Only a parent knows when his or her own child isn’t excelling in school.
Whether it’s the social environment, school curriculum, training of the teachers, and a plethora of other possible hindering issues that may be interfering with your child’s education—transferring schools may be the only realistic alternative. But like all major changes in life, this should be a well-calculated decision that’s carefully measured and thoughtfully considered.
From Sunday school to charter school, if you’re in the process of finding a different education for your little one, here are the essential things to consider during your pursuit of a new enrollment:
What is the ideal education you’re looking for?
Before beginning your search, it’s imperative that you think carefully about what subjects and/or themes are most important to you and your child’s education. Refine your search by evaluating which methods of learning best appeal to your child. If, for example, he or she excels in math—make sure that the impending educational environment maintains a high regard, as well as a viable, well-respected reputation in this subject area(s).
Weigh ALL of your options
If you’re struggling to find the “perfect” school for your child, you’re most likely going to endure a difficult time trying to find such a place. The reality is, the perfect school simply does not exist. That’s why it’s important to not consider one alternative over the other.
It’s very plausible that a homeschooling organization may better suit your child than a highly regarded private school, or that online education may provide a stronger focus in a specific area than of a charter school. At the end of the day, each school is unique and has its own strengths and weakness that differentiates them from the other.
Look carefully into each school, but let “the numbers” be the overriding factor…
During your search, it’s important that you gather as much information about a specific school as you can before making a decision. Some schools may have betters numbers regarding grades, student-to-teacher ratio, diversity in class subjects, etc., however, this doesn’t mean that they are better for your child to enroll in.
There are plenty of reputable sources online to help you divvy up information regarding a specific school. But it’s important to mention that you utilize these tools with a grain of salt approach; in other words, use these services to help guide your decision, not confirm it.
Physically visit the school before settling on a decision…
Marketing exists everywhere and in every industry and school administration are no different.
Many schools that you research online will visibly appear better than how they actually look in person—so it’s crucial to never judge a book by its cover. Making the trip to the actually campus and visit the school with your own two eyes along with your child. This will give a much better perspective versus an image up pulled up while surfing the web. During the visit, be sure to invest time and really dive into the school’s routine and overall personality.
Schedule an interview with the principal, knock on the door of a teacher after class, talk with other parents, and do your best to gain an idea of what your child will be experiencing day-to-day.
Here are a few important questions to investigate during your visit:
- What is training-level and expertise of the teachers and staff?
- What is the difficulty-level of the class’s agendas and/or topics?
- What is the quantity and quality of the homework assigned?
- What are the behavioral procedures of student misconduct, bullying, etc.?
How can you tell if a school is the right fit for your child?
As parents, we all want our children to find the ideal school that can cater to their needs and support them in their educational journey. When it comes to finding the right fit for your kid, there are several important factors to consider. You should begin by looking into the philosophy and values of a school: these will tell you whether they share similar parenting beliefs as you do. Also, consider if there are extracurricular activities available that pique your child’s interest — this can help make them excited about attending school every day. Finally, you may want to look into how diverse the community is, as well as the resources available for parents who are involved in their kids’ education. Narrowing down on these factors can help make the process of finding a school more manageable, so parents and kids can be confident that they have chosen the best institution for them!
Don’t resort to hearsay…
Word-to-mouth is a good and valid source to consider pursuing, as well as referring back to your own school experience when evaluating or comparing.
But it’s important that you don’t let subjective-knowledge to override any decision-making. What should be evaluated is a measuring ALL your research before reaching a conclusion.
Don’t underestimate deadlines for enrollment
It’s crucial that you know when, where and how to enroll if you have any interest for a particular school. Some schools, such as specialty schools, may require an interview, letter of recommendation or portfolio-check before considering your child to be enrolled. It’s also important that you gather up all the necessary documentations (e.g., birth certificates, residency card, medical vaccinations, dental records, etc.), so that you have the information handy need be.