Define your ideal school
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Learn more on what to look for when touring schools in these videos:
Video: A guide to private schools
Video: How to find a middle school
By GreatSchools Staff
The academic program
What's important to you in an academic program? How rigorous should the academics be? Would your child thrive in a traditional setting, or is a more creative approach better? These are some of the factors to weigh into your choice.
1. Would your child perform better in a traditional back-to-basics program or one with an alternative/creative approach to learning?
- traditional curriculum
- project-based learning
- thematic learning
- cooperative/collaborative approach to learning
- hands-on approach to learning
2. Which level of overall academic performance is important to you?
- The school has excellent test score performance.
- Test scores are improving over time.
- State-specific indicators are high (i.e., API).
- Students meet minimum levels of proficiency.
3. Is a rigorous curriculum important to you?
- gifted and talented program
- emphasis on critical thinking skills
- AP/IB courses offered (middle and high school)
4. How much homework is required?
- small amount of homework
- medium amount of homework
- significant projects given in all classes
5. How is technology used in the classroom?
- wired classrooms and laptops for every child
- computer lab is sufficient
- smart boards in the classroom
- continuous assessment software
6. Which extracurricular activities are important to you?
- physical education and sports programs
- competitive sports teams (middle and high school)
- music instruction/band or orchestra