5 Tips for Choosing Your Child’s Private School
A private education can be exactly what your child needs to succeed. Not only will it provide things like better academics and more challenging athletics, but it might even give them the edge over other students when it’s college application time.
But what if you have multiple options for private schooling in your area? How can you be sure which institution is the right one for your son or daughter? What kind of criteria should you be considering? If you’re in the market for private schools, here are just five tips for making a shortlist of candidates.
1. Check Their Credentials
How long has the school been open? Are they highly ranked on third-party review websites? Are they accredited by the state as a legal educational institution? Are they members of any professional organizations or boards? These are all important questions to ask before you enroll your child; you’ll need to ensure that the school is legitimate and that all of your child’s work is being counted towards their graduation requirements.
2. Ask About Their Graduation Rate
Speaking of graduation, the school’s success in this area is one of the easiest ways to judge its quality. If it has a graduation rate of less than 90 percent, something is going wrong within its walls. Don’t be afraid to directly ask the school administrators about their students and statistics; if it’s a good institution, the principal should have numbers that they’re proud to share.
3. Create a Budget
There’s no use in getting your heart set on a school that’s outside your price range. Keep in mind, too, that tuition itself won’t be your only expense. You might also be responsible for the cost of books, uniforms, lunches, lab fees and other academy materials. You’ll also have to multiply these expenses by however many years that your child still has before college. Make sure that you crunch all of these numbers when you draft a budget.
4. Evaluate Their Classes and Activities
Is your daughter a world-class soccer player? You’ll want a school that takes its athletics seriously. Is your son striving to be the next Einstein? Consider something like a Landon education; he’ll be able to take college-level courses while he’s still filling out college application forms. Whether you’re considering a small, private academy or one of the big names like the Landon School, it’s important to browse their classes, sports, programs, activities and clubs before you make a final decision.
5. Take a Tour
You won’t get a good feel for the school until you physically walk its grounds and see its students mingling on campus. Most private institutions will be more than happy to answer the questions of prospective parents; you’ll just need to make a phone call to schedule an interview or tour. You might even be able to bring your child along to see if they approve of the school, too. If both of you feel good about what you view and observe, the choice will become that much easier.
These are just a few tips for finding and selecting your child’s next private school. As you can see, there’s a lot to consider, so it isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Take your time and choose what feels right.