Shaping your child future with glitters of success, happiness and strength makes his life blossom. With his good or bad deeds child carve his life but chisel is handed over by parents only that help him throughout his life and this chisel is none other than good school for him. Smart and intelligent decision about school can give your child a great future ahead. Decide about a school is not that an easy task as buying a chocolate for him. Confusion and unaware of how to decide regarding varied schools prevails over parents mind contributing vulnerability in their decision making. Well keep your confusion aside and channelize your sources of information to make a healthy and wealthy decision for your child.
Next few paragraphs will polish your ideas and talk about the various criteria that can make your decision making task easier.
Consider your child and your family
Beware of your child needs and demands for a specific school type to encourage his particular knowledge that he has. Watch your aspirations about what you want a school to do for your child. Keep in your mind child special language and education needs. Keep your mind ask different types of questions to your heart such as
- Does your child need a more structured environment or less structured environment?
- Does your child need more challenging work?
- Does your child need more individual attention?
- Does your child generally need extra help or more time to complete an assignment?
- Does your child have any special learning needs?
- Does your child need an environment that fosters creativity?
- Does your child need an English language acquisition program?
- Does your child learn best by seeing how things work?
- Does your child learn best by reading about how something works?
- Does your child learn best by listening?
- Does your child like to participate in discussions?
- Does your child like to learn through physical activity?
- Is your child logical or mathematical?
- Is your child musical or artistic?
- Does your child like to learn in groups?
- Does your child like to work alone?
- Do you want your child to go to a school within walking distance of your home?
- Can your child’s talents be nurtured outside your neighborhood?
- How far are you willing to have your child bused?
- How far are you willing to drive your child to school?
- Does your child want to be in a school with his or her friends?
- Do you want your child to go to a school near your after-school care or near where you work or near a close relative?
- Does your child have any special transportation needs that must be considered in choosing a school?
Gather information about schools
Along with the schools’ curricula and philosophy, you will want to know about school policies and services. Parents may also wish to consider the after-school programs a school offers, for example, sports, clubs, tutoring, or academic enrichment. You may also want to ask if the school has supplemental educational services, including free tutoring, that are offered outside of the regular school hours. Questions regarding curriculum should keep bouncing your mind, for example
- Does the school have a strong program of core academic subjects such as English, history, mathematics, science, arts, and foreign languages?
- What courses does the school offer in addition to the core subjects?
- What evidence is there that the school is effectively teaching students to read?
- Does the school have a special focus or theme for the curriculum?
- Does the school provide enrichment opportunities for all students or for gifted students?
- Does the school have extracurricular activities that support what is taught?
- Is there an effective English language acquisition program for children who need it?
- If your child has special learning needs, does the school have a curriculum and the necessary supports to appropriately accommodate those needs?
Some of you are also eager to know about learning style and then ask yourself
- Does the school have a particular approach to teaching and learning (e.g., group projects, individual performance, frequent testing)?
- If yes, do you think your child will enjoy and learn from this approach?
- Does the school do all it can to make sure each child learns? Does it provide opportunities for children to get extra help when they need it?
- Is the school staff able to communicate in the language that your child understands?
- Are children with limited English language skills, learning disabilities, or other special needs learning and performing well on tests?
- What is the homework policy? Does it match your expectations for how much homework your child should do?
- Do you want your child to go to a single sex (all-boy or all-girl) school, or a coeducational school?
- How large are the classes?
Gather information in concern with academic performance of a school and behavior policy by gathering answers to questions like
- How do the school’s test scores compare to those of other schools?
- In the past few years, have test scores risen or declined? How does the school explain the rise or decline?
- How well have children similar to yours performed on these tests?
- How do students moving on to the next level of schooling perform in their new schools?
- How many students leave the school before completing the last grade?
- What special achievements or recognition has the school received?
- What does the school do to help develop character and citizenship?
- What is the discipline policy? How does the school handle students who misbehave?
- Are teachers fair in their responses to students? Does the school have a program and supports to prevent and address behavior problems?
- Are students allowed to leave school by themselves?
- What measures has the school taken to ensure safety? What security measures are in place?
- What is the policy on school absences? How does the school encourage daily attendance?
- Do school personnel call parents when students are absent?
- Does the school have a drug and alcohol abuse prevention program?
- Does the school have a dress code? Do students wear uniforms?
Safety is one of the most important aspect related to which parents must be very careful and should find out about
- Is the school safe?
- How does the school prevent and handle problems with drugs, alcohol, and tobacco?
- How does the school prevent and handle violence, bullying, harassment and other forms of abusive behavior?
- What measures does the school take to ensure safety? What security measures are in place?
- What is the school’s relationship with the local police?
- Is there a police officer on duty during school hours and for extracurricular activities?
- What information is available on serious crime in the school? What information is available on students bringing weapons to school?
- Does the school have an emergency plan for local and national emergencies?
- What does the school do to ensure that parents and all school administrators know the emergency plan?
- Are there drills?
- How does the school notify parents about emergency closings? How does the school communicate with parents in other languages?
Ask about special offerings like
- What extracurricular activities does the school offer after school or on weekends?
- Do all students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities?
- What interscholastic activities are available to students?
- What intramural activities are available to students?
- What activities receive the most attention and resources?
- Are there school and student publications?
- Does the school sponsor field trips?
- Are they available to all students?
- Are publications for parents available in other languages?
- Talk about facilities and services available in the school find answers of
- Is there a well-stocked library where students can check out books and do research?
- Are reading materials available in other languages?
- Is there interlibrary loan?
- Is time provided in the day for students to go to the library?
- Do students have access to computers and to the Internet in the classroom and library?
- Is use of the Internet monitored?
- Is there an auditorium or a large room for school assemblies?
- Is a school nurse on duty daily?
- Is there a cafeteria, and does the school offer a nutritionally well-balanced lunch program or breakfast program?
- Is supervised before- and afterschool care offered?
- Are there tutoring programs?
- Are counseling services available to students?
- Is the school accessible to children with mobility limitations?
Keep hunting about the questions regarding admission procedure such as
- Is there an application process?
- What is the application deadline?
- Is anything else required in the application (test scores, interview, recommendations, application fees, etc.)?
- Are test scores required for admission?
- What are the ranges of scores for admitted students?
- Do admissions requirements include a portfolio, an audition or statement of interest?
- Are there any other admissions requirements?
- Are admissions requirements published in languages other than English?
Do not leave any page unturned to collect information about various schools.
Visit and observe schools
Contact the schools you are interested in and make an appointment for a visit. If possible, tour the schools during regular school hours and visit a few classes. Avoid visiting schools during the first or last week of a semester in order to get a realistic sense of how the school operates. A good way to have your questions answered is to schedule an appointment with the school principal. If possible, attend an open house, parent-teacher meeting, or other school function that would also provide valuable information about the attitudes of staff, students, and parents. Listen closely to what teachers say about the school. The teachers will be the adults closest to your child, and you will want to know if they are well prepared, dedicated, and happy in their work.
Learn about various aspects to be considered such as
Culture:Find the answers to
- Is the school secretary helpful and friendly?
- Is the school orderly and neat?
- What do the bulletin boards look like?
- How is student work displayed?
- How does the school communicate with students and parents (weekly/ monthly newsletter, e-mail, Web site)?
- Do the students appear to be courteous, happy, and disciplined?
- Is there a welcoming attitude toward all parents?
- How are the students with diverse learning needs (e.g., students with disabilities and students with limited
- English proficiency) treated?
- Do the teachers appear to be helpful and friendly?
Principal:Learn about the principal’s philosophy about education, her attitude toward discipline, her reputation in the community, her availability in the school to meet parents, her observance in case of students and teachers, school work to keep good teachers and improve teacher performance and principal views on school strengths and weaknesses.
Teachers:Know about teachers thinking by considering
- How do teachers grade student work?
- Do teachers have high expectations for all students to achieve to high academic standards?
- How do teachers inform students of their expectations?
- Do teachers share the course content and objectives with parents?
- When and how frequently are teachers available for parent conferences?
- Do teachers assign homework? Is it rigorous, frequent or sufficient?
- Are the teachers highly qualified to teach in their subject areas (do they know the subjects they are teaching)?
- Do teachers have the skills and knowledge to address students with special learning needs?
- Are specialized staffs available to address the special learning needs of a child (e.g., speech therapist, psychologist or aides)?
- Do the teachers know the individual students in their classes?
- Are teachers willing to provide extra help to students?
- What is the school’s policy regarding teacher response to parent inquiries?
- Do teachers have Web sites with class notes and other information for students and parents?
Students:Survey about kind of students studying in the school by taking account of
- What is the attendance rate for students?
- What do students say about the principal?
- What do students say about the teachers?
- Do the students have school spirit?
- What do students say about homework?
- Do students participate in and enjoy field trips?
- Do students feel safe and secure at the school?
- What do student publications say?
- What else do students say about the school?
Parent and community involvement:Imbibe about
- How does the school encourage parental involvement?
- What are the ways parents can get involved?
- Are parents encouraged to volunteer?
- Does the school have an active parent-teacher organization?
- Does the school hold meetings and events at times when parents can attend?
- How well attended are back-to school nights by parents?
- Are families expected to be involved with homework?
- How frequently does the school communicate with parents?
- Are community leaders involved with the school?
- Does the school partner with local businesses and organizations?
- Are parents involved in the development of school policies?
Reputation:Get clear idea about how school is regarded in the community, how is school viewed by other parents, do other schools respect the school, has school won any awards, views of graduates of school and have graduates from the school made significant contributions to the community and their field of choice.
Faithfully heed all the requirements to go for a good school.
Apply to the schools you choose
Once you select the school(s) that you think will be best for your child, you will go through a process of applying to a schools of your choice and enrolling your child. Consider applying to more than one school, in case your child is not admitted to their first choice. You will want to begin this process as early as possible in order to ensure you meet all the deadlines. Admissions processes can vary. Your child may need to be tested or interviewed, and you may need to provide a school transcript, recommendations, or other information. It would be helpful to learn about admissions criteria for the schools. You will want to double check to be sure you have accurate information on when and how to apply.
Remember, you are looking for a school that will make the educational experience for your child and you as rewarding as possible.
No one cares more about your child’s welfare than you do. No one else will be more careful to see that your child is well educated and well treated in school. You know your child’s personality, strengths and weaknesses. You know the interests that light up your child’s eyes. You know the values that your family wants a school to respect. Choosing your child’s school may also make you more confident that she will be taught effectively and treated fairly. Choosing your child’s school carefully is an important way you can help your child achieve all that he can be. This is a head and a heart decision. Don’t be afraid to heed your own informed and intuitive wisdom.