You made the decision you want your child to go to a private school. Now, how do you select one?

Identify your needs

There are many factors to take into account when choosing the “right” school. At the beginning of your process, make sure you know what your needs are and classified them in order for your family. What are the “blazons”? “Nice in Haves”? Things you do not care?

Search schools

You can start your research by consulting the web or various published guides. Or, you can hire a consultant who knew private schools in your area and can help you determine which schools match your requirements.

Come with finalists

Once you have a list of schools, start your specific research on each of them. Here is a summary of the commonly asked questions to help you guide you through this process:

What kind of school do you want? Private? Independent? Religious? Day or boarding? Single sex or co-ed? Wide or small?
How far do you want it to be your home?
Which school best suits your child’s academic, social and sporting needs? His talents?
Are there specialized programs? Extra-curricular activities?
What is the diversifier of the school population?
What kind of social life is there?
What are the tuition fees? How and when is he paid? Is there financial assistance?
What is the safety of the school? How does it handle disciplinary problems?
What is his academic philosophy?
What degrees does the staff have?
What is the staff ratio to students?
What is a typical daily school schedule?
How long has the school been operational?
Is the school accredited?
What is the financial status and endowment of the school?
How do the school ranking among other private schools?
Can parents get involved
What are the admission requirements?
Do we know someone who’s going?
The answers to many questions can usually be found by examining the website of a school and asking them for literature.

Once you have your information, start making a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each school. This will give a shorter list that you want to start looking in more detail.

Visit targeted schools

If possible, try to visit the schools you want to look around and discuss its philosophy and its norms in person. Discover its facilities and a classroom. Make sure your child speaks to students to get the “lay of the earth”. Ask the school officials to provide you with contact information for a few parents of students currently enrolled.

If you are already considering applying to school, you can combine this visit with a formal admission interview. If you are not sure, the visit can help you decide to pursue it.

Speak to each other

Parents and children should sit down and discuss all the information you have. You could love school, but your child does not do it vice versa.

Acting on your decision

Once you have your “short list” desired schools, launch the formal admission process. This will include your child by taking admission tests required and you both fill in the admission documents.

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