CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCHOOL
The best way to find out whether a school is the right place for your child is to visit in person. There's no substitute for seeing the school yourself- you can watch the children, teachers, and get the overall impression of the school. You can ask important questions, see what a typical day is like at a school, and determine if you think the school is a good fit for your child.
Don't know where to start? Do some online research - one good resource is www.privateschoolreview.com. There you can find information about private schools in your area: tuition, teacher-to-student ratios, extra-curricular activities, parent reviews and more!
Call the school, explain that you're considering the school for your child, and that you would like to make an appointment to visit. Find out if you'll be able to meet the principal, visit some classrooms, and meet with a few teachers while you're there.
Do your homework before visiting a school
1. Read about the schools you'll be visiting.
2. Prepare the questions you will ask when you visit each school - it can help to bring a list with you so you don’t forget one.
3. Talk to other parents with children already at the school.
4. Go to the school’s website for more information about the schools.
5. Observe the school and how the children learn, what the school looks like, and the school environment.
Some Key Questions to Ask
◊ What is this school’s educational philosophy or mission?
◊ How does the school encourage and monitor student progress? What is the approach to student discipline and safety?
◊ What are highlights of the school's curriculum?
◊ How is technology used to support teaching and learning?
◊ What extra opportunities (arts, sports, clubs) are available for students? Is there a cost for these?
◊ What support is offered to students who have academic or emotional difficulties? What is the cost of these services/programs?
◊ How does the school keep parents informed about their child, school information, and activities?
◊ What types of parent involvement opportunities are there?
◊ What professional development opportunities do teachers have? In what ways do teachers collaborate?
◊ How does the school help prepare students for their next step (middle school, high school, etc)?
Things To Look For:
◊ Do classrooms look bright, open to learning?
◊ Do teachers seem passionate about the children/the school?
◊ Does the principal seem organized, confident and interested in students, teachers and parents?
◊ How do students behave as they move from class to class, in the lunch room or play outside?