|Parenting and Behavioural Issues
: Choosing A School - What to Look For
Parents should spend some time looking for school they choose
for their children. After all, children will spend a significant
amount of time in the school setting chosen. It is important to
get to know the administration of the school as the principal
(and his/her philosophy) usually sets the tone of the school.
The choice depends on the feeling parents get by talking to the
staff, the principal and walking through the school itself. Word
of mouth from students, neighbors and friends is also a helpful
source of information. Parents should trust and use their instincts
while taking into account the individual needs and situation of
their children and family setup. The following describes some
of the key information parents should seek when checking out a
new school for their children:
What does the school expect from its students? Are the expectations
too high or too low for your situation?
How is learning achieved? In a large group setting or is it individualized?
Individualized approaches tend to take into consideration each
child's specific needs, skills and situation.
Is the principal visibly involved in day-to-day activities or
is he/she strictly an administrative figurehead who never leaves
What is the student-teacher ratio? In general, a ratio of 25 to
1 or less is adequate. When the ratio is more than 30 to 1, the
ability to teach and therefore learn can be seriously impaired.
However, it also has to do with the type of difficulties children
in the class have. For example a 20 to 1 ratio may sound good
on the surface, but if the class has many children with learning
difficulties or other special needs, then the ratio should be
How do teachers and children interact? Is it purely a didactic
(lecture) approach or is there group work. In groups, children
can learn together and from each other. What is the balance between
lectures, group and one-on-one teaching/learning?
What resources does the school offer? This includes special or
remedial teachers, social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors,
libraries/librarians and computers facilities. Also what the type
of sports activities/facilities does the school have?
Do you and your child feel welcomed in this new schools environment?
What is the overall attitude or tone of the school? This can only
be determined by walking through the school and looking at things
such as the cleanliness, bulletin board contents and interactions
and attitudes of the children and staff.
What is the school's policy when it comes to bullying, taxing
and so on?
Is the school safe? Are the playgrounds, kitchen, cafeteria, gymnasium,
parking lots, school bus loading zones and passenger car drop-off
areas free of safety hazards? Is ventilation adequate, and are
room temperatures comfortable? If it is an old building, is there
a mold or asbestos problem and does the building meet current
Other Parenting and Behavioural Issues
The information provided in this site is
designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to
replace the advice and care of your child's physician, nor is
it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If
you suspect that your child has a medical condition, always
consult a physician.
© Autograph Communications Inc.,
All rights reserved