If you’re thinking about enrolling your child into a private school, then you’ll want to make sure that you do the appropriate amount of research. You should schedule tours with a handful of private schools in order to find out more information about each school and how they can benefit your child.
You’ll want to have a number of different questions answered during these tours. The following are some of the questions that you should ask every private school that you speak with:
1. What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
If the students far outnumber the teachers, it means a few things. First of all, the bigger the class sizes are, the less personal attention your child will receive. Small class sizes are beneficial to your child’s education. Secondly, if classes are too big, it means that the school is either understaffed or they let in more students than they should. This could mean that they are willingly exceeding their resources in favor of profit, which reflects poorly on the school.
2. What is the philosophy and approach to academics?
Different private schools have different viewpoints on academics. For example, some schools use pass or fail grading systems, some emphasize testing and some believe that everyone learns differently and therefore use different evaluations. Ask about their specific approach to academics to see if it fits your particular viewpoint and the type of education you are seeking for your child.
3. What is the philosophy and approach to behavioral and social issues?
You won’t want to send your child to a school where the teachers will punish them with a ruler in response to any behavioral or social issues that they might have. Ask how they treat students who display such issues, how they help those students and whether they have a psychologist on the premises that can help these students as well.
4. What curriculum is followed?
Private schools are different than public schools in that they don’t have to follow a state-mandated curriculum. Every private school is free to teach the curriculum that they choose. Some private schools focus on faith-based learning, some focus on math and science, some emphasize art programs and so on.
5. Are they accredited?
Look for private schools that have some sort of accreditation. This ensures that they meet the standards of certain educational associations and provides some reassurance that their education program is in line with accepted learning approaches.
6. What are the teacher’s qualifications and levels of experience?
The qualifications and experience of the teachers is an important factor in choosing a private school. The more strict a private school is in regards to the requirements of the teachers that they hire, the more likely your child is to receive a good education.
7. What is the staff’s turnover rate?
A high turnover is usually a sign that there’s something wrong with the school’s process. Even if it’s simply a case of teachers moving on to bigger and better things, a high turnover rate means that there isn’t any consistency, which could affect the learning environment at the school.
8. What is the graduation rate?
A high graduation rate is indicative of a good school. If the graduation rate is low, there’s a chance that it’s because the school is doing a poor job educating its students, whether it’s because the teachers are unqualified or the school’s approach simply isn’t effective.
9. What schools have students been accepted into?
If they can name a number of good schools that students have been accepted into, it reflects well on the school’s ability to educate their students effectively.
10. What types of extracurricular activities are available?
Extracurricular activities are important to your child’s development as well as to their college applications. Find out what activities, if any, are available to see if there’s anything your child would be interested in.
11. What are the school’s greatest achievements?
Give the school a chance to boast about their achievements and to impress you, whether it’s their graduation rate, their students’ average GPA or any accolades they’ve received.
12. What are the school’s greatest challenges?
A good private school will be honest about their biggest challenges and will explain how they are facing those challenges head on. It shows that the school doesn’t just ignore problems that may come up.
13. How are parents involved with the school?
A good private school finds ways for the parents to be involved, so find out exactly what those ways are.
These questions should give you plenty of information about a private school and help you determine if they are a good fit for your child.
Be sure to contact us at our Brook Road Academy with any of these questions or to schedule a tour today.