Questions to Ask When Exploring Schools

Before visiting any school, it is important to discuss with your spouse or partner your personal vision and goals for your child’s education. This is key, as in exploring schools, Boulder Knoll encourages parents to seek not the “best” or “most prestigious” school, but the right match for your family. 

Then, consider asking these questions when you visit:

  1. What are the school’s goals for students? The answer to this question will help you to decide if the school’s goals and vision for the students align with your personal goals for your child. 
  2. What tools does the school use to communicate with families? The answer to this question may help you get a sense of how often, and in what manner, the school will communicate with parents/guardians. This can give insight to the school’s view of parental collaboration and participation. 
  3. How are teachers supported and trained? What is the ratio of teachers to children? Veteran teachers to new teachers? Stability in the teaching staff of a school tells a lot about how supported and content the teachers are at the school. Veteran teachers are  key mentors to younger teachers and a blend of both brings a balance of wisdom, innovation and energy to the school.
  4. What is the school’s view on homework? What kinds of homework do children do? What is the goal of homework? This question touches again on your personal view of education and home/school connections. 
  5. How does the school handle behavior concerns? How does the school support families in regards to behavior concerns? Again, this question will give you insight to how the school philosophy aligns with your own. 
  6. How does the school address individual learning needs of individual children? How are the needs of children who are ready for more challenges met? How are the needs of children who need additional support (i.e. speech, reading support, life skills support, emotional support, social support) met? It is important that you know the individual needs of your own child when you ask this question. Boulder Knoll believes that social and emotional education is as important as academics for success in life, and support of the whole child is a sign of a school in line with this belief. 
  7. What kind of flexibility are teachers given in terms of curriculum, classroom configuration, and responding to the needs and interests of their community of learners? What kind of flexibility will my child have in the classroom? These questions will help parents learn the extent to which teachers are able to follow their instincts and the individual character of their class to make decisions to support the success of their students. This can also give insight into how your child may be supported in transitioning from a Montessori classroom to a more traditional setting. 

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