Questions for a School
Private? Charter? School of Choice? Narrow down the choices for your child
Considering sending your child to a school of choice, private school or other educational option? Arm yourself with these questions to ensure you make the right decision.
- Do teachers have high expectations from students?
- Are students engaged and busy?
- Do the teachers connect with their students?
- How does the school's "report card" check out? (You should be able to find out the following: students' scores on state tests, broken out by student subgroups; how many students performed at the "basic," "proficient" and "advanced" levels on the tests; and graduation rates.)
- Does the school have a strong program of core academic subjects, such as English, history, mathematics, science, arts and foreign languages?
- What courses does the school offer in addition to the core subjects?
- What evidence is there that the school is effectively teaching students to read?
- Does the school have a special focus or theme for the curriculum?
- Does the school offer challenging courses?
- Does the school provide enrichment opportunities for all students? For gifted or special-needs students?
- Does the school have extracurricular activities that support what is taught? Can all students participate?
- If your child has special learning needs, does the school have a curriculum and the necessary supports to appropriately accommodate those needs?
- What is the homework policy? Does it match your expectations for how much homework your child should do?
- How large are the classes?
- What does the school do to help develop character and citizenship?
- What is the discipline policy? How does the school handle students who misbehave?
- What measures has the school taken to ensure safety? What security measures are in place?
- What extracurricular activities does the school offer after school or on weekends?
- What interscholastic activities are available to students?
- What intramural activities are available to students?
- What activities receive the most attention and resources?
- Do students have access to computers and to the Internet in the classroom and library?
- Is use of the Internet monitored?
- Is there a cafeteria, and does the school offer a nutritionally well-balanced lunch program? Breakfast program?
- Is supervised before- and after-school care offered?
- Are there tutoring programs?
Questions for private schools
- What is the tuition?
- Is there a payment plan?
- Is there a sliding scale for tuition, based on parish, church affiliation, or family income?
- What are the other fees and expenses (room and board, uniforms, books, transportation, lab and computer fees, activity fees)?
- What scholarships and loans are available?
- Are students or their parents required to be of a particular faith?
- Does the school have a policy on student participation in religious instruction and worship?
- Does the school close for religious and federal holidays?
- Does the school have the same schedule as the local public school?