Friday, February 8

A TO Z: tips for picking the perfect school

Deciding where to send your child for school is not always as easy as registering at your local public school.  Many parents are considering a wide-range of options for their children's education including private and parochial schools, charter and magnet schools, and homeschools.  As you conduct your research online and in person, it helps to have some questions in mind to guide your search. Fairmont's Admissions Directors have counseled thousands of parents over the years and suggest using this list of questions as a starting point:
  1. What is the educational philosophy of the school?
  2. Is the school accredited? Does it have any other affiliations, religious or otherwise?
  3. What is the average class size? Student:teacher ratio?
  4. What safety and security procedures are in place to safeguard students and teachers?
  5. How does the school incorporate technology into the classroom?
  6. What are the most frequent discipline issues?  How does the school handle discipline?
  7. How does the school communicate with parents and how often?
  8. How are teachers evaluated? How often and by whom?
  9. How does the school use data to inform instruction?
  10. What special awards, recognition or achievements has the school won?
  11. How would you describe the academic rigor and expectations?
  12. Are special accommodations made for students with special needs? (physical, nutritional, emotional,academic)
  13. What expectations does the school have of parents? Is giving or volunteering mandatory?
  14. How would you describe the student body (demographics) and campus life?
Image from Kitchen Gardeners

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

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