Can Get a Kid Into Kindergarten?

In the most recent issue of Philadelphia Magazine, Christy Speer writes about the challenge of getting a Philly-area kid into a good public school—not so easy in a town where “good public school” (admittedly subjective, but still) describes only a handful of places, including McCall, Meredith and Penn Alexander. As for parents who can afford private schools, gaining a place can be an exercise in glad-handing and subterfuge that starts when the yet-to-be-named child is still in the womb. But as Christine Lennon points out in the March issue of Town & Country, real estate websites like can give some parents a leg up.

According to Lennon’s “Manners & Misdemeanors” column, telling a private school how rich you are and how much you’ll donate if your child is admitted is a no-no. Too gauche. But private schools would prefer parents to be wealthy, of course, so they’ll do research of their own:

There are infinite ways for schools to learn about their applicants and to ferret out who the potential big givers are without saying a word, thanks to the vast amount of information available online. Did you ever write your address on the application? Then you have to thank for revealing how much you paid for your home and when.

If your address is, say, 1234 Country Club Road in Gladwyne, it can’t hurt for schools to see on Zillow that your house was once listed at $6 million and that it was sold by Kurfiss Sotheby’s. That means you’re all about class, baby. And it sounds like your baby will be going to Shipley.