Finding the perfect school can be a daunting task for parents. With the number of factors to take into consideration and abundance of options to choose from, many worry whether they’re making the best decision for their child’s academic future.
If you’re in the process of selecting a school for your child, here are 5 key questions you should ask to ease the journey:
- Where is the school located?
For many parents, one of the main deciding factors in their child’s education is location. Where a school is located raises some additional concerns, including:
- Is the school in a safe area?
- How will my child get to and from school?
- Will my child need to attend an after-school care program?
- How much time will my child have to do homework, participate in extracurriculars, and pursue their personal interests?
No matter the other advantages a school may have, be sure to select one your child can reasonably—and safely—attend.
- What is the school’s average class size?
Not every student learns the same. While some children thrive in focused, one-on-one settings, others prefer more autonomy in their educational experience. Consider the possible group dynamics your child may encounter in the classroom, as well as the amount of attention they might require from teachers and faculty. Don’t be afraid to ask if you and your child can sit in on a class at a prospective school to get a firsthand feel for the learning environment.
- What extracurriculars does the school offer?
Extracurriculars are just as important as academics when it comes to a student’s growth and development; in fact, a study by NCES finds that participation in extracurricular activities correlates positively with academic success. So if your child is a budding athlete, they might prefer to attend a school with great sports teams. If they’re more creatively inclined, then consider schools with strong arts programs.
- What is the school’s culture like?
Does your child prosper in a nurturing hands-on environment? Or are they better suited for a school that’s structured and performance-oriented? To get a better sense of a school’s culture, have a visit during school hours, attend PTA meetings, and read up on their mission and values statements. It’s also a good idea to connect with other parents and ask about information you might not receive from the staff, such as potential concerns or complaints.
- Does the school align with my child’s educational goals?
The school your child attends plays a vital role in their scholastic success. Research how well students from prospective schools perform on standardized tests, what percentage of students graduate, what colleges students attend after high school, and so on. Planning for the long-term early on can save you and your child from unnecessary stress along the line.
The best schools on paper may not be the best fit for your child. That’s okay. Involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible, and trust your instincts if you have any doubts that a school is a good match. Ultimately, you and your child know what best suits their educational needs. At Lake Forrest Prep, a leading private school in Orlando, we congratulate you and your child for taking the first step in their academic journey. For more resources to decide if Lake Forrest Prep is right for your child, check out our blog.