The start of the school year is here. You have to choose a new high school for your child, but you don’t know which one? The key to finding the right school is knowing what your child wants and what you want for them. It’s about knowing your prospects and doing as much research as possible. High school is an important period in life that paves the way for the rest of the child’s academic and professional future. Just sending your son or daughter to high school down the street may work in some situations, but it certainly won’t work in all cases. To help you in this task, here are some tips for finding the ideal high school for your child.
13 Tips For Finding The Best School for Your Child
1. What Are Your Child’s Needs and Profile?
Some children work better in a structured learning environment, while others do less well. Don’t hesitate to take a good look at what schools have to offer to determine if the environment will be suitable for your child. Also, identify your child’s learning style. Observe if he has more visual or auditory memory and if he works better in groups or individually. Does your child have any learning disabilities that the school will need to resolve? If so, does the school offer specific programs for these types of disabilities?
2. What Are Your Options for Choosing a High School for Your Child/Ward?
Today, parents do not need to limit their school choice to the neighborhood high school. You have a large number of educational options, ranging from private schools to public schools. Online schools also exist. It is vital to research all the schools in the area if you want to find the right high school for your child.
3. Examine The Pass Rate of Existing Pupils in The School
Another critical factor to consider when choosing a high school is academic and extracurricular performance. Look at the trend in results and achievements over the past few years: has the success rate increased or decreased? The latter can be an indicator if the school you are analyzing is actively pursuing a logic of improvement. Or if it is declining in terms of rigor and academic qualities.
Beyond the results, look at how successful high school alumni are. Are they attending the top-notch universities you hope for your child after high school? This is a criterion that should not be overlooked when choosing your child’s school.
4. Take Geolocation into Account
Journeys can be very long depending on the distance between your accommodation and the school, and this criterion must also come into play for you. If you cannot drive your child to school every day, it may be essential to find a school nearby or opt-in for a school with transportation facilities.
5. Observe The School in Question
Schedule visits to see the school environment once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a handful of high schools. It may be interesting for you to visit the school on a class day to observe the teachers and students interacting. Observe the engagement of teachers and students. Do not hesitate to look at the behavior of the pupils at the end of the classes. You can also take the opportunity to ask questions of teachers and parents nearby.
6. Talk to Your Child
It is vital to listen to your child and ask them which high school they prefer when deciding. It is crucial that he can make his own choice and that you discuss it with him. While parents have the final say, children need to have their say at this point.
7. The Quality of Teaching or Rather a Climate Conducive to Learning?
Many people tend to think that education is better in private schools. Again, this is not entirely true, but not completely false either. Indeed, the teachers found in the private system are not a priori better than the others. Teachers were trained in the same schools! There are grounded teachers in the private system, just as we find teachers with an unwavering vocation to the public.
However, beyond the quality of teaching, we should rather speak of a climate conducive to learning. Since private schools are often less tolerant of behavioral deviations than public schools, the teacher will typically have less difficulty passing his material. However, more and more, it is the same with the different profiles offered in public schools. Indeed, to stay in concentration, students must behave well, and this is an excellent lever to motivate them and ensure that they remain relatively calm and respectful in the classroom.
8. Services for Children with Special Needs
There is often a tendency to believe that private schools are more appropriate for children with learning or behavioral disabilities, but this is not always the case. When children have excessive needs, a private school may not admit them to one of its classes. Note that the private school, unlike the public school, does not receive an additional subsidy for children in need. It is for this reason that sometimes they have to refuse certain applications.
However, children with different learning disabilities will be accepted and receive the necessary educational support in most cases. The follow-up will also be closer than to the public.
As for public schools, several establishments now have special programs for students with difficulty, whether dyslexic, dysplastic, or other behavioral disorders. These students are placed in special classes and benefit from personalized follow-up. However, students whose conditions are not severe enough for these programs are not always adequately considered.
Both at the private and public levels, educational support can vary significantly from one establishment to another. It is of great importance to inform yourself of the services offered in the schools in your area. Following up with a child with special needs will make all the difference in whether they will make it to graduation or drop out.
9. Personalization of Services
One of the significant advantages of private schools is the personalization of services and instruction. Indeed, in public schools, teachers often have far too many students, especially in secondary school, to get to know each one personally. In the private sector, the ratio is generally better, which facilitates student-teacher relations. Thus, when a student is having difficulty, he can have easier access to his teacher. Also, since students are not “numerous,” it becomes easier for teachers to detect a student who seems to be going through a difficult period or lose interest in school and, consequently, provide him with the help he needs.
10. The Quality of Equipment and Infrastructure
We often get the impression that private schools have top-quality infrastructure and materials. This was the case for many years. Nowadays, it varies from one establishment to another because currently, we see a reinvestment in public schools; there are new ones, and others are being renovated. Many have access to new funds. We can be pleasantly surprised at times, but sometimes we can be just as profoundly discouraged for our children!
On the private side, it seems less random. The majority of colleges are non-profit organizations and are managed independently. No school board requires a share of the dollars invested. Therefore, the amount of money per pupil is the same as for the public. But the whole amount goes directly to the pupils and the infrastructures.
In any case, you have to pay attention to generalities. Indeed, a small private school will often have more minuscule budgets than a very large comprehensive. Small schools often have to make choices and therefore cannot provide tons of material for tons of lessons and activities. Usually, it is the number of extracurricular activities available that will suffer. However, we must admit that private schools generally win out over public schools with equal students.
11. The Stimulating Aspect of the Environment
Some parents fear sending their children to public school, believing they will not find an academically stimulating environment. Many also fear lax discipline and bad company. We have to admit that they are not entirely wrong. Indeed, monitoring is not always as close in public as in the private sector.
Nonetheless, public schools work hard to provide a stimulating environment. It is for this reason that we see more and more varied concentrations appear. The offer of extracurricular activities can also be impressive, but it often relies on a dedicated school team. This may therefore vary depending on the environment and the teachers on site.
Public establishments must adapt to their clientele. Indeed, these schools choose to accept everyone, or almost everyone, while private schools can establish more stringent criteria. Weaker or rebellious adolescents are often found in public schools and can adversely affect the general climate. Of course, such young people can also find themselves in private colleges. Still, they will quickly tighten the supervision or allot more significant penalties, and their impact will be less significant.
12. The Dropout Rate
It’s not a myth. Dropout rates are much lower in the private sector than in public. Some argue it’s because private schools get rid of bad topics. Others believe, however, that the success of private schools is mainly because the supervision is tighter. Perhaps the truth is a mixture of the two?
13. The Best School for Your Child/Ward
Over time, more and more parents are choosing to send their children privately, for different reasons. However, numerous studies have shown that the cohabitation of the two systems was the best solution. It is up to you to make the crucial decisions about your child’s education, but you should also listen to their needs and interests.
Do not look for the best school, beyond any doubt. Instead, look for the best one for your child. Beyond the comparison between the private and the public, ask yourself a few questions. Does your child already have a passion or a great interest in art, sports, or the outdoors? Does he need a specific motivation to remain diligent in his school work? Is it better for him that his school is close to home? Does he need tighter supervision or additional pedagogical support?
By visiting the different schools with him, you may find a place where he will feel good. This is probably the most important thing. And know that the choice of his school is only one factor among all those which will influence his future.
Finding the right high school is essential to ensure that your child starts on the right foot in their school orientation. A child’s academic success, whether in private or public school, largely depends on parental involvement. Perhaps this is where the key to success lies. These tips will help you find the school that best suits your child. So please don’t give up and support him throughout this critical period of his life.