Private schools offer you a wider range option educational options for your child, and the quality and methodology of these schools varies greatly. Here are some things to look for in your school tours; these qualities indicate an excellent private school.
While there is no single measure of academic success, you can ask for the school's SAT and ACT scores, or PSAT and standardized test scores for younger children. Other measures of student success include high achievement in sports teams, artistic organizations, and community engagement projects. Your school will likely present you with this type of information if you attend a tour; compare it with other options to guess which school is most effective.
Programs for All Students
A good school should be able to accommodate a range of learning styles, not just the average students. For the ones who are performing above average, a school can offer advanced placement courses, accelerated learning tracks, or more challenging assignments. But another indicator of a school that cares about its students' wellbeing is a strong system for students who need additional help with their studies, including tutoring and special education programs.
You can get a feel for the school by walking through the halls and seeing how students and teachers interact with each other. Peek into some classrooms if you're allowed to do so, and look at the expressions on children's faces. Do they seem engaged and interested in the lessons? There are many ways to present any school topic, and a great school will help its teachers prepare high quality lessons that the students love.
Aside from making your own judgments, you may be able to ask to speak with other parents before making your decision. Instead of talking on school property, offer to take the parent out to coffee; they may speak more candidly.
A part of your research should include finding out the school's mission statement. Then, go about confirming it during your visit. Does the principal speak passionately about the mission statement? Do you see it being lived out in the classrooms and halls? This can show that the school is committed to what it has set out to achieve with the students.
Many private schools will offer your children a high quality education that meets your particular needs. But if you have any special concerns for your child going into the school, don't hesitate to ask a school official, another parent, or possibly an educational forum. While choosing the best school for your child, there are many resources to help you make an informed decision.