5 step approach for selecting a school for your children

March 20, 2023by Alatheer0

5 step approach for selecting a school for your children

Every year as the admission time approaches, parents run helter-skelter to sort feedback from friends and relatives about all possible schools in the vicinity. Believe me that I have been there too. Selecting a school is an important decision that we make as parents. There is always a chance to change the school if it does not pan out the way you expected but, as parents, we want to make sure that we make a good and timely choice. As the admission season is back, I wanted to share a 5 step approach to selecting a school for your children.
Without further ado, let me get straight to this approach.
Decide the Board:
I bet this was not a factor when our parents were choosing a school for us. Now there are multiple choices available. You can choose from options like ICSE, CBSE, SSC, IG, Cambridge, etc. Let me warn you that this is the most time-consuming decision. With so much information available online, it’s only normal to feel confused. Have a proper discussion with your partner on each board to make a choice. Ask yourself a) what is the difference in the curriculum? b)which board is available in the schools within your reach? c) what is the annual fee for each of these? d)what is your child’s talent? and is that board focusing on that aspect? e) how will the new education policy of 2020 impact the boards? These questions will help you to realize where your inclination is. Don’t worry about narrowing your search to just one board as yet. You can sail along with two boards in mind but finalizing two boards is very important at this step.
Time your research well:
It is a no-brainer that most parents do a lot of research before opting for a particular school. Time your research well. Most schools in Maharashtra start the admission process between October to December. If you haven’t narrowed it to 2-3 schools by September, then my friend, you are on the path of making a hasty decision. To arrive at the final list of 2-3 schools, start the research on schools a few months in advance. Since at this stage we are just scratching the surface, you can start your research literally on all the schools that you have heard of. Even if these schools are not in your area, preliminary research will help you understand the facilities available in different schools. In turn, this will help you to have questions ready for that one school that you will finally choose. You can get reviews from google, school website, friends, families, etc. If possible, talk to some kids who attend these schools as different people have different expectations and perceptions of quality. Talking to students from the school will help you gauge if it matches your expectation and perceptions of quality. Trust me, research at this stage will give you clarity about what you want for your child.
Know your priorities:
You must be clear about your priorities at this stage to further reduce the list to 2-3 schools. For this, you should have answers to the following:
Budget for school fees: As parents, we want to stretch ourselves to provide the very best for our children. However, be practical and sane in deciding the budget. It is never just about the fees but also about many other costs like the transportation cost, cost of equipment relating to extracurricular activities, picnics, annual functions, etc. that get tagged along with it. It is not a hidden secret that many schools also ask for donations in the name of one-time admission costs. You should also consider the extent of expenditure if you have more than one kid to ensure that you are not stretching yourself too thin.
Distance: Be clear on how far you are willing to let your child travel. You do not have much of a choice if there are no good schools in your area. However, you have to decide your priority if you do have good schools within walking distance. It means knowing the time investment you and the kid will have to make for a school at a distance and is that school worth it. You need to ponder about factors like a) is the quality of a nearby and the other school that different, b) what are the logistical issues you might face, c) are you okay to depend on the school transport facilities, especially if you and your partner both are working, d) travel time required for your kid, very relevant for higher standards where kids have busy schedules with classes running one after another. e) climate that can disrupt the school transport, this is applicable if you happen to live in the area where it rains a lot causing floods and so on.
Board: You should now make a choice of the board you want for your children. This means having answers to questions like how much pressure it puts on the kid, how much writing practice kids get, the curriculum used, focus on theory v/s application, etc.
Once you make your priorities clear, you will know where your decision is tilting. You will, thus, inch one more step closer to selecting the school for your child. By the end of this stage, you will have a list of 2-3 schools to make a final choice.
Personal Visits:
Once you have 2-3 schools in option, then you should visit each of these. Although most schools allow you to visit them without an appointment, please refrain from doing so for your good. I would suggest that you make an online inquiry with the school. Most schools do reply with the required details. If you do not get a reply from the school in 3-4 days then, it reflects poorly on the school management and administration. In a way sending an online inquiry helps you to gauge the overall responsiveness of the school. If a school is not worried about a new admission they will be hardly bothered about their existing students. Most schools reply with an inquiry form which you can fill and make an appointment to visit the school. Visiting the school is the most crucial part of selecting the school so let me share a few to-do’s to make your school visits productive.
Take an appointment: As already covered, having an appointment will ensure that you meet the required personnel from the school and not waste your trip due to their unavailability.
Take a school tour: Ask the school coordinator to take you around each part of the school. Look at facilities like the playground, sports area, laboratories, cafeteria, benches, boards, projectors, etc. Do not be reluctant to check out even the washrooms as that is where you will get to know about the hygiene standards of the school.
Take your kid along: While taking a tour of the school facilities, make sure to take your kid along and check with them if they would like to be a part of that school. It does not matter how young the kids are they have opinions and are highly sensitive to the energies around them. If you sense any discomfort in your child regarding even one aspect of the school, do give it a weightage and respect the opinions they share.
Be ready with your Questions: Before you go for the visit, have a list of questions on your mobile so that you do not forget to ask anything. Try to get the admission form before the visit so that you can clarify any doubts you might have about the details in it.
Check out the safety measures: While touring the facility, keep an eye for details on safety issues you may see. It can be anything like an elevator without an attendant, open stairwells, sharp edges, etc. Do look around the vicinity of the school to be sure of security outside of the school.
A personal visit to the school will help you decide on the final school you want for your child. Based on the admission form of the school, now keep your documents and records ready. You will need a photo of the child and both parents in a required format, a duly filled admission form, your child’s birth certificate, parents identity proof, child’s Aadhar card (optional for primary school kids), etc. Get clarity on gazetted attestation requirements, if any, from the school on any of the documents. A check for the first installment of fees may be required at this stage too.
These are the five steps that I would recommend for selecting a school for your little darlings. Please understand that most schools take an interview and written test of the student before admitting them. You may want to prepare your child for any such test or interviews to avoid rejection from the school of your choice.
While we are it, let me also share some questions that you may want to ask the school authorities during your visit:
Up to what grade is the school allowed to operate?
What is the batch size?
What is the teacher-student ratio?
What are the fee structure and installment mechanisms?
Are there any hidden costs other than what is mentioned in the fee details?
Where do they organize annual events and sports days?
What extracurricular activities do they offer?
Do they have class-wise dedicated helpers for junior grades?
How do they ensure smooth and safe pick-up of kids from school premises?
With the Covid-19 pandemic still around, what preventive measures do they have in place?
Is it compulsory to opt for cafeteria services?
What are the school timings?
No matter what school you decide to choose, always remember that schools contribute 50% to your child’s growth and the remaining 50% lies with you. All the exposure you give to your child will play an important role in shaping your child’s personality. Most schools ensure that kids learn in the school itself, but as parents, we should have a constant catch-up with the child to know what and how they learned. If you leave everything to school, then you will never be able to teach your child all that you have learned through your experience in school, office, or otherwise. Schools should not be treated as an alternative but instead complimentary to your parenting style.
Lastly, please understand that schools undergo management and faculty changes, so what looked ideal today may not be good enough in few years. Therefore, never shy away from frequently checking with the school about their future changes and plans. If it is no longer suitable with your ideologies then, changing the school is always an option.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Error: Contact form not found.

*Please note that our weekend opening hours can be affected by scheduled Private Events.


Tue – Fri: 9:30am – 6:00 pm

Weekend: 10:00am – 5:00 pm

Monday: Closed


7110 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, New York
+2342 5446 67