The search for the “right fit” school for your child is rarely easy. It is likely one of the biggest decisions you will make besides choosing to have children in the first place (no pressure!). By finding a great school for them, you are giving them a head start in life, allowing them to become their best self and preparing them for the future.
Before you begin on your search for the right school, you need to define the ideal learning environment for your child. You know them better than anyone. Think about what attributes are most important to their success. Creativity? Integration of technology? Academic rigor? Maybe it’s something more specific like small class sizes or additional support for children with exceptional needs. These are the factors that will engage them in the classroom, spark curiosity, and equip them with the tools and strategies to become lifelong learners.
Now it’s time to do your research. Compare school websites, social media, or even speak with current or alumni parents. If you need more information – Ask! Read the school’s mission to see how it aligns with your values.
Once you have narrowed down your search, make an appointment to see the school in action. Be sure to consider your entire experience from booking the appointment to how you’re greeted when you arrive. First impressions are everything.
As you walk through the school, observe how teachers interact with other staff members, with you, and most importantly, with the students. Academics are of course vital, but the people and relationships your child will encounter in their school will impact how they interact with the world moving forward.
Touring the school will also give you the opportunity to ask questions. Some key ones to consider are:
- What type of curricular and extra-curricular programs are available?
- How much time do they get to spend outside?
- How is technology used?
- What are the school’s policies on conflict and discipline?
- What are your class sizes?
Likely by this time, you’ve got a pretty good sense if the school is a good fit or not. How many boxes does the school cross off for you? Reflecting on the information you gathered both prior and during your school tour will help you feel confident in your decision, as it is an important one.
Director of Enrolment Management
River Valley School