The New Year is here and admission season is upon us. It’s time to get serious if you’re just starting the school search or considering a change for your child or teen. For most parents, this is a daunting task.  Following are a few tips to get the most out of school visits and get you on the path to making the best-fit choice for your child’s education.

  1. Know your child. Understand their strengths and challenges and how they learn best.
  2. Learn about the school before you visit. Examine written materials, websites, talk to your friends, read the Education Section of your local newspaper and magazines.
  3. Understand the student community:
    • What is the overall culture of the school? Do there seem to be cliques?
    • How diverse is the campus?
    • How are students dressed? Uniforms?
  4. Notice the environment when touring the school: 
    • Physical Facilities: Location, buildings, green space, size. Are the physical spaces bright and cheerful? Are there places for quiet and reflection?
    • Demographics: Class Size, Student/Teacher Ratio, Student Population
    • Look for technological advances such as Smart Boards, laptop and iPad use by students.
  5. Pay Attention to Academics:
    • What is the academic curriculum model or philosophy?
    • Do they have honors or AP courses? When can my child start taking AP courses?
    • What are opportunities for academic enrichment?
    • Are there opportunities that go beyond the classroom
  6. Understand the Admissions Criteria:
    • What are your admission criteria?
    • Who makes admission decisions?
    • How long does the process take?
    • When can I expect a decision?
    • What are tuition costs?
    • Are there scholarships?
  7. Evaluate Special Services:
    • Special Education Teachers/Resource teacher availability, Teacher Assistants, peer tutoring, learning lab, etc.
    • Special programming: languages offered, special classrooms, art, music.
  8. Extracurricular Activities or clubs:
    • What kind of opportunities are available to participate in music or sports programs?
    • What kinds of clubs and after school enrichment programs are available?
    • Do you have alternative sporting activities, e.g. ultimate frisbee, dance, yoga?
  9. Parental Involvement: Are there opportunities for parent volunteerism in the school? What about Parent Teacher Organizations? Parent Booster Clubs?
  10. Ask yourself, “Is this school a “fit” for my child?
  11. Involve your child in the school search process!

For more in-depth help determining the best-fit educational environment for your child or teen, contact us at info@atleduconsults.com or call our office at 770.980.1540. 

 

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