Should I Tour a Private School Before Enrolling My Child?
If you’re considering sending your child to a private middle school in Clearwater, FL, you’re probably wondering how you can narrow down your list of three or four schools to the private school that best suits your child. While you can certainly conduct your fair share of research through reading the school catalog or magazine, visiting their Facebook page, browsing their website, or watching promotional videos, you’re going to get the greatest amount of information from a visit or tour of the school. This is where you’ll be able to witness the teachers in action, get a feel for the community, speak to students, get a clear look at the campus, and ask some important questions. In this article, we’ve compiled three factors to take into consideration when deciding whether or not you should tour your child’s potential private school.
Class Size and Student-to-Teacher Ratios
It’s no secret that class size and student-to-teacher ratios can drastically affect the quality of your child’s education. What’s great about many private schools is that while public school class sizes tend to range from 25 to 30 students, most private schools tend to keep their class sizes closer to an average of 10 to 15 students. For example, the students at Lakeside Christian School, a Clearwater private school, benefit from a highly-focused, small school setting that allows students to engage with their teachers on a more personal level.
Taking a tour of the school is a great opportunity to get insight into what the class size and student-to-teacher ratio is like for current classes, whether they endorse individualized learning, or if teaching assistants are being utilized. Especially for larger classes, it may be worth asking how they foster a sense of community within the classroom and the school as a whole.
While many private schools accept students from a number of different academic backgrounds, some may prefer students with a specific focus in a subject area, such as math or the arts. Private schools also may tend to lean towards students that can become active members of the student body through extracurricular activities, such as athletics and theater. During your tour of the school, you ask what kind of students the school is currently looking for, what kind of academic interest do they typically have, and what interests or goals do they pursue outside of academics. It’s best to send your child to school in which they can blend seamlessly with the student body, academically and socially, rather than have to try and adjust their academic focus or goals for the purpose of fitting in.
Private school curriculum is established by the individual school rather than the state, which means private schools are permitted to shape their curriculum around the lessons and values that they deem most important. Some focus on promoting skills to help students succeed after high school, while others promote spiritual and cognitive growth through the incorporation of biblical lessons. During a school tour, you’ll be given the opportunity to get a greater understanding of the school’s curricular approach and how it aligns with your child’s learning style.
Lakeside Christian School, a private middle school in Clearwater, FL, prepares our students for college and career with aligned curriculum. This means that all assessments, lessons, and textbooks are matched to meet the standards, and the student’s knowledge is able to build on itself naturally as they go along. To decide the best curriculum for your child, it’s important to conduct the necessary research, tour the school, and consider your child’s unique needs and learning style.