THE RIGHT QUESTIONS TO PICK THE RIGHT SCHOOL
Beyond what you’re hearing and reading is what you’re seeing.
The most paramount thing to do when you’re probing for the right school for your kid is to visit and visually examine the schools you’ve been shortlisted, and it’s even more consequential to do it without inequitableness in your head.
Call the schools you are intrigued with, and schedule a visiting appointment. Tour the schools during customary school hours and visit a couple of classes where possible. To get a realistic sense of how the school works, avoid visiting schools during the first or the last week of a term.
A good way to get your questions answered is to arrange an appointment with the principal of the school. When necessary, attend an open house, parent-teacher conference, or other school events that would also provide valuable information on educator, student, and parent attitudes.
Listen closely to what school teachers are saying about it. The teachers will be your child’s closest adults, and you’ll want to know if they’re well prepared, dedicated, and happy in their work.
- How helpful and friendly is the school secretary?
- Is the school quiet and orderly?
- What’s the feel of the Bulletin Boards?
- How is student work displayed?
- How does the school interact with students and parents (weekly/monthly newsletter, email, website)?
- Are the students being comfortable, courteous, and disciplined?
- Is there a posture of acceptance towards all parents?
- How are students with diverse learning needs (e.g. incapacitated students and students with minimal English skills) treated?
- Do the teachers seem amicable and amiable?
- Are the teachers highly qualified to teach in their subject areas (do they know the subjects they are teaching)?
- How do teachers inform students of their expectations?
- Do teachers have the skills and knowledge to address students with special learning needs?
- Do teachers have high expectations for all students to achieve to high academic standards?
- How do teachers grade student work?
- Do the teachers know the individual students in their classes?
- What is the school’s policy regarding teacher response to parent inquiries?
- When and how frequently are teachers available for parent conferences?
- Do teachers share the course content and objectives with parents?
- Do teachers assign homework? Is it rigorous? Frequent? Sufficient?
- Are teachers willing to provide extra help to students?
- Do teachers have websites with class notes and other information for students and parents?
- What do students say about the principal?
- What is the attendance rate for students?
- Do the students have school spirit?
- What do student publications say?
- Do students participate in and enjoy field trips?
- What do students say about the teachers?
- What do students say about homework?
- Do students feel safe and secure at school?
- What else do students say about the school?
Parents and Community Involvement
- Does the school partner with local businesses and organizations?
- How does the school encourage parental involvement?
- Are community leaders involved with the school?
- Are parents encouraged to volunteer?
- How well attended are back-to-school nights by parents?
- Are families expected to be involved with homework?
- What are the ways parents can get involved?
- Does the school hold meetings and events at times when parents can attend?
- Does the school have an active parent-teacher organization?
- How frequently does the school communicate with parents?
- Are parents involved in the development of school policies?
- How is the school viewed by other parents?
- Do people move to the community to go to school?
- How is the school regarded in the community?
- What do the graduates of the school say?
- Has the school won any awards?
- Is the school respected by other schools, particularly those that receive its students?
- Have graduated from the school made consequential contributions to the community and their field of cull?
And if you are probing for one right now, reach out to us and let us plan a visit. We are sure, as doting parents you will be more than impressed with our school & faculty kindred!
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org