How do you choose your kid's best school? Whether you choose a private or public school, careful planning is essential. The following sections have questions that you should consider when you choose a school for your child. Remember, you are looking for a school that will give your child the educational experience
Write down five things that matter most to you.
You may want to write down five things that matter most to you when you consider choosing a school. You may want to add and revise your list when you go through the selection process.
Four steps to choose the school for your child
Step 1-Consider your child and your family Start the search for the best school by thinking about what you want your child to have in school.
Your child may have special language or learning needs.
After all, you know your child better than anyone else does
Your Child’s Needs
Does your child need a more structured environment?
Does your child need a less structured environment?
Does your child need more challenging work?
Does your child need more individual attention?
Does your child generally need extra help or more time to complete an assignment?
Does your child have any special learning needs?
Does your child need an environment that fosters creativity?
Does your child need a language acquisition program?
Your Child’s Learning Style
Does your child learn best by seeing how things work?
Does your child learn best by reading about how something works?
Does your child learn best by listening?
Does your child like to participate in discussions?
Does your child like to learn through physical activity?
Is your child logical or mathematical? Is your child musical or artistic?
Does your child like to learn in groups?
Does your child like to work alone?
Location of School
Do you want your child to go to a school within walking distance of your home?
How far are you willing to drive your child to school?
Does your child want to be in a school with his or her friends?
Do you want your child to go to a school near Near where you work?
Near a close relative?
Does your child have any special transportation needs that must be considered in choosing a school?
Step 2 -Gather information about school. Gather information about schools like we do while purchasing a new car or a thing, we check internet, call friends, check news papers, read reports etc.
When investigating schools, you may also have to make phone calls, collect written material from different schools and look for reports in your local paper to get the information you need. You can check the report cards of the public school and go to parent fairs and schools. Reliable school information can be found online on websites. The hard work will be worth your time if you find the best school in your child.
Does the school have a strong program of core academic subjects?
What courses does the school offer in addition to the core subjects?
What evidence is there that the school is effectively teaching students to read?
Does the school have a special focus or theme for the curriculum?
Does the school provide enrichment opportunities for all students?
For gifted students?
Does the school have extracurricular activities that support what is taught?
Is there a language acquisition program for children who need it?
If your child has special learning needs, does the school have a curriculum and the necessary supports to appropriately accommodate those needs?
Approach to Learning
Does the school have a particular approach to teaching and learning (e.g., group projects, individual performance, frequent testing)? If yes, do you think your child will enjoy and learn from this approach?
Does the school do all it can to make sure each child learns?
Does it provide opportunities for children to get extra help when they need it?
Is the school staff able to communicate in the language that your child understands?
What is the homework policy?
Does it match your expectations for how much homework your child should do?
Do you want your child to go to a all-boy or all-girl school, or a coeducational school? How large are the classes
How do the school test score compared to the other schools?
How does the school explain the rise and decline?
How well have children similar to yours performed on these tests?
How do students moving on to the next level of schooling perform in their new schools?
How many students leave the school before completing the last grade?
What special achievements or recognition has the school received?
What does the school do to help develop character and citizenship?
What is the discipline policy?
How does the school handle students who misbehave?
Are the students fair in their responses to students?
Does the school have a program and support to prevent and address behavior problems?
What security measures are in place?
What is the policy on school absences?
How does the school encourage daily attendance?
Do school personnel call parents when the students are absent?
Do students wear uniforms?
Is the school safe?
How does the school prevent and handle violence, bullying, harassment, and other form of abusive behavior?
What measures does the school take to ensure safety?
What security measures are in place?
Step 3- Visit or observe school. Contact the schools you're interested in and arrange a visit appointment. If possible, tour the schools and visit a few classes during regular school hours.
Avoid visiting schools in the first or last week of a semester to get a realistic understanding of how the school works.A good way to answer your questions is to arrange a meeting with the principal of the school.If possible, attend an open house, parent - teacher meeting or other school function that also provides valuable information about staff, students and parents ' attitudes.Listen closely to what school teachers say.The teachers are the adults closest to your child and you want to know if they are well prepared, dedicated and happy.
Is the school secretary helpful and friendly?
Is the school orderly and neat?
What do the bulletin boards look like?
How is student work displayed?
How does the school communicate with students and parents (weekly/monthly newsletter, e-mail, Web site)?
Do the students appear to be courteous, happy, and disciplined?
Is there a welcoming attitude toward all parents?
Do the teachers appear to be helpful and friendly?
What is the principal’s philosophy about education?
What is the principal’s attitude toward discipline?
In what extracurricular activities is the principal most interested?
What is the principal’s reputation in the community?
Is the principal usually at the school and available to talk to parents?
Does the principal get to know the students?
How often does the principal observe teachers?
What does the school do to keep good teachers and improve teacher performance?
How does the principal respond to parental concerns/complaints?
According to the principal, what are the school’s strengths?
According to the principal, what are the school’s weaknesses?
According to the principal, where can the school improve?
How do teachers grade student work?
Do teachers have high expectations for all students to achieve to high academic standards?
How do teachers inform students of their expectations?
Do teachers share the course content and objectives with parents?
When and how frequently are teachers available for parent conferences?
Do teachers assign homework? Is it rigorous? Frequent? Sufficient?
Are the teachers highly qualified to teach in their subject areas (do they know the subjects they are teaching)?
Do the teachers know the individual students in their classes?
Are the teachers willing to provide extra help to students?
What is the school policy regarding teacher response to parent inquiries?
What is the attendance rate of students?
What does student say about the principal?
What does the students say about the teachers?
What does students say about homework?
Do students participate and enjoy field trips?
Do students feel safe and secure at the school?
What else do students say about the school?
How does the school encourage parental involvement?
What are the ways parents can get involved?
Are parents encouraged to volunteer?
Does the school have an active parent-teacher organization?
Does the school hold meetings and events at times when parents can attend?
How frequently does the school communicate with parents?
How is the school regarded in the community?
How is the school viewed by other parents?
Is the school respected by other schools, particularly those that receive its students (when they move to the next level)?
Has the school won any awards?
Do people move to the community to go to the school?
What do the graduates of the school say?
Step 4 - Once you select the school(s) that you think will be best for your child, you will go through a process of applying to a school (or schools) of your choice and enrolling your child.
Select one or more schools to apply
To which schools do you want to apply?
What is the application deadline at each school?
Submit paperwork and applications before the deadlines
Have you completely filled out the application for each school?
Have you included all of the required additional information with the application (deposit, student transcript, test scores, letters of recommendation)?
Have you submitted applications before the deadline set by each school?
Have you contacted each school to check on your child’s application status?
When will the schools notify you that your child has been admitted?
When will you need to notify the school that your child plans to attend?
When will you notify the schools that your child will not attend?
Parent Tip: Start Early & Cover All the Steps Begin the process of choosing a school as early as possible. Find out as soon as possible about the deadlines for applying to the schools you are considering. Note that some schools require applications much earlier than others. Keep These 4 Steps in Mind: Step 1. Consider your child and your family. Step 2. Gather information about schools. Step 3. Visit and observe schools. Step 4. Apply to the school(s) you choose.