Video: A guide to private schools
Video: How to find a middle school
By GreatSchools Staff
What qualities are you looking for in a school? Think about what matters most to you by answering each question below.
It's important to consider practical matters to help narrow your school search. These include your family's child care needs during nonschool hours, daily and yearly schedule, transportation, school location, coordination of your other children's school schedules and your financial constraints.
1. Which types of schools are you interested in?
2. How far from home are you willing to travel, and what transportation needs do you have?
3. Does your child have any needs that require special attention?
4. Do you need child care before or after school?
5. Which school facilities are important to you?
6. Would your child perform better in a small or a large school?
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?
2. Which level of overall academic performance is important to you?
3. Is a rigorous curriculum important to you?
4. How much homework is required?
5. How is technology used in the classroom?
6. Which extracurricular activities are important to you?
Discipline, diversity, parent involvement and the feel of the school environment — whether it's competitive or collaborative — are important factors to consider when sizing up the school's culture.
1. What are the expectations for parent involvement?
2. What is the look and feel of the school's culture?
3. Which level of student diversity are you looking for?
4. What is the school's philosophy or mission? Do you agree with its focus?
5. What is the school's discipline policy?
6. How does the school communicate with parents?
7. Teaching staff
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