Deciding what your child needs and what matters most is a key step in choosing the school that will be the best fit for your child. You can learn a lot about a school within the first few minutes of stepping on campus. You will notice if you feel welcome, whether the staff and students look happy, and how students and teachers interact with each other.
When taking a school tour, the Admissions Director or Principal will invariably ask if you have any questions. It may be difficult to think of questions on the spot, and it can be easy to get caught up in the tour itself listening passively.
However, taking advantage of the opportunity to discover details about student life and the school's approach to learning is crucial to making an informed decision about how your choice of schools will ultimately impact your child's education.
We hope the following list of questions to ask schools as a prospective parent will help you in your journey to find the best fit for your child and family!
On Educational Approach and Curriculum
How does your school encourage a love of reading? What does a day of reading and writing look like? How do you teach spelling and grammar?
How do you teach science and engineering principles? What curriculum do you use?
Do you offer or require foreign language? For what grade levels? How many days per week, and for how much time each day? Do native speakers have a separate class/program?
How do you structure your math curriculum? What types of activities do children perform during math class?
How much and what types of homework will my child receive each night?
Tell me about your arts program. How often will my child participate in arts classes (especially fine arts and music)? What does that class time look like?
How many standardized tests will my child take each year? How many instructional days are spent on testing? How much time is spent during class preparing for the tests? How much is teaching geared toward the test?
What guides the teachers' instruction? Is it textbook-driven? Do you adhere to any state or international standards? How do teachers ensure your child's individual needs are being met?
On Character Education and Developing the Whole Child
How do you handle classroom behavior and what is your approach with discipline in the classroom?
Will my child spend time outside every day? If so, how much? Is loss of recess time regularly used as a disciplinary action for misbehavior?
How do you incorporate character education in your overall curriculum or classes? How does your school approach encouraging respect for each other, building friendships, and resolving conflict?
What does your school do to teach critical thinking skills?
How will you inspire a love of learning in my child?
What opportunities will my child have to interact with members of the community or perform acts of service outside the school with their class?
What opportunities will my child have to pursue individual interests?
How frequently will my child have the opportunity to go on field trips?