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
- 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?