Selecting a school is a wonderful opportunity to match you child's personality and abilities with the just the right environment. To figure out the elements that go into this decision can be challenging. Here is a common sense checklist...

Step 1: Determine the needs of your child

NeedExplanation
Structure How much structure does your child need
Challenge How challenging of an environment does your child need
Environment Are there environments where your child does better than others
Language Does your child have special language requirements
Special Needs Does your child have special learning, social or emotional needs
Learning Style How does your child learn best (eg: hearing, reading, doing)
Social Interaction How does your child interact best (eg: individual, small groups, big groups)
Activity Level What activity level does your child need
Special Interests Does you child have special interests (artistic, musical, mathematical, etc..)


Step 2: Determine the type of school based on grade or age

LevelGradesAgeComment
High School 9-12 14-18  
Middle School 6-8 11-13 Can be seperate school or part of elementary school
Elementary School 1-5 6-10  
Kindergarten K2 5 Kindergarten as preparation for school
Pre-Kindergarten K1 4 Prepares fro Kindergarten
Pre-Kindergarten K0 3 Similar to preschool
Preschool   1-3 Children between the age of 1 and 3

 

Step 3: Select the type of school you would like

Grade LevelComment
Day School Students live at home and are attend school during the day
Boarding School Students live at school

 

Step 4: Select any specific unique style of education

 Attributes
Montessori School Emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural development.
Waldorf School Emphasizes the role of imagination in learning and integrating the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of pupils.
Religious School Integrates education with religous values such as Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Islamics and other religions
Special Education School For students with special needs

 

Step 4: Determine other important factors

ImportantComment
Tuition Tuition range you are willing to pay
Academics What kind of academic level do you expect
Size What size of school would be ideal
Distance How far from your home is the school

 

Step 5: Visit Schools and observe

Things to ObserveComment
Facilities The type and quality of the facility
Athmosphere Are students happy and curteous
Welcoming to parents Are parents welcomed by the staff
Books and Supplies Quantity and quality of books and supplies.
Security Is access controlled
Class Sizes How large are the classes
Student Work How is student work displayed
Respect Is there a sense of mutual respect
Orderly and Neat Is the environment orderly and neat
Parent Communications How does school communicate with parents
Parent Involvement How are parents involved in school