Choosing a School: Where to Start as a Parent

Choosing A School

Choosing the right school for your child is a lot more fraught now than it once was. Before 1995, parents simply sent their child to the school designated by their zip code—but now they have a choice between public, private, public charter, Montessori schools and more in Phoenix, AZ. It is often overwhelming for parents just starting out choosing schools—here’s how to decide where your child might thrive:

  • Think about what your child needs:
    Every kid—and their learning style—is different. Does your child learn by reading? By trying a task themselves? Are they good at listening to a lecture and replicating the results? Do they have learning or other disabilities, or are they particularly gifted in certain areas? This will help you decide what kind of school and learning environment might suit them the best. The younger they are, the harder it might be to figure out—give yourself some slack if it’s not instantly obvious.
  • Consider your family’s values and goals:
    What part of education is most important to you and your family? Academics? Religion? Critical thinking? Social skills? Whatever you choose, look for a school that will support these beliefs. At the same time, make sure they offer enough flexibility in case your child isn’t as into academics or sports as you had hoped.
  • Tour multiple schools:
    Giving yourself time to tour multiple schools is wise. It allows you to get a true feel for how the schools approach education and what you can expect from your child’s classroom environment. In fact, you should start this search at least a year before your child will be enrolled, in order to get a no-pressure feeling for the situation. Visit on a regular tour, but also try to see how the school operates during a typical school day.
  • Apply and wait:
    The last step is simply to apply to all the schools you prefer—and then sit back and wait. Not every school can take on every student, so if and when you receive rejections, put them in the proper perspective—they’re not a referendum on your child’s capability or intelligence.

Questions to ask

You should ask plenty of questions when getting to know a school—not just what they’re known for and their general policies, but also class sizes, student-to-teacher ratio and how involved the parents can and are allowed to be.

You should also ask about the disciplinary methods and how conflict is handled, as well as who the students typically are, where they matriculate or find further success and what they do to promote students with disabilities as well as gifted students.

Most parents are interested in how the school uses technology and how much homework they have, to get a better sense of their child’s requirements.

Asking plenty of questions and starting your school search early will help ready your child for success. For more information about Pointe Schools and the approaches we take at our charter schools in Phoenix, AZ, call us today.

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