If you are going to pay the cost of a private school, you want to make sure your child is getting the best education. Just because a school is privately funded does not mean that it offers the best educational opportunities in the area. This guide, however, will help you know what to look for in a day school.
A school with high ratings
Ratings speak a lot about the school. Ratings give you information about test scores, college acceptance rates, and social and emotional learning results. Pay attention to both ratings and reviews to learn about a possible day school. Pay attention to what current parents and students are saying. What do they think of the academic curriculum? What about the quality of the teachers? Do students enjoy the after school opportunities? If you are going to spend money on your child?s annual tuition, make sure you know what you are paying for.
A school with dedicated teachers and other professionals
While the best prep schools only hire educators with advanced degrees, there are other important characteristics to rate the school personnel on. You also want to know how dedicated and caring they are. This school?s teachers will play an important role in the development of your child, both academically and socially. Fortunately, most parents that send their children to private schools tend to be satisfied with the results. Parents of approximately 80% of students enrolled in a religious private school in the 2011 to 2012 school year and 82% of students in other private schools reported being very satisfied with their child?s school.
College preparation focus
Many parents choose to send their children to a private high school to improve the child?s chances at making it into a good college. If this is one of your main motivators for a private school, it is important to make sure the school has a strong college preparation focus. Inquire about practice tests and what other steps the school takes to increase college acceptance rates. There are currently 30,861 private schools in the U.S. that serve 5.3 million PK to 12 students. Choose a school that will give your child the college exam resources they require.
School protocols for learning difficulties
One of the benefits of prep schools is that the smaller class sizes can be helpful for students with learning difficulties. Students with learning difficulties often require additional attention and assistance from school educators. Because public schools have such high enrollment rates, children can easily get left behind. Although private schools have nearly 1.5 times as much enrollment in large cities as compared to public schools, they usually have a bigger staff to meet the student needs. If you are considering what to look for in a day school, remember that it is important to understand what the school does and how they help, in the event of a learning difficulty. Most parents do not believe they will have to deal with this problem, but it is best to be prepared, if you do.
After school opportunities
The traditional school day ends before regular business hours. This causes many parents to send their children to latchkey programs. Some children might even spend those couple of hours at home, alone. If you work a full time career during the day, you will also want to find out what after school opportunities there are. Private schools tend to have more funding, meaning they can offer after school sporting groups, musical groups, and even open computer labs. Your child will benefit more from joining an after school group than by spending time in front of the TV alone. As you consider what to look for in a day school, keep this important criterion in mind.
If you have decided to send your child to a private day school, you are probably wondering what to look for in a day school. While there are many important measurements of private school success, you will specifically want to focus on school personnel quality, school ratings, college preparation opportunities, and after school programs.