How to Choose the Best School for Your Child

Children in class

Are you in the process of choosing a school for your child or children? If so, it can be an overwhelming task. Naturally, you want to find a school that will be the best fit for your child. One easy way to start the process is to make a list of questions that can help you pinpoint what you want in a school. You can refer back to this list as you tour or research schools to make sure you’re finding exactly what you want. Look at some other considerations to keep in mind as you work through the process of choosing a school for your child.

Student to Teacher Ratio

One important consideration in this choice is the student to teacher ratio. This ratio represents how many students a teacher is responsible for teaching. Ideally, you want to choose a school with a low student to teacher ratio. In short, this means your student will have more attention from the teacher because he or she is responsible for a relatively small number of students.

The Qualifications of Teachers

A teacher’s qualifications directly influence his or her performance in the classroom. Look for a school where teachers have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in education. Most teachers who are highly-qualified either possess or are working toward a master’s degree in education. Also, if there are teachers’ aides working in the classrooms, do some research on their qualifications. Do they earn a certificate 3 to help them guide students in daily lessons? A teacher’s aide is likely to do a lot in your child’s classroom.

The Mission Statement of the School

When considering a particular school, ask about its mission statement. Some schools like to focus on specific subjects like science and math, while others have a curriculum leaning more toward the liberal arts. Think about whether your preferences agree with the mission statement of a school.

The Accessibility of Teachers

Picture your child going to a particular school. Will it be easy for you to get in touch with your child’s teacher if you have a question or concern? Do the teachers in the school make themselves accessible by providing their email address, phone number and the hours when they are free to talk to parents? This is very important especially if a challenging issue arises during the year.

Is the School Equipped to Serve Your Child’s Needs?

If your child has special needs, it’s essential that you research a school to see if it is equipped to serve your child. Are there teachers qualified to teach your child or do they all have general qualifications? For instance, if your child is on the autism spectrum, he or she needs special attention and adjustments in the curriculum in order to learn better. A face-to-face meeting with the principal would be a great idea if you’re looking for a school to serve a child who has special needs.

The Atmosphere of the School

The atmosphere of a school is another important consideration. Does the school have a welcoming vibe? Do the teachers seem happy to be there? If the answer is yes to both questions, these are telltale signs of a quality school. Take your child there for a tour. Does he or she feel at ease there? This can be an important factor in your decision.

Available Transportation

Some schools have bus service while others expect parents to provide transportation to and from school. If you will need bus service for your child either to school, to home or both, it’s best to ask about this right away. You may also want to inquire as to whether there’s an aide on the bus.

Lastly, these are just a few things to keep in mind as you choose a school for your child. Try narrowing your choices down to two or three so you can compare the pros and cons of each. As a note, starting your search for a new school as early as possible puts time on your side regarding this important decision.

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