Admissions FAQS

1. What is the admissions process for new families?

The NHSP admissions process consists of two parts:

  • 1) The Application process: Submit an online application ($75) and review the Admissions Checklist that is relevant to your student’s grade level. Please review the Admissions Calendar for important dates and deadlines. Completing these steps ensures your child’s complete application will be given to the Admissions Committee for review and decision. After review, an email will be sent to families to inform them of the decision.
  • 2) The Enrollment process: This process begins after an acceptance decision is given to a family. Families must submit the online enrollment packet in order to secure a spot for their student. Please review the Enrollment Checklist that is relevant to your student’s grade level and the Tuition & Fees for more information on the cost.

2. What is the re-enrollment process for current families?

To ensure their child’s space for the coming school year, our current families receive priority but must complete the Re-Enrollment process in February each year. This process allows the school to know if there are any available spaces to offer to new applicants to the school. Please review the Re-Enrollment Calendar for important dates and deadlines.

Current families with potential new applicants (e.g., a new preschooler) must complete the regular Admissions process as explained in Question 1.

3. Which tests does New Horizon Pasadena use to assess the students during the admissions process?


We would like to meet your preschooler on the tour. If this is not possible, we will need to arrange a special appointment for the child to “Meet the Teacher” after submitting the application.

Gesell Screening

For Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, the Kindergarten teacher conducts the Gesell Developmental Screening. This screening helps us determine the student’s developmental level and readiness in the four domains of development: cognitive, language, motor and social emotional. This process usually takes about 45 minutes.

STAR Testing

For students entering grades 1 and 2, we assess their math and reading skills using the STAR Math and STAR Reading tests. These tests indicate a child’s level of proficiency in these foundational subject areas and is one predictor of success in our academic program. This testing process usually takes about one hour.

SSAT Testing

For students entering grades 3 – 8, the school administers the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) Admissions Testing through Enrollment Management Association.

What is the SSAT?

The SSAT is a standardized test used by admission officers to assess the abilities of students seeking to enroll in an independent school. The SSAT measures the basic verbal, math, and reading skills students need for successful performance in independent schools. It’s an indispensable tool that gives admission professionals an equitable means to assess and compare applicants, regardless of their background or experience.

How are my Scores Compared to Others?

The SSAT uses norm referencing to compare test scores. Norm-Referenced Tests report whether test takers performed better or worse than a hypothetical average student, which is determined by comparing scores against the performance results of a statistically selected group of test takers (the norm group), who have already taken the exam.

Why is this important?

It’s important to remember that your SSAT scores are being compared to those of a very specific group of students. The SSAT norm group consists of all the test takers (same grade/gender) who have taken the SSAT for the first time on one of the Standard Saturday or Sunday administrations in the United States and Canada over the past three years. SSAT score reports feature percentile ranks, which are referenced to the performance of this norm group. For example, if you are an 8th grade boy and your gender/grade percentile rank on the March 2016 verbal section is 90%, it means that your scaled scores are higher than the scaled scores of 90% of all the other 8th grade boys who took a Standard SSAT in the United States and Canada between 2012 and 2015.

An SSAT scaled score may have a different percentile rank from year to year, depending on the pool of students who take the SSAT, and the SSAT percentile ranks should not be compared to those you may receive on other types of standardized tests, because each test is taken by a different group of students.


4. What items are required for submission as part of the application?

Please review the Admissions Checklist that is relevant to your student’s grade level to know the additional items needed to complete their application.

5. How do I secure my student’s spot?

To secure a spot, you must first complete the Admissions process and receive a letter of acceptance. Once this occurs, you will be able to enroll your child through the school’s Enrollment process. This is explained in more detail in the acceptance letter. To begin the Admissions process, please submit an online application. Also, please refer to the Admissions Calendar for important information regarding admissions cycle deadlines

We recommend that families submit their applications in the first admissions cycle to have a better chance of securing a spot due to the possibility of limited space availability in certain classes.

6. How many openings would you have in my student’s grade level next year?

It varies from class to class. We will know the space availability after the re-enrollment process with our current families in February. Again, with an application submitted in the first Admissions cycle, there is a better chance to secure whatever spaces are available. Please refer to the Admissions Checklist for important dates and deadlines.

7. How does NHSP determine grade level placement?

For children applying to Preschool through Kindergarten, they must be:

  • 3 by Sept.1 (Preschool)
  • 4 by Sept. 1 (Pre-Kindergarten)
  • 5 by Sept. 1 (Kindergarten)

8. What is the student teacher ratio?

It varies by class. In our early childhood program, the maximum ratio is 1:12. There are two teachers in each classroom. For elementary and middle school, the average ratio is between 1:12 and 1:20.

9. Does New Horizon Pasadena accept International students?

NHSP does not offer I-20 yet but we consider applicants of the L-1 visa status whose parents may be working or studying here temporarily from abroad.

10. How does NHSP review an application? What does NHSP base their acceptance on? What qualities does NHSP consider for a qualified candidate?

Please review our admissions policy. Candidates are considered on the basis of several factors depending on the grade level to which they are applying. Note: siblings of current students are usually given priority for admission.

Preschool (age 3)

  • chronological age (PS candidate must be 3 by Sept. 1)
  • Readiness (factors such as the ability to separate, to learn, and to cooperate in group settings are taken into account)

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten (age 4 and 5)

  • chronological age (PK candidate must be 4 by Sept. 1; K candidate must be 5 by Sept. 1)
  • developmental readiness as assessed through the Gesell Developmental Screening

Grades 1-8

  • Chronological age (grades 1 and 2)
  • Results of Admissions assessments
  • Interview
  • Teacher Recommendations
  • Transcripts