Coronavirus (COVID-19): Schools Closed This Fall?


We are currently receiving calls from parents who are receiving emails about the upcoming school agenda from their local school districts. The shift to online instruction is a predicament for many schools.   Some school districts are still figuring out whether to reopen, how they should reopen and if they should reopen. Some school districts are still in the midst of the planning stages of best practices for each grade level of education, including distance learning and online instruction.  This uncertainty has beset the over 13,000 school districts nationwide, with many pushing back start dates, planning hybrid models or deciding to go entirely online.

A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that school closures this past spring may have prevented 1.37 million cases of COVID-19 in the country between day 17 and day 42 of schools’ closure periods. The researchers estimated that 40,600 fewer Americans died overall during that period because schools shuttered.

Even with the possibility of some schools reopening (which, based on the current progression of COVID-19, is a low probability), many parents in our “Dr. Lowe’s Admissions Strategies” discussion groups were reluctant to have their children return to school, not only for the safety of their children, but also because of the risks of dissemination to other demographic groups.  Their concern is based on the fact that there have been reports of parents sending their children to summer camps and within weeks of attending (even with social distancing policies and strict safety and hygienic measures) there have been COVID-positive tests among attendees.  The worry is that the school environment will be an even more challenging venue to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.

Parents are understandably concerned about the safety of their children at school amid the complexities and unknowns of COVID-19.  Several parents from different areas in the U.S. have told us that they are pooling resources for their children’s education.  They are gathering small groups of children to learn at home this fall called pandemic pods, home-school pods or learning pods in which groups of three to 10 students learn together in homes under the tutelage of the children’s parents or a hired teacher.  Other parents have formed parent pods with the intention of not sending their children to schools and conducting their own home school networks.

In terms of college counseling, parents have expressed concerns because of the shift to online education and the reduced in-person contact with high school counselors.  With college admissions dynamically changing and the effect of COVID-19 on college admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs, our goal is to ensure students successfully navigate the college admissions process.  This can be especially more challenging for current rising juniors and seniors.  Admissions requirements have changed and many students will need more comprehensive, individualized guidance.  The new milieu created by COVID-19 will require innovative approaches to successfully navigate the new college admissions environment.

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“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

“Parents hire us because they chose to pay an admissions expert who will help them avoid making mistakes.” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college: College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

Manhattanites Seeking Private Schools in Westchester and Fairfield Counties

Manhattanites Seeking Private Schools in Westchester and Fairfield Counties Dr Paul Lowe Admissions Expert Independent Educational Consultant

Over the past months, starting from March, we have been receiving calls from anxious Manhattan parents who are seeking private schools for their children in Westchester and Lower Fairfield Counties.  Real estate companies, relocation companies, executive assistants, and nannies have been calling us for admissions advice and placement.  Some wish to temporarily rent and eventually return while others are purchasing homes for permanent residencies and seeking not to return to Manhattan.

The sudden surge in demand for private schools in these areas has increased the competition for entrance to these schools.  Additionally, the simultaneous en masse relocations have increased the numbers of parents seeking transfer outside of the normal admissions season which ended in April.  Since schools have limited seats this has exacerbated the competition.

My team and I have visited many schools throughout Westchester and Fairfield Counties.  Here are lists of the top private schools in Westchester/Lower Fairfield Counties:

Top private schools in Westchester County:

  1. Hackley School
  2. Rye Country Day School
  3. The Masters School
  4. The Harvey School
  5. Rippowam Cisqua School

Top private schools in Lower Fairfield County:

  1. Brunswick School
  2. Greenwich Academy
  3. Greenwich Country Day
  4. Greens Farms Academy
  5. King School
  6. Sacred Heart Academy
  7. New Canaan Country Day
  8. Whitby School

Dr. Lowe’s Private School Visits:  Other independent educational consultants may depend on telephonic interviews, group speed meetings in central locations, or simply read literature and review websites and repeat it to families.  I physically visit schools and actively interact with school admissions personnel, senior administrators and students. My clients are, therefore, placed in the most appropriate school for their (and their parents’) happiness.  My approach ensures that your child will be placed in the best and most appropriate top-choice school.  By understanding, analyzing and researching a specific school’s atmosphere, vibe, rhythm, tone, color, experience, culture diversity and mission, my team and I can clearly articulate what differentiates one school from another to consumers/families. 

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

“Parents hire us because they choose to pay an admissions expert who will help them avoid making mistakes.” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and private schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan: Extracurricular Activities


“Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan” is a blog series created by Dr. Paul Lowe that discusses BS/MD Admissions.  With such a competitive environment and the immeasurable value and benefits of BS/MD programs, the need for an admissions game plan is ESSENTIAL.

At BS/ MD Admissions, we discern that many students and parents are clueless about what to do, when to do it, where to do it, who to contact, and why do it.  They fail to discover what they are doing that’s wrong, or they discover what they’ve been doing is wrong when it’s too late!


When considering a BS/MD program, we advise our clients to PLANPLANPLAN, and then re-PLAN.  Early planning and goal-setting are important in the long run for admissions success!

Here is what we advise our clients regarding extracurricular activities:

  • Extracurricular Activities demonstrate your passion, character and personality.
  • Extracurricular activities must be profound, meaningful and innovative.
  • Extracurricular activities must have a direct relationship with who you are.
  • Extracurricular activities must foster positive relationships and true interconnections.
  • BS/MD admissions officers are looking for highly motivated BS/MD candidates (high school seniors) who invest their time and effort in their passions, not just students who do extracurricular activities just because they might look good on college and BS/MD applications.

CORONAVIRUS EFFECT:   Even with the pandemic, the foundations for college admissions, specifically with regard to extracurricular activities, still apply and remain unchanged.  With regard to extracurricular activities: commitment, achievement, depth, impact still matter.  There are still ways to achieve the above, but it has to be unique to YOU!  You must make the most of the opportunities available to you.  You should also underscore the best activity for you that makes you stand out.  We always ask our clients: “How does an extracurricular activity apply to your unique student profile?”

Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities, and specifically BS/MD programs, are seeking a diverse student body made up of specialists who can share their passions and achievements collaboratively.   They are not looking for the typical BS/MD candidate who has the sort of Jack-of-all-activities or have the typical fluff “BS/MD I want to be a doctor from high school” activities. Quality supersedes quantity!  The quality has to be student-specific. We encourage and guide our clients to pursue meaningful activities.

There are lots of “how-to” books and guides to getting into BS/MD programs out there but all were published pre-COVID; now their strategies are obsolete and outdated.  With a lot at stake, in a short period of time, in such a competitive environment, BS/MD applicants (and their parents) need a winning BS/MD Admissions Game Plan that works in the COVID-19 environment.

Our over 20 years of admissions advisory experience and proprietary admissions strategies provides the basis for our methods and knowledge to help our clients successfully navigate the BS/MD Admissions process in any and all environments, including the COVID-19 landscape.

Our BS/MD Admissions practice is specialized: Dr. Lowe and his team only work with parents who understand that the BS/MD admissions process is competitive, who desire help from an admissions expert and who see the value and investment in paying for expert advice through a detailed and ongoing comprehensive admissions advisory service for their child’s dream of becoming a doctor.  He also specializes in helping international students in the BS/MD process. BS/MD Admissions Advisors – 2020 Acceptances.  Parents who chose to use our services want to call their son or daughter – “Doctor” when they are seniors in high school.


Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.  He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, BS/MD Admissions Advisors, help high school students get accepted to BS/MD programs.