8 Must-Ask Questions When Choosing a School for Your Child
If you’re feeling the pressure to choose the best school for your child, you’re not alone. Many parents quickly learn that there are an abundance of options, and finding the right fit can be a daunting process. After all, it’s not just about education — it’s about finding partners to help foster your child’s growth academically, spiritually, socially, and in many other ways. Whether you have a preschooler or a high school student, choosing the right private school is a significant investment. Asking these questions can help you make a decision with confidence and invest wisely in your child’s future.
Does the school work with my family’s needs and schedule?
Before you do a deep dive on the school, find out if the basics fit your family’s life. For example, what does the morning and afternoon commute look like. Are transportation options available? Does the school provide before or after-school care? These important factors can help narrow down your list from the start.
Does the school’s mission align with my family’s beliefs?
Especially if you’re searching for a Christian school, it’s important to ask about mission and educational philosophy. You might ask how the school helps students develop a biblical worldview, how scripture is integrated across various subject areas, and what service learning opportunities are available.
Is the school accredited?
When searching for a Christian school (or any type of school), you want to know that they’ve been evaluated by a reputable accrediting body and awarded accreditation. Surprisingly, most public schools aren’t actually accredited, and many private schools are not. Accreditation from more than one source shows an even higher commitment to quality.
How does the school keep children safe?
You can never ask enough about safety. From dropoff and pickup procedures to campus surveillance, the physical safety of students should be an obvious priority. You might also ask about what measures are in place to ensure students feel safe socially and emotionally.
What does the school look for in its teachers?
This is an open-ended question that can tell you a lot about the individuals who will be educating your child. Listen up for things like the faculty’s education and experience, but also about Christian values and character traits that ensure your child has positive role models. You may also want to ask about faculty retention.
Will my child’s learning style be supported here?
Be your child’s advocate by asking about what instructional models are used and how teachers meet the needs of diverse learners. This is a good opportunity to learn about the school’s class sizes and differentiated learning opportunities. Also consider asking what support services are offered, including tutoring.
What extracurricular activities are available here?
Find out what extracurricular activities are offered at each age and stage. Athletics, fine arts, clubs, and special events enrich the academic experience and help your child discover his or her passions. Look for a school that provides a variety of high-quality offerings.
What tuition options are available?
Education will become a new line item in your family’s budget. Find out how you can get the most of your investment. You might ask if variable tuition is offered, what payment plans are available, and if your child qualifies for any scholarship opportunities. It’s also important to find out what’s included in tuition (and what’s not) to get the total picture of a school’s affordability.