FAQ

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you would like further information, please email the Admissions Office at admissions@mka.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

What kind of school is MKA?

MKA is a rigorous college-preparatory, coeducational, independent day school serving 1,020 students in Pre-K–grade 12 on three campuses in Montclair, New Jersey. Our mission is to ensure that our students are well prepared not only for the academic demands of college, but also to be positive, contributing citizens. With excellence in teaching, creativity in curriculum and a highly personal, technology-enriched curriculum, MKA provides the opportunity for every student to develop to his or her maximum potential and meet the real-world challenges ahead.

What differentiates MKA from other independent schools in New Jersey?

MKA reflects the diversity, vibrancy and strong community spirit of its town. In addition to its three age-appropriate campuses (see below), MKA is distinguished by a curriculum unified by Signature Programs in writing, the MKA core and ethics; by a faculty committed to ongoing professional development and excellence; and by the integration of technology into the curriculum. (All students in grades 4–12 are provided with MacBook Air laptops complete with an extensive suite of software.) Students of color make up 29% of our enrollment, and we draw from almost 80 towns.

Why are there three campuses? How does that affect the students?

MKA is the product of a merger of two schools, Montclair Academy and The Kimberley School. Our Primary School (Brookside) is the former Brookside elementary school; the Middle School is the former Kimberley School; and the Upper School is the former Montclair Academy. Having three distinct divisions allows the faculty at each campus to create the appropriate environment and curriculum to meet the needs of the age group they serve. It also means that each campus has its own extensive, age-appropriate facilities, such as libraries, science labs, art rooms, gyms and auditoriums.

How is technology part of the MKA experience?

MKA provides a wireless network community Pre-K–grade 12, and all students enjoy a 1:1 learning environment, with personal MacBook Airs in grades 4–12. MKA is a leader in effectively integrating technology into the curriculum and was recognized as an Apple Distinguished School where students of all ages utilize technology to maximize research and collaborative learning.

What college counseling resources are available to students?

Beginning a relationship with students and parents during the freshman year, MKA's College Counseling Office has four full-time college counselors as well as two additional full-time faculty members dedicated to assisting students interested in athletics and the arts. The remarkable student-counselor ratio that ensures that individuals' needs are met, and MKA consistently places students in the most selective colleges in the country. Click here for more information.

Does MKA provide any extended day care?

Yes. Extended day care is provided both before and after school at the Primary and Middle School campuses, starting at 7:30 AM and ending at 6:00 PM. An extensive range of classes and activities is offered.

Does MKA have a dress code?

Although slightly different at each campus, the dress code can best be described as "smart casual" with khaki pants and collared shirts required for boys, and solid pants or skirts and collared shirts required for girls. Students enjoy regular "dress down" days on which they can wear more casual attire. There is no dress code for students attending Pre-K.

Does MKA provide transportation?

MKA contracts with Station Wagon Services to provide busing from more than 50 local communities at an additional fee.

What qualities does MKA seek in our applicants?

The MKA community welcomes students from a variety of backgrounds, including different family types and cultures. The Admissions Committee values academic fit and fine character and looks carefully for evidence of these in each applicant.

How do I get an application? Can I apply online?

There are three ways to apply: online, by downloading the application and mailing it in, or by contacting the Admissions Office and requesting an application be mailed to you. You may call us at 973-509-7930, and we will be happy to help you.

When is the application deadline?

Applications for the 2017-2018 school year should be submitted by December 16, 2016. Late applications may be accepted depending on availability of spaces. Enrollment deadline is March 17th, 2017 for all grades.

How old should my child be to apply to the early grades?

MKA's guidelines for Pre-K are that boys should be four years old by June 1, girls fours years old by August 1. For kindergarten and first grade, the ages are five and six, respectively. Each child is evaluated based on his or her individual abilities and characteristics, and social fit at this age is an important criterion. The Admissions Committee looks closely at the child whose birthday falls near a cutoff date and will decide placement based on what, in its opinion, is in the best interest of the child.

What if my early childhood applicant does not cooperate during the visit or screening?

MKA's teachers and admissions officers have years of experience working with young children. We are able to work effectively with virtually all our applicants, but we recognize that young children can have difficult days. On those rare occasions when a child is unable to complete the visit or screening appointment, we will ask the child to return on another day.

When should I apply for financial aid?

Financial aid applications should be submitted at the same time as the admissions application. We will notify you of both the admissions and financial aid decisions at the same time. Please remember that MKA is not able to offer financial assistance until grade 4.

What can my child expect on his/her visit day?

Depending on the campus, your student can expect the following:

At the Primary School:

Pre-K applicants visit on a Saturday morning in January with other Pre-K applicants; they return for a short weekday one-to-one screening.

Prospective kindergartners visit a peer classroom for an hour and a half on a weekday, and they participate in a one-to-one screening either on the same day or on another weekday.

Applicants for grades 1–3 spend a full weekday in a peer classroom and participate in a one-to-one screening during the visit.

At the Middle and Upper School Campuses:

Each visit begins with a campus tour, followed by attending classes with a student host and meeting with an admissions officer.

When I try to log in to see my child's application status, the system says it can't find the username. How can I log in?

Make sure you are not logging in on the site's home page; that login is for MKA community members. Applicants must log in from the Admissions section. Scroll to the top of this page, and click on the right-hand button that says, "Applicant Login."

I'm having trouble downloading the application form.

You can either try accessing it through a different browser (for instance, if you're looking in Safari, try Firefox instead) or drag the form onto your desktop and open it from there.

What if my grade 9 applicant will not have completed Algebra 1 before the end of grade 8?

MKA offers an approved summer course in Algebra 1 at the Middle School campus and accepts some other summer school options. Please call the Admissions Office for more details. Such a course typically lasts six weeks (late June–early August) and costs $1,000–$1,500.

What if my child is transferring to the Upper School and has already received a varsity letter at his/her current high school?

All student athletes who received a varsity letter will be required to sit out the first 30 days of that sport's regular season unless the student moved to another public secondary-school district. The clock starts with the first regular-season contest. Children are allowed to participate in practices and scrimmages. Children who received varsity letters in multiple sports are required to sit out the first 30 days in each of those sports. This rule does not apply to junior varsity letters. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Admissions Office.

What if my child is passionate about athletics and has at least a few years of experience in his/her respective sports?

Our goal in the Admissions Office is to connect prospective student athletes with our varsity coaches as soon as possible. Please call the Admissions Office at 973-509-4858, or send an email message to admissions@mka.org, telling us about your child’s sports experience, including the teams and number of years he or she has played and any honors or awards.

If you have not inquired yet, call the Admissions Office or fill out our online inquiry form: https://application.mka.org/info-request.

What if my child is passionate about the fine or performing arts?

The Admissions Office wants to help prospective students interested in the arts showcase their work to our amazing faculty. Please note that the following information is not required as part of the admissions process. It is merely an option to help the Admissions Office and the Fine & Performing Arts Department identify artists.

If you have a child with experience in the fine arts: Please email admissions@mka.org with information about the child's fine arts experience as well as jpegs or a link to a website that shows the student's work.

If you have a child with experience in music (vocal and/or instrumental): Please email admissions@mka.org with information about the child's musical experience, and provide a link to a website or mail a compact disc or digital videodisc to the Admissions Office, 201 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ 07042.

If you have a child with experience in dance and/or theater: Please email admissions@mka.org with information about the child's dance or theater experience, and provide a link to a website or mail a digital videodisc to the Admissions Office, 201 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ 07042.

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