Lower School Admission

Application Process:

STEP 1: Submit an Online Inquiry

Begin the process of learning more about the Porter-Gaud difference by completing our brief inquiry for each potential applicant. This is a required step in the application process and will officially enter your family in our admission system.


Grade 1: Register to attend an Open House and plan to bring your kindergarten child to the First Grade Preview for Prospective Families.

Grades 2-4: Register to attend an Open House and schedule a Student Shadow Day.

Open House

The best way to discover the difference a Porter-Gaud education would make for your Lower School child is to attend an Open House. These parents-only events include a small-group presentation providing an overview of the Lower School, a question and answer session, remarks from a current parent, and a campus tour that includes class visits and the chance to speak informally with current students, faculty, and staff members about their experiences at Porter-Gaud. You will see the school in action and develop a clearer understanding of what makes Porter-Gaud the premier independent school in Charleston.

Open Houses are led by Director of Lower School Admission Lucy Lytle. Throughout the application process, Lucy will serve as your child’s advocate. She will seek to learn as much as possible about your child, your family, and the type of independent school education you’re seeking as well as answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to determine if Porter-Gaud is the right fit for your family. Please click here to register for an upcoming Open House.

Student Shadow Day

Applicants for Grades 2-4 are invited to spend the day shadowing their future classmates. Student visitors should arrive at the Admission Office at 7:45 a.m. and arrange pick-up at 2:45 p.m. Prospective students attend classes, lunch, and recess with a student host and immerse themselves in the Porter-Gaud experience. At the end of the day, they meet with Director of Lower School Admission Lucy Lytle, who answers their questions, discusses their day, and begins the process of getting to know them as individuals. To register for a student shadow day, please call Admission Assistant Kathleen Beck at 843.402.4726 or send an email to kbeck@portergaud.edu.

In lieu of a shadow day, applicants for Grade 1 and their parents are encouraged to attend our First Grade Preview for Prospective Families on Thursday, January 19 from 3:30–4:30 p.m. Your child will preview life as a first grade student at PG in our sunlit, self-contained first grade building featuring four welcoming classrooms and a large common area for group activities while parents hear about the first grade program from teachers and administrators. Afterwards, everyone enjoys refreshments on the playground. If your child is currently in kindergarten and plans to apply to Porter-Gaud for the rising first grade in the fall of 2017, please click here to RSVP.

Parent Visit

If your family is traveling to Charleston from out of town or you are unable to attend one of our scheduled Open Houses, please contact Admission Assistant Kathleen Beck at 843.402.4726 or send an email to kbeck@portergaud.edu to schedule an individual parent meeting and campus tour. Parent meetings include a discussion with Director of Lower School Admission Lucy Lytle and a campus tour and generally last 60-90 minutes. Available meeting times include 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m., although additional times may be added as needed.

STEP 3: Complete the Application for Admission

Prospective parents should complete the following application documents and submit the non-refundable $75 application fee to the Admission Office by February 10, 2017


STEP 4: Release of Records

Below you will find a Release of Records form.

Please take the Release of Records form to your child's current school. It authorizes your child’s school to send standardized test scores, transcripts, and other relevant information to Porter-Gaud School.

STEP 5: Register for Admission Testing

Porter-Gaud requires admission testing of all applicants. The Lower School offers two remaining admission testing dates:

Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 9:00–11:00 a.m. - Registration closed.

Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 9:00–11:00 a.m. - Click here to reserve a spot.

Registration for these test dates is required and Porter-Gaud must have a completed application, including the non-refundable $75 application fee, on file prior to the test date. In the case of families traveling from out of town, admission screening may be conducted during the student’s shadow day.

STEP 6: Admission Decision

Please call Admission Assistant Kathleen Beck at 843.402.4726 or email at kbeck@portergaud.edu to confirm that your child's application is complete.

  • Application Deadline (annual Decision Round): Friday, February 10, 2017
  • Admission Decisions Communicated to Families: Friday, March 3, 2017
  • Enrollment Deadline for Accepted Applicants: Friday, March 10, 2017

All applications received after the deadline for the annual Decision Round will be considered on a rolling basis, providing that space and funding remain available.

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