Lower School

Steps to Apply to Buckley's Lower School

List of 4 items.

  • Step 1: Create a Parent Portal & Apply Online

    Please begin by creating a Parent Portal. The Parent Portal will give you the opportunity to schedule a visit to the Buckley campus, register for admission events this season, submit application Step 1 & 2, complete checklist items, and much more!
  • Step 2: Schedule Parent/Guardian Interview

    • K-5 Sibling/Faculty-Staff Families Applications Due: October 11, 2024
    • Priority K-5 Applications Due: November 11, 2024 (guaranteed interview for virtual OR in-person, if available)
    • Standard K-5 Applications Due: December 10, 2024 (virtual based on availability)
    • Step 2 of the Application must be completed in order to receive an invitation to schedule the interview.
    • Space is limited for parent/guardian interviews. 
    • The application went live in late May. We recommend applying ASAP in order to schedule an in-person parent/guardian interview while appointments last.
    • Sibling/faculty-staff family interviews are optional.
  • Step 3: Kindergarten Playdates & Grades 1-5 Assessments

    • You will only receive information on reserving a spot for the playdate/assessment after the application is completed (both steps 1 & 2).
    • Kindergarten sibling applicants will only receive information on reserving a spot for the kindergarten playdate after Step 2 of the application is completed (both Steps 1 & 2). Kindergarten sibling playdates will be hosted in mid-November
    • Grades 1-5 sibling applicants will receive details for an assessment that will occur in January 2025
  • Step 4: Submit Required Forms

    • Kindergarten Applicants: Preschool Evaluation must be submitted after 11/01/24 and no later than 01/10/25
    • Academic records and letters of rec must be submitted after 11/01/24 and no later than 01/10/24
Thank you for your interest in joining The Buckley School community. The deadline for applying for admission to the Lower School (kindergarten through grade 5) is Tuesday, December 10, 2024. The deadline for priority admission to the Lower School is Monday, November 11, 2024.
Buckley’s Lower School curriculum blends tradition and innovation, emphasizing creativity, collaboration, and individualized teaching in a developmentally appropriate academic program that inspires students to challenge themselves and take risks as learners. Across all grades, students are immersed in a rich program of weekly specialized classes. The program relies upon recent research in neuroscience to inform instructional practice, allowing teachers to address differences in student learning styles. Social and emotional development stands at the core of each Lower School classroom and begins with the explicit understanding that the relationship between child and teacher is key to effective learning. By making it a priority to get to know each student well, teachers create classroom environments where every child is acknowledged and knows that at Buckley, they belong.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at or leave a message at (818) 461-6719. We look forward to an exciting year ahead.
To register for these events, please log onto your Parent Portal.


List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • When are applications due?

    All applications to Buckley must be submitted online.

    Lower School
    The deadline for applying for admission to the Lower School (kindergarten through grade 5) is Tuesday, December 10, 2024. The deadline for priority admission to the Lower School is Monday, November 11, 2024.

    Middle/Upper School
    The deadline for applying for admission to the Middle and Upper Schools (grades six through twelve) is Friday, January 3, 2025. The deadline for priority admission to the Middle/Upper School is Monday, November 11, 2024.

    Late applications will be accepted only if space remains available after the deadline.
    Supporting Materials: All supporting materials, such as recommendations and transcripts, must be received by Friday, January 10, 2025.
  • Can I turn in the application early?

    Yes. We encourage students and families to return their applications prior to the deadline so that the required interviews can be scheduled as early as possible. Forms from the student’s current school, however, are not due until Friday, January 10, 2025. We recommend these forms be submitted to us as close to January 10 as possible so we can have the most recent and up-to-date information regarding the student. Only after we have received all the pieces of an application can we begin the evaluation process.
  • When will we be notified of our admission decision?

    All admission decisions are notified no earlier than 5:00 p.m. via e-mail on the designated decision day.

    Applicants to grades K-12 will be notified on Friday, March 14, 2025 and responses are due by 12:00 noon on Friday, March 21, 2025.
  • How many students are admitted to each grade?

    Most students are admitted in kindergarten, grade six, grade seven, and grade nine. We enroll approximately 44 students in kindergarten each year. The school enrolls 20 new students for grade six and approximately 25 to 30 new students in grades seven and nine. The number of students admitted for grades eight, 10, and 11 are based on available space and may vary from year to year.

    We typically do not admit students to grade 12, because it is difficult for students to match the curriculum. An exception will occasionally be made if a student is moving to the area from out-of-state. We seek to enroll students from a variety of schools and backgrounds.
  • Is an admission interview required?

    Yes. Interviews for K-5 applicants are conducted with only the parents or guardians of the prospective student; in-person interviews, as well as virtual interviews, are available. All prospective Middle and Upper School applicants and their parents/guardians are required to complete a virtual interview with a member of the Admission Committee. Interviews are scheduled only upon the receipt of a completed admission application.
  • What is The Buckley School's position on gender equity and inclusion?

    The Buckley School is committed to recognizing and affirming the rich diversity of our students of all genders. We are a school community that embodies and celebrates the complex and multidimensional nature of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression as a reflection of the guiding principles of our mission toward equity and inclusion. Please go to DEI at Buckley for more information on the invaluable components of an academic and co-curricular experience, preparing students for college, and navigating a global community.
  • Is financial assistance available?

    Yes. As part of our commitment to a diverse student body, Buckley’s financial assistance program is designed to provide students and families with an opportunity to attend the school when it would not have been an option otherwise. In the 2021-2022 school year, $6.4 million was budgeted for financial assistance and Covid grants, and 28% of students received financial aid and Covid grants. Each year, however, there are more applications than available grant money. While the budget cannot accommodate everyone’s needs, all interested families are encouraged to apply.

    Grants are awarded to families based on the Financial Aid Committee’s review, and a family’s economic need as determined by School & Student Services By NAIS (SSS).

    If you have any questions regarding financial assistance, please call (818) 461-6707. All aid applications are due by January 3, 2025.
  • How do I re-apply if my child was not admitted?

    The Admission Committee wishes to have the most current and up-to-date information on all applicants to the school and, therefore, applications from the previous year cannot be automatically reactivated. Any student who was not offered admission and wishes to be considered for the following academic year should call the Admission Office to discuss the individual situation. New applications and recommendation forms are available through the Admission Office. Parents are asked to submit all new forms along with the $125 nonrefundable application fee and a new photograph of the applicant.
  • What is the student-to-teacher ratio?

    Our student to teacher ratio is 8:1. Buckley prides itself on offering small classes and providing its students with plenty of personal attention. The average class size in the Middle School is 17, and the average class size in the Upper School is 14.

    Lower School class sizes vary slightly, but kindergarten has two teachers with a class of 20–22 students. Grades one through five offer class sizes between 20 and 23 students with a teacher and an associate teacher in each room. Many of our specialists work with half classes, thereby reducing the student to teacher ratio for all grades in the Lower School.
  • What are the transportation options available for my child?

    Families have the choice to participate in our bus service program or to travel to and from school in carpools during regular arrival and dismissal hours. The Buckley School contracts with Tumbleweed Transportation to provide daily bus service. Nine convenient routes cover the west San Fernando Valley as well as Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Westchester, and as far as Pacific Palisades.

    Afternoon buses depart campus at 3:30 p.m. and then again at 5:45 p.m. for Middle and Upper School students involved in extracurricular activities after school. Carpool matching and assistance are provided through the school’s carpool search program.
  • Is there a school uniform?

    Yes. All Buckley students must wear the school uniform. Various options are available, but all students must dress in accordance with the uniform policy of the school. On occasion, the school has theme days where students can wear clothing in line with theme rather than their uniform. For example, on Big Red Day students are invited to wear clothing that is red in color.

    Buckley uniforms are available through the Dennis Uniform Company. All students are permitted to wear Buckley sweatshirts, also sold through the Dennis Uniform Company and the Parents’ Association. Middle and Upper School students are permitted to wear Buckley athletic team, Buckley club, or performing arts sweatshirts.
  • Do you have a hot lunch program?

    The Buckley School contracts with Freshlunches to provide daily hot lunch service. Their menu focuses on high-quality natural or organic local ingredients and offers options for various dietary restrictions.
  • Are there special admission requirements for international students?

    International students must provide official transcripts for the current school year, as well as for the previous two years (unless applying to K-3), with an official English translation included.

    International students should also follow the admission processes outlined on the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School pages.
  • Can Buckley help find host families for international students?

    No. Before a student can be admitted to Buckley, the student must have a parent or adult guardian with whom he or she can reside with during the school year.
  • I am an international student. How can I obtain an I-20 Form from the school?

    Once you are admitted and the entire comprehensive fee has been paid, the school will issue a Form I-20, which permits a student to attend The Buckley School until he or she graduates. If you are transferring from another school within the United States, you must contact the Director of Admission at Buckley in order to complete a transfer Form I-20.
  • Does Buckley offer ESL (English as a Second Language) courses?

    No. Due to the highly competitive and very demanding college preparatory curriculum at Buckley, all students must be proficient in English.
  • What if my school will not write recommendation letters for students applying to private/independent schools?

    If you are currently at a school that will not write letters of recommendation for students applying to a private/Independent school, then the checklist requirement can be fulfilled with the following:

    1. Parent/Guardian Recommendation Letter: Letter of endorsement written for the parent(s)/guardian(s) from a community member that is a non-relative stating: 
    • How long they have known the parent(s)/guardian(s).
    • How and under what circumstances does the recommender know the parent(s)/guardian(s).
    • Describe attributes and qualities on how the parent(s)/guardian(s) would contribute in the context of a school community (past/current involvement, leadership, parenting style, and etc.)
    2. Student Recommendation Letter: Similarly, a letter of endorsement for the student applicant from a community member (tutor, coach/instructor, community leader) who is a non-relative stating: 
    • How long they have known the parent(s)/guardian(s).
    • How and under what circumstances does the recommender know the student.
    • Describe attributes and qualities on how the student would contribute in the context of a school community (past/current involvement, leadership, how they work with others (peers and adults) and etc.)
    Character Skills Snapshot: For more information or to register your student applicant, please go to the website.

Additional LS FAQs

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

The Buckley School admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, physical disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The Buckley School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, physical disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or any other characteristics protected by applicable law in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.