Are you considering sending your child to a private school? There are so many questions to ask when visiting a school you’re considering sending your child to – but do you really know where to begin? Arm yourself with these questions to ask private school admissions to ensure you make the right decision.
The basic questions to ask a school
- 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?
- 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?
Still looking for a private school that fits your child’s needs? Check out our roundups of the best private schools in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties.
This post was originally published in 2015 and is updated regularly.