period drops off each day, I missed attending world language class today. I’m making a note to visit again when my buddy attends French class. 

    As I headed back to my admissions world, our 6th grade students headed to athletic practices, extended day or home. It was an incredible experience to see the life our 6th grade students live each and every day, surrounded by professionals who not only adore them but are fully invested in their growth and development socially, emotionally and academically. Tatnall truly lives its promise of exceptional academics, athletics, and arts in the comfort of a family setting where “all things are (done) in love.”
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  • What’s Love Got To Do With A Tatnall Education?

    “Omnia in caritate” - “All things (done) in love” is the motto of The Tatnall School. When you take a moment to consider this simple phrase in terms of education, it is quite profound. Often when we speak of education and mission you hear all of the modern educational buzz terms… college preparatory, individualized, hands-on, engaging, etc. Tatnall offers all of this and so much more. What is special about Tatnall is that the heart of “why” and “how” we educate our students  is based on the foundation of love. We believe that education cannot happen without love at its core.

    The Tatnall triangle, which is at the epicenter of who we are, represents EXCELLENCE in academics, arts and athletics. Our focus on and devotion to developing students in all three areas is only the beginning of what sets us apart from other institutions. When you add LOVE to every facet of what we do and how we do it, our students are able to soar in the exploration of who they are and what they want for their future.

    In Early Childhood you cannot help but to be taken by the dedication and adoration our teachers have for our students. Not only are we helping our youngest Hornets develop foundational and critical academic skill sets, we are also instilling character and citizenship skills that will help them throughout their lifetime. We are not only educators, but we are also caretakers, mentors  and so much more to our little busy bees.

    In the Lower School, our students continue to build upon their educational skills  as they identify as scientists, mathematicians, engineers, musicians, and so much more. Our first and second graders learn about global cultures, our third graders create mini societies, our 4th graders complete in the Stock Market Challenge and our 5th graders attempt to solve global issues through the World Peace Game. In bringing programming like this to Tatnall, our teachers bring to life the curriculum providing our students with opportunities to apply their knowledge to solve real world problems; teaching them to be empathetic and to understand the concept of global citizenship. Going above and beyond the call of duty to bring premier educational programming to our students is love in its purest form.

    In the Middle School, you will find an environment where children are engaged  and actively collaborate and contribute. Students are moving developmentally from an adult-centered perspective to a wider view of the world where their own ideas and interactions with peers are crucial. To meet their growing need for independence, students have more choice and are encouraged to ask questions and seek understanding. The Tatnall Middle School provides  a safe space where students are valued for who they are and pushed to excel and develop into who they want to become. Love is what breathes life into our Middle School.

    In the Upper School, our students are deeply invested in developing their academic skills while honing their interests for their post secondary education and careers. It is an exciting time of exploration and development but can also easily become overwhelmed by a full schedule and course load. Our faculty  is devoted to helping our students forge  their path through rigorous coursework, advisory guidance, and a four-year curriculum-based college guidance program. Our students confidently navigate grades 9-12 with the love and support of our administration, staff and faculty. Love lives in the in-between moments that help students find who they are and what they want for their future.

    Though Tatnall students are pushed academically at every stage of development, our focus is on relationship building and character development. With advisors, one-on-one student and teacher interactions, and community gatherings; Tatnall students are enveloped into our community as family. We know our students and we encourage them to be the best versions of themselves, as we prepare  them, to leave our nest and become future leaders of the world. We are confident that our graduates will go on to serve our communities with EXCELLENCE and LOVE. This is what Tatnall makes “the family school” whose motto is “all things (done) in love.”

    “Tatnall is not just a school, it’s a way of life.”
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  • Where Do We Begin the High School Admissions Process?

    We often receive phone calls from parents who are new to the high school admissions process, anxious to simply know, “Where do I begin?” Having so many high school options available to your child is a good thing, but it can also seem daunting as to how do you even begin to narrow down your choices. Each child has independent, public, charter, and secular options available to them. To further complicate things, each option may have its own requirements; choice in, applying, auditioning, testing, interviewing, etc. We’d like to offer you some insights into the best ways to use admissions and school programming to help your family narrow down your list of school options.
    Begin the Conversation Early
    Beginning a conversation early does not mean you have to formally sit down in the 6th grade with your child and begin creating a list of schools they think they are interested in. Instead, this can mean;
     (1) Casually speaking with other families whom you know have older children already in high school. This is a great way to get “everyday” information from a current family. There is nothing better than a personal reference.
    (2) In admissions, we find students begin making their high school choices in early middle school. What this means to you, read between the lines of what your child talks about in regards to high school. Ask them where the students in the grade above them went; how their friends who graduated from their current school now enjoy their current school, etc. It has the potential to really help you to begin mentally creating a list of schools to check out further.
    Even if your child is currently in the 8th grade, it is not too late to “begin the conversation early.” You will find talking with current high school families and to your child about the buzz in 8th grade, may help you to begin developing a list.
    Open House
    We love when we see 6th and 7th grade students at Open House who are looking for grades 9-12! It is not too early and we welcome having students of this age visit us for Open House. If your child is in 8th grade and has not yet been to an Open House, it is OKAY!
    If your child is remotely interested in any school, you should absolutely attend their Open House. It can be time-consuming, but it is important. Keep in mind, each school is putting on their “best” for the day. But if you are seeing their best and know in your heart it is not right for your child, you just saved your family a lot of time!
    When visiting an Open House, come prepared with questions. If they are not answered from the tour, talking with students, faculty, staff, administration or through the information session, be sure to get them answered before you leave or follow up with an email. This is a chance for you and your family to see the whole school in action. You will absolutely leave knowing if the school is worthy of moving forward in the process or not.
    The Tatnall School’s Open House will be held on Saturday, October 26th from 10:00 - 12:00 p.m. We recommend that you plan to stay for the duration of the event. We have interactive tours, a Club, Sport, Art and Activity fair in the gymnasium and an opportunity to visit with all Academic and Business Offices. You can register by clicking here.
    Shadow for a Day
    A shadow visit is when your child “shadows” a current student in the high school, throughout their entire academic day. At first it can be nerve racking for both you and your child, but we cannot overestimate the significance of this day. There is something special about seeing the internal working of a school, the bond between students and faculty and the spirit of the campus that cannot be witnessed without spending the day as a shadow student. Your child will come home either knowing it is the school they want to attend, knowing it is in the running, or knowing it is not the right fit. If they have an “I’m not sure” visit, you can ask the school to re-shadow.
    The shadow program at The Tatnall School is called “Hornet for a Day.” Our program begins on October 1st and is offered most weeks, Tuesday - Friday. To register, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
    Personal Tour
    If you are unable to attend Open House, or if you have follow up items that you want to discuss in person, you can always call the admissions office to set up a tour and meeting. This is a great opportunity to get the one on one time that you may need and it will certainly help your family to decide if you would like to move on in the admissions process.

    Click here to schedule a tour online or call (302) 892-4296.
    Visiting During a Campus Event
    Is your child an athlete, musician, actor or actress, or a combination of all of the above? Being a student is a holistic experience, it is not just about academics; thus, another fantastic way to see if a school is a good fit is to attend a campus wide event. You will get a sense of the “spirit” of the campus. It can truly help you and your child to see if the school you are interested in “feels like home.”
    The Tatnall School welcomes you to visit us for a home game and/or an upcoming concert and play. If there is an admission fee, we will send you a free ticket. To see our home game schedule, please visit www.hornets-sports.com.
    We hope amongst all of these peaks into a school atmosphere, you and your family can begin to narrow down your list of top choices. Once you have that list, you will want to review each of the school’s admissions processes, register for any upcoming testing dates and begin completing the application. 

    We hope to see you on campus soon!
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  • All About Shadowing

    A shadow, or Hornet for a Day visit, is an opportunity for your child to follow a current Tatnall student through the academic day and experience what school life is like as a part of our community. The value of a shadow visit cannot be replicated in an open house or personal tour; there is no substitute for full-day immersion and peer-to-peer experience.  I say time and again, “shadowing is the most important decision-making tool for your child” and have heard numerous times about school plans changing after spending the day with us. The notion that “Tatnall felt like home” during a shadow day was the sentiment that ultimately upended the intended plans of many families. 
    A good shadow program offers students a peek into every facet of an institution: the culture of the school, the relationship between upper and lower grade students, the rapport between students and educators, the pulse of the administration and staff, the rigor of academic programming, the care in the appearance of the school, the quality and appeal of the food, the welcomeness of coaches, the extensiveness of the arts program, and so much more. Spending the day with us, meeting new friends and integrating into the Tatnall “way of life” is worth your child missing a day at their current school. No other experience will help your child find their next academic and social home more than being a Hornet for a Day. 

    After booking the shadow visit, you may have a few questions. Please feel free to reach out to the enrollment team or ask when dropping off. On the day of the visit, first-time visitors (and their parents) are often the most nervous. That’s ok! It’s perfectly natural to be a little nervous when coming to a new school. We will do our best to make everyone feel comfortable and assuage any fears you may have, including having your child “shadow” one, handpicked student in their grade. They will spend the day together, attending classes, having lunch, meeting friends and learning the ropes of a typical day at Tatnall.  At the end of the day, visitors usually have a good sense of whether they want to apply. There are students who may be on the fence after the visit, or (later in the admissions process) they may be struggling to pick between two schools. In these circumstances, we are happy to have your child visit again. Sometimes during the second visit, students feel more comfortable asking specific questions or seeking out particular areas that interest them. And that’s why the option for a re-visit is there. We know that choosing the right school is an enormous task; our goal is that a student leaves knowing whether Tatnall is the right fit for them and their family. 

    The Tatnall School’s shadow program begins October 1st and is offered most weeks, Tuesday - Friday. We offer shadow visits for all interested students from PK3- Grade 11. Visit our website for a list of available dates to select for your first and second choice visit date. You can register for Hornet for a Day byclicking here, or by calling The Office of Enrollment at (302) 892-4296 .
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  • Registering for the Entrance Exam

    The Tatnall School requires all students applying for grades 6-12, to take either the ISEE or SSAT entrance exam. If your child is interested in multiple schools, it may become confusing regarding which exam they have to take for which school. The number one question we receive is whether or not it is possible to take one exam for multiple schools.

    What if we are applying to multiple schools?
    If your child is applying to another private school, they likely accept the ISEE or SSAT; thus, when registering for one of these exams, you may list multiple schools to receive the score report. In this case, they do not need to sit for the same exam in multiple locations!

    If your child is applying to a catholic high school, they will have to take the HSPT. There are four Catholic high schools that share exam results, so be sure to check in with each school about their requirements before registering. If your child is applying to a catholic private school or a charter school, it is likely that each of those schools have their own exams. Thus, depending upon your child’s list of schools, they may end up sitting for multiple exams.

    Tatnall Registration Dates & Instructions
    The ISEE is offered at The Tatnall School on Saturday, November 9th. Click here to register for the exam through ISEE.

    The SSAT is offered at The Tatnall School on all of the below dates. Click here to register for the exam through SSAT. For more information on the SSAT, click here to view "SSAT At A Glance."
    Saturday, November 16th
    Saturday, December 14th
    Saturday, January 4th
    *If your family is in need of a fee-waiver for either of these exams, please contact admissions@tatnall.org with your fee-waiver request.

    Testing Accommodations
    If your child has a documented learning difference that requires special accommodations, please be sure to note this at the time of registration for both the ISEE and SSAT. You will NOT be able to make changes after registering. Testing accommodation requests will need to be approved by ISEE and SSAT during the registration process. 

    Preparing for the Exam
    Please note that your child’s education thus far, has prepared them for both the ISEE and SSAT. However, to help ease your worries, both ISEE and SSAT offer on-line resources to help your child get acclimated with the type of questions they will encounter and the format of the exam. Please click the links below for each respective exam, in order to access those on-line resources.

    Please feel free to reach out to The Office of Enrollment with any questions regarding registering for the ISEE or SSAT. We are here to support your family!
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The Tatnall School

The Tatnall School is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in PK3 through Grade 12 located in Wilmington, Delaware.