Pat Barry

Mrs. Barry is the former director of Lower School Admissions and Financial Aid at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, New Jersey. Prior to Oak Knoll, she served as the Head of School at Hoboken Montessori School and Director at The Montessori Children’s Academy in Chatham. She is currently Director of Admissions at The Green Vale School in Old Brookville, NY.

Recent Posts

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Posted by Pat Barry on Oct 18, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The question that parents ask me most often is, “Is my child ready for kindergarten?” Every child is unique, and what may work for one child’s development may completely be inappropriate for another. As an admissions administrator, this is a difficult question to answer without having an in-depth knowledge of your child, as well as your family dynamic. It is so very important for each parent to look at their child’s development in areas of social/emotional, physical and educational experience. It may be difficult for a parent to objectively look at their child, so rely on a strong communication with your child’s pre-K teacher to help guide you in this decision.

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Topics: elementary school, kindergarten ready

7 Elementary School Separation Anxiety Tips for Parents

Posted by Pat Barry on Aug 21, 2017 12:00:00 AM

The first few weeks of a new school year are always a time of adjustment and many students (and parents) feel a sense of separation anxiety, which is perfectly normal. Separation anxiety in children is often caused by fear of the unknown when it comes to a new situation or it can relate to something that is happening at home or to something that the child has just experienced before arriving at school. No matter what the cause, it is heart-wrenching to everyone involved. As teachers, we need to be able to nurture the child who is upset, provide support to the parents who feel like they are abandoning their child and also, help the other children feel at ease as they may start feeling anxious with seeing one of their classmates so distressed. As a parent of three, I have experienced my own share of back-to-school jitters and it is extremely challenging. It is one of the hardest things to deal with as a parent, and can be very stressful as a teacher as well. Below are a number of strategies I have developed to help parents along the way. Remember, elementary school separation anxiety is a phase; it is perfectly natural and it will pass.

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Topics: education, elementary school, lower school, back-to-school, parenting, separation anxiety

How to Choose the Right Elementary School for Your Child

Posted by Pat Barry on Mar 3, 2017 12:00:00 AM

Choosing the right school for your child(ren) can be one of the most important decisions you make as a parent. The school you select should – and will – play a pivotal role in the development of your child as they navigate through the most impressionable years of their lives.

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Topics: elementary, elementary school, admissions