Private School Visit -- Questions to Ask.

Undoubtedly, you will have plenty of questions to ask about each school you visit. Many of the answers can be found prior to the visit from school handbook or catalog. However, the list below might suggest other questions to ask while touring the school or talking with teachers and admissions staff. This list is only a guideline to get you thinking about your child's specific needs and how the school you are visiting can meet them.

About the match between the school and your child
  • Why do you think my child should come to your school?
  • What can you do for my child that other schools can't?
  • How does this school match my child's strengths and support my child's weaknesses?
  • Will my child be happy with the school's environment?
About the school's mission
  • What's the vision for this school?
  • What are this school's strengths?
  • What are the major issues your students are concerned about?
About the academic fit
  • How is this school accredited?
  • Whose goals will the school meet in my child's education? My child's or the school's?
  • Is this an academic fit for my child?
  • What are the school's long-range plans?
  • At what intervals will I get reports about my child?
  • How are the students' study habits supported or supervised?
  • How does the school determine the academic placement of children?
  • What kind of computer access does the school have?
  • How does the school support a child who is having difficulties?
  • How does the school deal with a child who is not living up to his or her potential?
  • Does the school provide tutoring?
  • Where do graduates from this school go?
  • What is the postsecondary counseling like?
About the faculty members
  • What are the qualifications of your teachers?
  • What is the mix of seasoned and inexperienced faculty members?
  • What is the turnover rate of faculty members?
  • What percentage of faculty members live on campus?
About additional help
  • My child needs additional help. What kind of time and resources are available? Is it scheduled during the day or evening? How extensive is it? Who is giving that help?
About day-to-day logistics
  • What is a typical day like for the students?
  • What is the dress code?
  • What does the school consider inappropriate dress?
  • How will my child's privacy needs be met at this school?
  • How do students do their laundry?
  • How much spending money is appropriate, and who controls the money?
  • What happens when children don't get along in a dorm room situation?
  • What about the use of the telephone and mobile phones?
  • How do students get to the airport or other modes of transportation during holidays?
About finances
  • Is this school fiscally sound?
  • What is the financial aid process?
About discipline
  • How does the school handle discipline problems?
  • How does the school deal with conflict between students and between students and teachers?
  • What do you do with a child who is caught drinking or found with drugs?
  • What's the peer pressure like at this school?
About health needs
  • Who makes sure my child doesn't eat only junk food and hamburgers?
  • What if my child requires a special diet?
  • What is the availability of medical and counseling help?
  • Who takes care of my child if he or she gets sick?
  • Who takes my child to medical or dental appointments?
  • If my child has an allergy, how is this attended to?
About safety and security
  • Does admissions know where the students are at all times and what they're doing?
  • Who is the contact person for me to call while my child is at the school, and how accessible is this person?
  • How much freedom does each child have?
  • What takes place on weekends, and is the supervision suitable?
  • What are the safety and security levels of this campus?
  • Who has access to my child? Is this an open campus?
  • Who is monitoring what kids have access to on the Internet?
  • Where does the person doing the supervision of my child live? On or off campus?
About special interests
  • What part does religion play in the life of this school?
About athletic activities
  • What athletic requirements will my child be expected to meet?
  • How are children supervised for away games?
About the school's relationship to the surrounding community
  • How is this school involved with the outside community?
  • How will my child fit into this community?