How to Choose the Right School for Your Kid
Choosing the right educational plan requires a lot of focus, in-depth study and planning. The ideal school setting helps the children explore the hidden potential within.
Thousands of different schools are advertised in newspapers, television and the internet. Their main aim is to try and woo the parents for enrollment of their child.
The characteristics of the child, the family, and the schools make the choice of the right school a very complex decision. The school quality cannot be measured literally as each family is poles apart. The family needs to consider their personal requirements before making a decision.
Needs of the child
Parents are sensitive to the needs of their children. They are aware of the right approach for their offspring. Some children have exceptional needs that have to be dealt with special resources. These resources need to be incorporated in the special schools that pay special attention to the areas of deficit .Working parents focus may be on after school care for their child.
- A child may respond more effectively to a casual work schedule or a rigid disciplined schedule. Only a parent is aware of these details of the child.
- Some children do not perform well in group study they need individual attention and space .A school working on the lines of instructional strategy is the ideal choice in such a case.
- A child may possess special talents in fields like sports, music, art, foreign languages, sciences or math. Schools offering these streams in their regular curriculum through activity classes’, hobby clubs or extra coaching should be tick marked in such cases.
- Parents need to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the child and find a school that trains them effectively for higher college education.
Needs of the family
An unspoken set of values are held close to the heart by families. The school needs to positively reinforce these ideal modes of behavior into the child.
Families strictly adhere to a monthly budget in order to spend their money judiciously .The tuition fees and the transportation costs are high on their list of priorities of parents for the ideal school selection.
Quality of the school
Parents should visit the school before they decide on the school of choice. If the school is open to visits prior to the admission one can make comparisons and come to a decision. If a school, is unhappy about the pre admission visit they can never respond positively after the enrollment.
The layout of the classrooms, the tables, their presentation, the bathrooms and the grounds speak volumes about the temple of education. Interaction between the parents, teachers and the head of the school helps in understanding the staff involvement with the child and the parent.
Information technology is the keyword today and is a must. The school should promote special facilities with core IT skills to impart computer knowhow. Active interaction between the teachers and responsive students help in the learning process. Technological equipment like computers, calculators and audio visual equipment should be incorporated in the daily classrooms.
The annual report of the school helps in comparing the activities and the annual expenditure per student .This expense can be compared to the other schools. There should be a clear mention of the school policies, admission dates, and enrollment documentation details in the report.
Teacher student ratio
A large number of children require a number of trained personnel to impart the right kind of education effectively. Parents need to keep their eyes open for the student performance scores .Checking of these scores highlight the improvement and consistency maintained by the students. These grades provide a comparison with other schools.
In primary years the child is weaned off the mother and undergoes a period of great insecurity. The child feels alone and is compelled to latch on to a supportive teacher. Less number of children in a class helps the tutor devote undivided attention to the insecure children. A small class size also makes the child feel protected.
Services provided by the school
The school needs to have a good library with a variety of books. The books should cater to the needs of the toddlers and the elder age groups .The school must have guidance counselors to deal with the behavioral problems of the children.
A librarian, a nurse, and an all time assistant should be available throughout the school hours for trouble shooting purposes. A parent needs to know the backup plan the school follows in case of an emergency. A clear cut picture should be available with the parent in case of rowdy and bullying behavior. They should know what action the school plans to take up in case hazardous, materials are brought to the school premises. Every parent wants to know that their child is protected and safe away from home. There should be rules for play ground activities and stranger visits.
Expectations from the teaching staff
The parent must ask the school what they expect from the child. Enquire about the school hours, the extracurricular activities, the cafeteria, school fairs, class activities and the homework. the reputation of the school carried via the word of mouth can be biased. School teaching practices have undergone a change in the last few years. Make sure that the teaching staff is appropriately qualified and adequately trained in teaching practices.
Expectation of the parents
A written school discipline policy should be available .There should be a sample report card and a detailed account of the grading system of the school. A fixed schedule should be adhered to for the updating of the textbooks and the classroom resources.
Specialized coaching should be available for the kids in various fields of interest like drama, art and games.
Parent teacher association
A school news letter should be there informing the parents of the regular parent teacher meetings. Parent teacher involvement should be encouraged through common activities and meetings .Parents calls should be welcomed at all times besides the scheduled meetings. These meetings help to discuss the problems faced by the students.
Parental approval should be assured by the welcome received on entering the school premises. School walls need to be well maintained and splashed with display of the children’s’ activities. Positive behavior is a role model for the budding student. The attitude of the teachers and the principal should be respectful and genuine. The choice of school spells a long term relation in that area. An interaction with the staff members and the general reputation of the school helps the parents make up their minds.