Step 3 to Choosing a School: Schedule a Tour
Find out if a school is the right fit by asking these questions while on school tours and visits.
Plan your visit
Once you’ve created a shortlist of potential schools, make time to visit the school in person. When you schedule your tour, make sure there’s time to talk with the principal, teachers, or other staff.
Look for these things while you walk around the school:
- Does the school feel welcoming?
- Is the building neat and clean? Do things appear to be in good working order?
- Do you feel comfortable with the security measures in place? Does the location seem safe?
- How are adults interacting with students?
- What are students doing? Do they look interested and engaged?
- What technology is available in libraries or classrooms?
While talking with the principal and school staff, ask things like:
- How are you working to make sure every child is learning and making progress?
- How does the school support students who have academic, behavioral/emotional, or social difficulties? How will the school support my student’s needs?
- What activities are available to students beyond the classroom?
- How experienced are the teachers? How often do teachers get training?
- How are parents involved in making decisions at the school?
- What kind of homework will my student have?
- How does this school keep students safe? What are the school’s discipline policies?
- How would you describe the school culture?
For High Schools:
- How does this school prepare students for college? For careers?
- How does your counselor help students choose classes and make decisions about college, careers, and life after high school?
For more information on high school resources, read Preparing for Post-Graduation.
Remember: Always listen to your instincts!
As you work through the process—no matter how stressful it may feel—remember: You know your child best. Always ask:
- Do I see my child feeling comfortable here? Would I be?
- Does the administration and teaching staff seem open to input/feedback?
- Do I have all the information that I need to be comfortable with this choice? If not, what else do I need?