The Effects of a Virtual Open House


Rebecca Kalimi ’23

This year’s open house was different than years past. This year Ramaz held a virtual open house. 

The open house consisted of an introduction slideshow, a Q&A session, and an afterparty for perspective eighth graders. Since the open house was online, it allowed more people to attend the open house. Normally, the admissions office receives around 250 registrations for the open house, and this year the number rose as they received close to 300 registrations. 

Ms. Shara Lipson, the Assistant Dean of Admissions for the Upper School, and Mrs. Aviva Leiber, the Assistant Dean of Admissions for the Upper School, shared that more people who live further away signed up for the open house in the past. Ms. Lipson and Mrs. Lieber clarified that even if they receive more applications for the Class of 2025, they don’t believe that Ramaz will change the number of students they usually admitted for the freshmen class. They said they plan to keep the admitted student rate constant because of the limited space in the school and due to the fact that one of Ramaz’s biggest “selling points” is its smaller class sizes. 

Since there is an option nowadays to take school completely online, more students from further away applied this year to Ramaz. Ms. Lipson and Ms. Leiber explained that they normally receive around 120 applications per year. Although it’s too early to know how many students will apply this year, 47 students have applied so far. The admissions staff mentioned that they are unsure if the number of applicants will surpass 120 or be less. 

This pandemic also resulted in a different execution for the school’s “buddy system”. Normally, eighth-graders would be paired with a ninth-grader and follow them around the school and to their classes to get a feel for a typical day of a Ramaz student and understand the atmosphere of the school. To adapt to the current climate, the admissions faculty plans on pairing a group of tenth graders with a group of eighth-graders and plans to have them chat with one another in Zooms and answer any questions the prospective students may have.  

The admissions faculty did their best to involve students in the process this year despite the unconventional circumstances.