Tips on selecting a school for your child
After the Relocation - March 7, 2019
A suitable school for your child can play an important role in his successful academic career. Therefore, it can be pretty difficult to find the right one after moving to San Antonio with family. The good news is that today there are many educational opportunities besides the public school. The bad news is that the abundance of options can leave you as a parent in a quandary because of selecting a school for your child. It is important to know what to look for in school so that your child receives the best possible education for their specific needs. In some cases, this may be a public school on the street, while other children may need a different environment to most effectively promote the learning process.
What are the options?
Many parents are not aware of their choice in teaching their children today. According to Education.com, here are some of the options available in K-12 education:
- Neighboring public schools
- Charter schools
- Magnet schools
- Online public schools
- Private schools
- Alternative schools
Factors you need to consider when selecting a school for your child
Once you know what options are available to you, it’s time to determine the best environment for your child, based on the 10 steps we outlined here:
Looking for a good fit
To find the best school, a parent needs to set the following four criteria:
- What do you want your child to learn (specific subject, level of academic difficulty)
- How your child learns better (special learning style, problems)
- Social needs (level of contact with peers)
- Practical issues (planning, extracurricular activities, etc.)
Some schools offer a wider range of training than others. If it is important for your child to learn a second language in primary school, choose a primary school in which a foreign language is the main part of the curriculum. If you want your child to be educated in art or religious education, look for schools offering these components.
Test results may not tell all about school performance. But they are an important component in determining how well students at this school have time to learn. We also recommend checking grades for local schools, if they exist. For future high school students, we also recommend analyzing the school based on the success of their graduates in college and vocational fields.
Make a list
Make a list of the features you want in the school that your child attends. According to the US Department of Education website, some of the basics you need to look for in any effective school include:
- High expectations
- Great teachers and staff
- Busy, visible children
- Strict curriculum
- Bright association of parents and teachers
- Parents welcomed and answered questions
In addition, the website recommends testing standardized test results in schools to ensure that students complete the appropriate academic levels.
When you find a school that looks suitable for your child, we recommend you to visit the classrooms and meet with teachers and staff. While you are in school, you can meet principals, teachers, and other parents to get an idea of what the expectations of parents are, how teachers and staff relate to students, and what is the overall learning environment like.
Before visiting the school, prepare a few questions for the principal and the teachers you are meeting. Some good questions when selecting a school for your child include:
- Are teachers taught, supported and supervised?
- How do they solve behavioral problems in school?
- How much homework do they give to students?
You will probably also have a number of your own questions based on the specific learning needs and nature of your child. Write down the questions before the visit, so as not to forget to ask any of them.
Talk to parents and students
Although staff members can make it great during a visit, parents and students at school often say the real situation. Talk to the neighbors or parents you meet while visiting the school to see if they and their children are happy with the quality of education offered there. Ask if the staff responds to needs and concerns and if parents are involved in school work. Talking about the school can also be a great topic for meeting new neighbors.
Have a conversation with the principal
A one-on-one meeting with the principal during your school visit may be the best time to ask many of your questions. Principals must be open to meeting with parents and must provide information about the school and its staff.
Check PTA meeting
In addition to learning more about current events at the school you are considering, this is a great way to collect parents’ names and telephone numbers at school that you can contact later. PTA meetings are usually available to all parents in the school. As well as to the general public, so your presence should be welcome.
Trust your intuition
After you have collected and evaluated the information, the point is to choose the school that you and your child feel best about attending. In some cases, this goes directly to the data. In other cases, you can simply get a good idea of the staff or other functions. The school you choose will influence your child’s academic future. So take the time to explore your options and then choose the school that is most comfortable for both of you.
Remembering these tips, you are ready to make the right decision when selecting a school for your child. We wish you good luck!