Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could do enough research to guarantee that your student will have the perfect educational fit and excel at a private school you’re enrolling them in? The reality is, despite every precaution and preparation, it’s tough to find a private school that will hit 100% with your student in every single area of life and educational goals.
However, with the right prep work and insightful questioning of staff and faculty, you can get pretty close! Being proactive about your student’s educational environment and the people they surround themselves with as they get older is critical to supporting their healthy growth and eventual college career.
There are many advantages to private schools when it comes to educational excellence and positive schooling experience. For instance, private schools can often offer dedicated teacher focus, higher quality curriculum, better study facilities, and more diverse extracurricular activities. But each school can be massively different in their educational approach, and so it takes careful work to determine which one is best for your student.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 questions to ask a private school when considering enrolling your students.
Top 10 Questions to Ask Private Schools
How does your school define educational success?
Understanding the philosophy and vision a school applies to all its programming is critical, as it will underlie every aspect of the teaching, student activities, conflict management, and more. If you aren’t aligned with it, you and your student will struggle.
What is your vision for each student that graduates?
How does the school address different learning styles and what is the ultimate goal for the students in their classrooms? Are they just churning out high grades on state testing? Do they aim for placement in top universities? Who is available to help students navigate life after high school? Do they listen to each student's individual goals and make recommendations based on those goals?
What are the ideal qualities you look for in students?
You aren’t just picking a school–the school wants to invest in your student as well, and some may recognize that certain students either aren’t the best fit in their system or would struggle due to the program expectations.
What are your core values? How do they impact your school culture?
Each school has a set of values that guides what and how they operate day to day. Some schools clearly define and make public their values. Others may not have anything on paper, but the values are still present. Engage an admissions counselor or administrator in a conversation about they why behind the school.
How do you ensure your curriculum remains relevant?
Not only is it important to know the curriculum going in (what are the textbooks used, what are the classroom philosophies), but how will it be evaluated each year and upgraded to keep up with educational standards and evolving learning technologies?
What is your faculty-student ratio?
Do you care if your student receives more one-on-one attention in the classroom or are they able to be more self-guided in their learning and homework? How well-equipped are the teachers in being able to support student goals? Of course, it’s important not to hyper-focus on teacher/student ratios and to understand how class sizes actually average out in certain schools.
What’s included in your tuition?
Aside from attendance, what other benefits does tuition provide? What programs become available to the students or to you as the parents? Where and how is your money being used?
How does your school integrate technology in the classroom?
Are students provided the latest learning platforms and software, or are families required to provide these tools? Are students learning how to handle technology in a mature manner that empowers them for a tech-enabled world?
What are benchmarks of student performance and growth?
Alongside grades and report cards, what do faculty look for to determine whether students are moving toward and achieving larger goals in their education and career planning?
How do you establish and enforce teacher quality and faculty support?
Teachers need all the help they can get in reaching students, so what plans and resources are in place to help them offer top-notch instruction?
There are plenty of questions to ask when exploring high schools. We recommend finding a school that fits with what your family teaches at home, meets the needs of your students, and offers the opportunities to help them get ahead in their future. Please contact us today if you would like to learn how Lutheran High School would answer any of these.