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Private School Admissions

Private school admissions are competitive. When your hopes are high for your child to get into the school at the top of your list, it can become stressful when you realize all that is involved in the admissions process.

Teacher and Pupil Pleased Learning
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Private School Admissions

Expert Guidance

No matter how academically ready they are, without practice,

your child won’t be able to show their best. 


​That’s why you need expert guidance. Your child deserves to be

confident throughout the admissions process.


​We know New York City private schools inside and out.

Lara, PLEASED's founder, is a Horace Mann graduate who went on to become a
celebrated teacher and literacy coach in New York City. She has successfully helped

many children navigate the private school admissions process and receive

acceptances at NYC’s most elite schools.

Preparation For Kids 

​We start with a thorough, interactive learning assessment to establish a baseline to create an individualized learning path that reflects your child's strengths and areas of growth in academic, verbal, and social-emotional skills. We are dedicated to working closely with your child to ensure they are well-prepared for various scenarios, allowing them to confidently showcase their skills and strengths. Elevating children toward achievement, we strengthen overall academic skills as well as prepare students for the First Looks Insight (FLI), ISEE, and TACHS.  Our goal is to empower your child to exhibit their utmost abilities, helping them shine brightly in any situation they encounter. We work with children in our learning space on the Upper East Side or virtually. 

PLEASED Learning admission Exam Prep
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Helena Dea Bala's admission application writing preparation

Application Writing 

Our resident writer, advisor and editor, Helena Dea Bala, will support your family through the application process by providing a range of support. Whether you need a completely new essay crafted from scratch or expert editing and polishing of your existing work, our personalized support will guide you through the essay writing journey. ​Reach out today for more detailed information.

Meet Helena Dea Bala

Helena Dea Bala is an author, reformed lawyer, and former lobbyist living in the Upper East Side. In another life, Helena worked on and off Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and eventually quit her job (read: came to her senses) to write her debut nonfiction book, published in 2020 by Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster). She is currently working on her second nonfiction - a collection of stories about people who've led extraordinary lives.

Helena's writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Quartz, and myriad other outlets. Her day job is as Vice President in public relations, and she also runs a small business through which she helps promising bright minds brainstorm and write their Ivy League application essays.


She spends her free time going on city adventures with her family. Her son attends Collegiate School.

PreK - College Admission

Our students have been accepted to the following schools

Horace Mann
Collegiate School
Private school
Trinity School
Nightingale Bamford School
Brearley School

...I highly recommend Lara to anyone who is going through the admissions process

Lara was a lifesaver last year when my then 4 year old had to take her Kindergarten admission exams via Zoom. I didn't think it would be possible but she was able to get my daughter to sit still and engage through a computer. But not only that, Lara made it so enjoyable for her that every day she would wake up and ask "Is today a Miss Lara day?" Lara has a special touch when it comes to kids. And if she was able to be effective through zoom, I can only imagine how wonderful she would be in person. I highly recommend Lara to anyone who is going through the K admission process.
-Parent of child accepted to Riverdale
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