By Lindsay Penticuff
October 24, 2016
Education Features Independent Schools

12 Important Questions to Ask When Looking for a Private School
Atlanta independent school leaders share what parents need to know

questions-to-ask-private-schools-atlanta

With independent school education being so competitive in the Atlanta area, it’s important to know exactly what questions you should ask when choosing the perfect school for your child.

“Atlanta is one of the best places in the country for pre-K through 12th-grade school options,” says Lisa McGuire, director of admission and marketing at King’s Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta. “There is a school for everyone. When a family finds that their children have different learning needs there is usually a school that will provide a solution. The Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools (aaais.org) is a great place to start your school search.”

Janie Beck, director of admissions and enrollment management at The Lovett School in Atlanta agrees. “The quality of education in Atlanta is superb! ... In my experience, parents in the Atlanta area care deeply about education and are honored to partner with their children’s schools, which makes every school great.”

Beck, McGuire and Peter Schultz, lower school principal at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta, all shared their top questions that parents and guardians relocating to metro Atlanta need to consider when looking for a new school.

1. Can my child visit during the day?

In addition to attending an open house, try to visit the school during the school to experience the “vibe” of how the school operates. Look at students and see if they are comfortable there.

2. Why was the school established? What are the school’s goals?

3. What is a school’s profile for their ideal student?

This can help determine if your child fits in that range.

4. What is the parent involvement expectation?

5. Where do families in the school community live?

This will allow your family to target neighborhoods with other students from that school while searching for a new home.

6. What will the commute be like?

When you find a potential home, test the drive time rather than relying on the mileage. Also, test out the drive at different times of the day.

7. Are learning support, help sessions, after-school study or tutoring offered? If so, what are the costs?

8. What is included in tuition?

Some schools will post tuition and then add on charges for lunch, books, uniforms, field trips and extracurricular participation.

9. How does the school approach the college application process?

Find out this method, in addition to when the school starts working with students on this and how parents are involved.

10. Are online reviews reliable?

If you read online reviews, know these are often a place for families to vent with no accountability. No school is perfect. If you are really interested in finding out what is happening in a school, ask to speak with a current family who has a similar situation to yours. Speak with a family who recently enrolled and one that has been at the school longer.

11. What opportunities does the school offer for a child to explore the city through field trips?

Atlanta is home to many unique experiences that complement an academic curriculum.

12. Does the school match new students or families with a buddy? What sort of opportunities are there for orientation to a new school community and when are they scheduled?

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