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Middle School students in classroom

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Packer’s student body size, and how many spaces are typically available per grade?

Packer’s enrollment is typically around 1040 students.  Our enrollment by division is as follows:

Preschool Lower School Middle School Upper School
~110 students ~270 students ~290 students ~ 400 students

On average we have the following numbers of spaces for new students each year:

Preschool Lower School Middle School Upper School

PreK3: 20 spaces

PreK4: 1 space

Kindergarten: 45 spaces

1st Grade: 4-5 spaces

2nd-4th Grades: Spaces based on attrition

5th Grade: 4-6 spaces

6th-8th Grades: Spaces based on attrition

9th Grade: 35 spaces

10th-11th Grades: Spaces based on attrition

12th Grade: N/A



In which grades does Packer admit the most new students?

PreK3, Kindergarten, and 9th Grade are our major entry points.

Families may apply at any grade point (except 12th Grade), but space may be extremely limited.

What is the most important part of the application?

At Packer, we take a holistic approach when reviewing each student’s application. We value all elements of an application and do not weigh one item more than any other. 

How do students and families get to Packer?

The Borough Hall subway station (2, 3, 4, 5 and R trains) is at the end of our block, on Joralemon and Court Streets. Several MTA city buses stop at Borough Hall as well. Jay Street Metrotech (A, C, and F trains) is a short walk away. 

Pre and Lower School students residing in NYC can request a Metrocard for discounted or free rides on MTA buses and subways. Middle and Upper School students are issued Metrocards based on their home locations.

Many Packer families who are not within walking distance coordinate “kid car” transportation.  We currently do not offer private bus service. 

In the afternoon, Lower School students may be dismissed directly to our convenient carpool lane.

Does applying for financial aid affect Packer’s admissions decision?

No. Admissions decisions are made prior to consideration of financial aid awards. 

Our financial aid program is generous, granting over $9 million to families every year. However, requests for aid may exceed our resources. Therefore, to ensure your family is able to be evaluated for a tuition assistance grant, make every effort to accurately and carefully submit financial aid materials well before the posted deadlines.

What is the full cost of Packer aside from tuition?

Packer strives to ensure that all members of the community have access to the full Packer experience. In addition to over $9 million given in financial aid each year, Packer works with our families receiving financial aid to help meet additional costs such as (but not limited to) books, instrument rental, international travel, class trips and other incidentals. Lunch (for Grades 3 through 12) and morning snack (for PreK through Grade 12) are included in tuition. 

For a more thorough explanation of our Financial aid Policy, please visit Affording Packer.

What is the age cutoff for each grade?

PreK3: 3 years old by June 30 of entry year
PreK4: 4 years old by August 31 of entry year
Kindergarten: 5 years old by August 31 of entry year
1st Grade: 6 years old by August 31 of entry year
2nd Grade: 7 years old by August 31 of entry year
3rd Grade: 8 years old by August 31 of entry year
4th Grade: 9 years old by August 31 of entry year

For Middle and Upper School admissions, the age cutoff is slightly more flexible. Each candidate is considered on an individual basis.

Does my child need to take an admissions test?

Applications for 2nd through 11th Grade do require standardized tests. For 2nd and 3rd Grade, applicants are required to take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE). For 4th through 11th Grade, either the ISEE or the SSAT are acceptable.

What can I expect during the admissions interview?

Invitation to the PreK3 playdate is by lottery only. If your child is selected from the lottery, they will attend a 30-minute playdate with other children supervised by our Preschool faculty. 

For Kindergarten applicants, students will work with an admission officer for roughly 30 minutes for a child-friendly assessment. Afterwards, the admission officer will review the work with the parents/guardians and answer any questions they might have. 1st Grade applicants are invited in for an interview when spaces are available.

For applicants to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Grade, when spaces are available, applicants are invited to campus for a day visit in the classroom.

For Middle School applicants who are invited for an interview, an admission officer will have a one-on-one conversation with the applicant, then bring the parents/guardians in for a short chat to answer any questions. 

For Upper School applicants, families go on a 45-minute tour with a current student upon arrival. Following the tour, the applicant will interview with an admission officer and then the parents/guardians will have an opportunity to ask questions. 

What is Packer’s student-teacher ratio?

Packer’s student:teacher ratio is 8:1.  

Each PreK Threes and PreK Fours classroom has three teachers.  

Each Kindergarten through 4th Grade classroom has two teachers. 

What are the hours of the school day?

PreK 3: 9am to 1:30pm (with an optional 3pm pick-up Monday through Thursday)
PreK 4 and Kindergarten: 9am to 3:00pm
1st Grade: 9am to 3:15pm
2nd Grade: 8:45 am to 3:15pm
3rd Grade and 4th Grade: 8:30 to 3:15pm
5th through 12th Grade: 8:10am to 3:20pm

Does Packer have early-morning dropoff and afterschool care?

Early drop-off for Kindergarten through 4th Grade is available both in the Packer Early Learning Center and in the Commons starting at 8 am.  This service is provided at no cost to families and advance signup is not required.

A variety of Afterschool Programs are available for students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade: weekly classes on a semester basis, and flexible aftercare on an as-needed basis.

Apply Now

We use the Ravenna online application process.

Open Houses

We offer Open Houses for Preschool, Kindergarten, and Upper School in the fall, while also offering Middle School Group Tours.

Packer Viewbook

Packer Admissions Viewbook Cover

Portraits of members of the Packer community, plus essential information about Brooklyn’s oldest independent school

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