Upper school applicants shadow students on campus

Lauren Kim

All sophomore and junior applicants to Harvard-Westlake who have interviewed so far have participated in a shadow day offered by the Office of Admission from the beginning of November to the end of February.

Upper school applicants are given 20-minute tours with their interviews, and last year, the Office of Admission began offering applicants an opportunity to shadow a Student Ambassador for two periods, Associate Director of Admission Nancy Jeon ’89 said.

At the Middle School, in addition to elongating the tours from 15 to 40 minutes, the Office of Admission began an official shadow program this year for incoming seventh graders, letting them shadow for two periods.

“We’re really giving them 90 minutes when they come for their interview,” Jeon said. “But some families do want one more visit, so the shadow days for two periods are another option. Space is limited. We don’t want to disrupt student life at school.”

Jeon said that participating in a shadow day will not positively or negatively affect an applicant’s chances of being accepted. The application deadline is Jan. 16, however, she is wary of the popularity of the shadow day programs on both campuses.

“We want to be respectful of other schools and our own teachers,” Jeon said. “My personal feeling is that it’s a service we’re providing, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I’m hoping that it’s good for some kids, but it doesn’t become something everybody wants, because we won’t be able to accommodate.”