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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.Schedule Your Tour of Sanford Today!

Heidi McGregor is the former Assistant Director of Admission and early childhood educator at Sanford School, a preschool-grade 12 College Preparatory School in Hockessin, DE.


Topics: Admission, Elementary Education