Tips for Choosing Private Schools

Posted October 8, 2007

Local educators offer the following tips for parents who are considering a private school for their children:

  • Visit the school and talk with the principal or head of school.
  • Prepare a list of questions before the visit. These should include: student-teacher ratio, teachers’ educational requirements, student retention rate, graduation rate, school history, financial support availability, accreditation standards, discipline methods and course of study for students.
  • Attend an open house and meet with teachers. Ask teachers to outline a typical day, including physical activity, arts, music and lunch.
  • Ask for details about educational styles and methods.
  • Sit in on a class to watch the interaction between the teacher and students, the instructional style and the general atmosphere of the entire campus. Be wary of schools that do not welcome parents on the campus or encourage parent participation.
  • Talk with parents who have children attending the school. They can offer valuable insight into the curriculum, teachers and administrators.
  • Consider talking with some of the students. Keep in mind that, while children may have varying views of school, they also can give an honest opinion that can be useful to parents.

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