Questions to Ask Yourself & your new School

This guide is intended to help new parents when preparing to send their child(ren) to school. As you look for the best education for your family, it's important to ask questions and seek informed answers and transparency from your staff.

Questions to get started:

  • Does the school meet my basic needs? What time does the school start? Are childcare and busing available?

  • How are behavior problems handled? Every school should have an articulated disciplinary policy. Is it strict or lax?

  • How are teachers supported and held to a high standard? It’s worth asking if teachers collaborate and have a unifying vision and goal for their students. Do teachers of the same grade collaborate on a curriculum, so you can expect them to cover the same material and give the same amount of homework? Do teachers have regular meetings to discuss projects, teaching techniques, and specific students? 

  • To what universities do students apply and gain acceptance? Are students from the school (in meaningful numbers) accepted to a variety of quality colleges, including highly selective universities, geographically diverse schools and respected honors programs at state schools? 

  • What professional development opportunities do teachers have? In what ways do teachers collaborate?

  • Does the school offer Physical Education (PE) classes?

  • What are some of the school’s greatest accomplishments? What are some of the biggest challenges this school faces?

  • Does the school offer tutoring or other support if students need extra help?

  • Does this school have a particular curriculum focus, such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) or the arts?

Questions To Ask Other Parents:

  • What do you like about the school?

  • What don’t you like?

  • Did your kids react badly to anything?

  • If there were one thing you could change, what would it be?

  • Did your kids like it? What didn’t your kids like about it?

  • Lastly and most importantly: Will my child be happy here?  Will my family be happy here?