One of the most important decisions you’ll make for your child is the selection of a private school. There are many reasons why parents choose private schools for the education of their children, and one is the individual attention students can receive from caring, dedicated teachers. Another important reason is a learning environment and supportive school community that nurtures the success of different types of students. With its family-like atmosphere and school spirit, a private school often becomes a “home away from home” for its students.
If you are considering a private school education for your child, here are 9 Essentials Questions You Need to Ask when you tour and visit the schools on your list. The following questions are not provided in any order of importance…ask in the order of what topics are most important to you!
1) What is annual tuition and what does tuition include?
Follow-up Questions – What are my tuition payment options? Is financial aid available and what is the process for applying? Besides tuition, what additional expenses should I anticipate during the school year?
Follow-up Consideration – How can I best incorporate tuition payments into my budget?
2) What school transportation options are available?
Follow-Up Questions – What is the expense associated with each option? Does the school offer childcare before and after school?
Follow-Up Consideration – What is the best option for getting our child to and from school, taking into account our work schedules?
3) What are the mission and values of the school?
Follow-Up Consideration – Are they consistent with our family’s educational goals and values?
4) What is the school’s academic curriculum and accreditation?
Follow-Up Questions – What types of diplomas are offered? What types of advanced classes are available?
5) What is your average class size and what methods do your teachers use to differentiate learning and provide individual attention to students?
Follow-Up Question – Can my child receive tutoring or extra help from their teachers if needed?
6) How does the school ensure a safe and secure campus?
Follow-Up Questions – Will I be notified if there is a safety concern on campus during the school day? What is the school’s student discipline policy and how is it enforced?
7) What methods do teachers use to communicate with parents, and what communications can I expect to receive during the year from school administration and leadership?
8) What athletic teams and extracurricular clubs/organizations does your school offer to students?
Follow-Up Consideration – Will these teams and clubs be of interest to my child?
9) Does the school offer dedicated college counseling, and what support and guidance can my child expect to receive?
Follow-Up Question – What colleges and universities accept graduates from the school?
Perhaps the greatest opportunity you can provide as a parent is the opportunity for your child to receive an amazing education during his or her formative years! This list of questions will provide a great start in collecting the valuable information you’ll need to make the best school decision for your child. There are certainly many other questions you may wish to ask, and those will come to you as you make your way through the selection process. It’s a great idea to visit a school on more than one occasion, especially during the school day and also plan a day where your child can spend the entire day at school shadowing with another student. In the end, you’ll want to ask yourself one essential question – Is the school a good fit for my child?
If you would like to learn more about the amazing private school education offered at Tidewater Academy in Wakefield, Virginia, our admissions director Brandee Phillips will be happy to talk with you. You may contact her at (757) 899-5401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.