If you are considering a private school for your child, you will need a clear understanding of the academics, sports and enrichment opportunities of each school you're considering. Ask yourself these questions.
What do you expect a private school will provide for your child?
Examine your values on the importance of these school issues: grades, social development and a safe environment. At a private school, your child should be supervised closely, motivated to achieve his best work and provide a safe and secure place as he or she learns and communicates with other children.
How important is the religious aspect in the education of your child?
Many private schools are affiliated with a certain denomination or religious belief. For these schools, religion will play an important role and be incorporated into the curriculum.
Will the academic curriculum present a healthy challenge for your child?
One of the most important aspects of considering a private school is the grade level curriculum offered. Give consideration to programs that will challenge your student. Investigate gifted programs, advanced placement courses and electives that may be available. Foreign language classes are very important and related art programs such as computers, music and art will round out your child's education.
What extracurricular activities and athletic programs does the school offer?
You will want to choose a school that will enrich your child's academic and social experience. Sport teams, clubs, drama, band, chorus and intramural opportunities will enhance and develop your student's talents.
What is the student population of the school?
The size of the school is important. Private schools are known for smaller class sizes which allow students to benefit from one-on-one instruction. This situation is often reflected in the teacher/student ratio.
What credentials and certifications do the teachers have?
It is a good idea to inquire about the experience of the faculty and staff. Discover what requirements and certifications are required by the school to be employed as a teacher. How many teachers actually hold degrees above a baccalaureate?
What is the cost and tuition of the school?
You will need to know all the expenses for which you will be held responsible. Besides the tuition, consider costs for uniforms, books, or other miscellaneous charges. Some schools also require that parents as well as students contribute time to help in the school or the community.
What are the entrance and testing requirements?
Generally your child will be asked to take a basic entrance exam which may also include an interview screening process and perhaps a letter of recommendation from a teacher or administrator if the student has attended another school.
How does the private school you are considering rank among others?
You might think that private schools would be ranked so you could compare and make sure you are getting the best fit for your child. It is almost impossible to make such comparisons. Each school is unique. You must visit them, talk to teachers and talk to parents who have children at those schools to help with matching your requirements to a school in your location.