How to choose a School for Your Child
Being a parent involves making critical decisions, and one of them is deciding what school your kids attend. There are many schools out there, but not all are suitable for your child. When many parents are selecting schools, the basic and most common factors people consider are school fees and proximity to homes. However, these factors are not enough to help you make the best decision. Here are 9 smart factors to consider when selecting a school for your kids:
There are many schools around that are not accredited. One key indicator to know if a school is accredited or not is if its students are required to write external examinations in other schools. Do not be carried away by structures and aesthetics, you should confirm the accreditation status of a school before you enroll your child.
- The school's accreditation status?
- Is it legit?
- You can also check with the appropriate authorities
2. Teachers' Credibility
Teachers play a vital role in the life of your kids. A teacher is a person who assists and supports students in obtaining knowledge, proficiency, and virtues. Besides focusing on the professional qualifications of teachers, you should confirm if the teachers are passionate about their jobs.
- Are the teachers passionate about their job?
- Are the teachers emotionally intelligent?
- Are they professionally trained?
- Do they love kids?
- How often do they undergo training?
- Are the teachers well remunerated?
Poorly paid teachers tend to treat kids poorly, lookout for signs of these. These questions might seem intense, but they are important and should be considered.
Education has advanced technologically, and it is important your kids are in a school that understands the relevance of technology and adopts technology. This is where the school's curriculum comes into the picture. Is the curriculum relevant or outdated? Would you prefer Montessori or other form of education for your child?
- What fundamental subjects will be taught in the school?
- Is the curriculum up to date with the current trends in education?
- How often is the curriculum reviewed?
- Does the curriculum include 21st-century technologies and expertise?
- What is the assessment method for kids?
- Is there room for kids with special needs?
For most schools, this information is made public and can be accessed on the school's website or readily available in print for parents.
4. Extracurricular Exercises
Extracurricular activities are grand in your child's life. You should opt for a school that is concerned about the all-round growth and development of your child. And extracurricular activities play a significant role in the overall cognitive and social development of your child.
- What sporting activities do the kids participate in?
- Are standard sporting facilities available?
- Do they have relevant social, arts and science clubs?
- Are there opportunities available to pupils/students to gain new experiences through travels and excursions?
- How active is the school's extracurricular program?
Parent-Teacher Association supports the school and bridges the information gap between teachers and parents. PTA meetings are held to enhance communication between parents and schools, support with fundraising, and receive credible feedback from parents.
- Does the school have an existing parents-teachers-association (PTA)?
- How productive and beneficial is it to the school and parents?
- Are parents permitted to voluntarily give their candid opinion during PTA meetings?
- Does the school value the contribution of parents?
- Does the school engage parents in critical decisions pertaining to the interest of their children?
6. School Library
Sadly, some schools do not value the importance of a library. Many schools allocate a small room with few books and designate it as their library. Children should be exposed to lots of books at school and should be encouraged to develop a good reading habit at a young age. We suggest you look for this as well.
- Does the school have a library?
- How many relevant books are stocked in the library?
- How functional is the library?
- Is the library conducive and equipped with good furniture for reading?
Discipline should help kids stay motivated and encourage them to achieve their goals. Good schools have active discipline programs meant to regulate children's behaviors
- How kids disciplined? And are you happy with the stated discipline method?
- Are there apparently stated restrictions, principles, and laws for kids?
- Are parents familiar with the school's rules and regulations as well as the students?
- Does the school prioritize money over character building?
- Are teachers restricted when it comes to disciplining students?
- Can parents prevent the school from disciplining their kids?
8. Transportation and Feeding Initiative
Some schools offer transportation and feeding programs for their students, while some schools don't. If you would not always be available to pick or have the time to prepare, and pack lunch for your children, you might consider going for a school with an active transportation and feeding program.
- How safe is the school's transport system?
- How credible are the drivers?
- How does their transport schedule work? Are the buses healthy and safe?
- Does the school have a suitable kitchen facility?
- How balanced is their meal plan?
- Is their transportation and feeding system affordable?
9. Safety Measures
You must exercise extra caution when evaluating the security status of a school. Some schools do not have satisfactory security measures in place, and this is quite risky. Security officials must be properly trained, active and always on the alert.
Questions to Ask
- How efficient is the school's security measures?
- What measures are in place for dropping and picking up children?
- Do they have a history of missing children?
- Is safety and security prioritised in the school and how?
In addition, if possible, get to know about the school owner(s), the value upheld by the school, and past accomplishments of the school. Choosing a school for your ward can be demanding, however, you can never be too careful. Also, you can never ask too many questions. So, take your time to find relevant information from credible sources, and consider all the criteria in this article before finally making a choice.
What other factors would you consider? Tell us in the comment section below