Independent Schools

School Selection

Visiting and touring schools are important components of the school selection process. While much of your preparation is designed to give these schools information so they can select your child, never forget that you are also selecting the school. National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) suggests the following six considerations when you study school materials and visit.

  • Location: Proximity to your home is important if your child is to readily participate in after school activities such as sports or theatre.

  • Size: Note the size of the school as a whole, and class size. Evaluate the opportunities for enrichment and for leadership that the school promotes.

  • Educational Philosophy: How are classes taught? Is the school progressive or traditional? How are students assessed? How are expectations conveyed? How is the classroom organized?

  • Curriculum: Compare the scope and sequence of the curriculum with all the schools you visit. What is the intention behind the curricular choices and offering of the school?

  • Faculty: Examine the faculty list, often online, to see if faculty members are teaching in the disciplines in which they were trained. Ask about professional development and on-going education.

  • Facilities: How is the school maintained? Do the school's facilities accommodate your child's interests? For example, does the school have up-to-date computers, playing fields, musical practice rooms, and a theater?