The School Tour: Things to Look For & Questions to Ask

Planning to go on a school tour? We’ve come up with a little cheat sheet to help you get the most out of your visit.

 


 

Before Your Visit

  • Do your homework. Visit the school’s website, social media channels, and do a quick Google search. You could get a sense of the school culture before visiting.
  • Take notes. You know your child best. Jot down your child’s specific needs and be prepared to ask how the school will help meet those needs.
  • Try to set up the tour during rush hour. You’ll get a feel for the commute/traffic, plus you’ll have a better chance of seeing class transitions or what student drop-off/pick-up is like.

 

Things to Look For

  • Does the campus look clean, safe, and inviting?
  • Do classrooms look welcoming and cheerful? Is student work displayed, and does it seem appropriate for the grade level?
  • Do teachers seem enthusiastic and knowledgeable?
  • Do students seem engaged and interested?
  • How do the students interact with their peers?

 

Questions to Ask

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  • What’s the overall culture of the school?
  • How many children attend the school? Student-teacher ratio?
  • What does the typical school day schedule look like?
  • What does tuition include?
  • How diverse are the students and staff?
  • Is there an entrance assessment?
  • Are meals and snacks provided? What’s on the menu?
  • What does parent involvement look like? (Volunteering, fundraising, etc.)
  • What methods of communication are used between parent/teachers/leaders?
  • Do you offer before and after-school care?
  • How long have the staff been working here?

 

ACADEMICS & CURRICULUM

  • What curriculum does your school implement?
  • How does the curriculum compare to other schools (public and private)?
  • Does the school have a particular learning philosophy? (Play-based? Group learning?)
  • How much homework do students have?
  • How is technology implemented in the classroom?
  • How does the school and teacher differentiate learning needs and styles?
  • What is the grading system? (Letter grades, number system, pass/fail, etc.)
  • Do you offer extra-curricular classes?
  • Does the school offer tutoring or other support?
  • How much outdoor/recess time do students get each day?

 

SAFETY & BEHAVIOR

  • How does the school handle behavioral issues? What’s the discipline policy?
  • Does the school offer counseling for students?
  • How does the school handle medical/health needs? (Allergies, dietary restrictions, medication, emergency situations, etc.)
  • What is the school’s COVID-19 policy?

 

 

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