When it comes to elementary schools, parents have more choices than ever before. This is a good thing, but it can also be overwhelming. How do you choose a school that’s going to help your child thrive while meeting your educational and personal values? Well, here are a few pointers:
- Take into account your child’s personality, temperament, and learning style. You need to find a school that builds on his or her strengths.
- On the issue of class size, consider whether your child is naturally comfortable in small or large groups. Ask what the teacher-student ratio is.
- Explore the educational philosophies at the various schools. Some encourage children to pursue their own interests, while other elementary schools include arts in the curriculum but not technology.
- Visit elementary schools and talk to administrators, teachers and other parents about each school’s overall ethos. How well are the students doing academically, and how does the school measure a student’s progress? What is the school’s GPA (grade point average).
- Look at the condition of the classrooms, restrooms, library and playground. Are the children happy and confident, and are they polite and respectful? Is the environment creative and stimulating? Is this a place where you would like your child to be educated?
Private or Public?
Are you undecided about choosing between public and private elementary schools? While there should be no need to question the value of public education, unfortunately evidence suggests that diminishing resources, spiraling class sizes and safety concerns have a detrimental effect on a child’s education. Therefore, a private school may be the wisest choice.