Finding the Right School For Your Child

Posted by Heidi McGregor on October 19, 2018 at 12:30 PM
Heidi McGregor


Have you ever wondered what teachers look for when considering a school for their own children?

Consistently, teachers agree it is important to visit a school on a typical school day when students are present. No surprise...these teachers also feel you should do your homework. Start with a list of questions that are relevant to your child’s development. After all, you know your child best. Here are some of the questions they suggest: 


Classroom observations

  • Is the curriculum flexible, allowing teachers to customize it to student needs?
  • Do you see happy children and teachers?
  • Are the classrooms welcoming?
  • Are the children engaged in active learning?
  • Are the classrooms child-centered, creative, and organized?
  • Is there appropriate use of technology, such as computers, smart boards, or tablets?
  • Are the children interacting and having conversations with each other?
  • Do the students interact with you? 


  • Does the curriculum have a solid research foundation for success?
  • Is there a world language program? When does it start?
  • How is technology integrated into the curriculum to enhance student learning?
  • How frequently do the students attend special classes, such as art, music, PE, and technology?
  • What is a typical amount of nightly homework? At what age does it begin?


  • What is the level of faculty education?
  • Are there professional development opportunities to keep faculty current in their fields?
  • Do teachers have organized meeting times to collaborate with one another?
  • What is the teacher turnover rate?

School Environment

  • What is the level of parental involvement?
  • What is the cultural and ethnic diversity of the school?
  • How does the school handle discipline?
  • What opportunities do children have to spend time outdoors?
  • Do the children have opportunities to apply what they are learning to real-world situations?
  • How is the after-school program structured?
  • What is the school doing to stay relevant to the changing world, ensuring that students are equipped to meet the expectations of colleges and future employers?

A school tour is a perfect opportunity to visit and observe classes in session. Talk to people who know the school the best: teachers, students, parents, and administrators. Be inquisitive. After visiting a school, some families make notes or charts and some go with their gut. Whatever strategy you choose to make a decision, enjoy the process. Having done your homework, you’ll be able to find a school for your child that feels like a great fit for your whole family.

Come visit Sanford School to discover our exceptional school by scheduling a tour or by attending one of our open houses. Members of our creative and inclusive preschool to grade 12 community will be happy to answer your questions.


Heidi McGregor is a 30-year veteran at Sanford School. She is currently the Assistant Director of Admission and was previously an early childhood teacher. She is a graduate of West Chester University with a degree in Early Childhood Education.


Topics: Education, Academics, Community

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