How to Choose a School for Your Child
You’ve Talked to other parents. You’ve Evaluated the school, and you’ve Stopped by for a visit. You have all of the information you need to make your decision. So you’re ready to go to that greatest of all decision-making places – your kitchen table – spread out the information you’ve gathered, finish your school Report Cards, compare facts … aaaaaannnnd Take action!
When choosing your child's school, TEST your options: Talk, Evaluate, Stop By, and Take Action. What action you ask?
We think there are three more steps:
- Compare Your Options
- Pick the Best
For a little help and perspective, read on.
As you look at the schools you’re considering, what’s the MOST IMPORTANT thing to focus on?
Right! Your child’s goals. You may want to write the goals on a piece of paper, make a tent out of the paper and place it right in front of you on the table in the center of everything you're doing. That way, every time you look up, you're focusing on your child’s goals.
Are each of the goals you have for your child’s education equally important?
No, of course not. Remember how you prioritized your child’s educational goals – must have’s, nice-to-have’s and limits? Well, that’s where you want to start when you’re comparing the schools you’ve TESTed.
Is This a Keeper? Compare Your Options
Once you’ve completed the Report Cards for each of the schools on your list, you want to make sure that they meet your “must have” goals. If they do, they’re “keepers” so put them in a “keeper” pile. If they don’t, set them aside.
Next you want to look at all of the schools in your “keeper” pile and determine how many of the “nice-to-have” goals they meet … and so on. That’s what we mean when we say “move on down your list of priorities.”
If having challenging class content is most important, you’ll look at the grade you’ve given the schools for class content or curriculum.
Let’s say all of the schools that are still in the running make the grade for class content. Then you move onto your next priority. If your child is a budding Michael Jordan, Tom Brady or Gabrielle Reese, the school’s athletics programs, standing and opportunities may be the second priority. If your child acts like the next Chris Rock, Mike Myers or Eddie Murphy, then a good theatre program might be second on your list.
And you continue down your list of priorities to see 1) which schools match more of the priorities and 2) which schools match the best combination of priorities for your child.
Reprinted with the permission of EduGuide. © 2008 EduGuide.
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