Touring schools in person is one of the most effective ways to get a complete picture of the learning experience schools can offer. Tours help immerse you in the school community, meet administrators and educators, identify its strengths and drawbacks, and evaluate the learning environment. Touring is a crucial step in determining what school is best for your child. Therefore, going into a school tour blindly could prevent you from making an informed final decision. We’ve compiled a list of 25 questions to ask when touring a school, ensuring you obtain all the information you need to find the best fit!
Before You Visit
Most schools’ websites do a pretty sufficient job answering the most pressing questions parents have about the school. Explore the school’s website to answer as many of these questions beforehand as possible. Remember, being overwhelmed with information on the tour might prevent you from experiencing the environment.
- What is the school’s mission? What steps do you take to ensure this mission is implemented?
- Is there anything that distinguishes you from other schools? Do you offer any unique focus areas, teaching models, or facilities?
- What are some of your notable achievements?
- What is the average class size?
- What are some of the goals you are aiming to accomplish for the school?
Questions About the Education
- What is the learning model implemented in the classes?
- Do you offer programs for gifted students? Special education students?
- Does your curriculum adhere to common core state standards?
- What are some of the highlights of the curriculum for the grade level of my child? What is the typical workload like for students?
- What is the process for student placement?
Questions About Support for Students
- Are counselors available to students?
- Do you offer any tutoring services or additional support for students?
- How do you ensure students’ needs are being met? Do you offer individualized attention or personal learning plans?
- How is technology utilized in the classroom to support students? Are these resources provided to students?
- Do you support English Second Language students? (If applicable)
Questions About the Environment and Community
- What action do you take to ensure a cohesive and supportive school community?
- How do you address safety and ensure children are safe during the school day?
- How do you engage with the surrounding community?
- What are your discipline and anti-bullying procedures?
- How do you engage with families to ensure they are informed and involved in their child’s education?
Questions About the Facilities, Features, and Classes
- What facilities do you have? Can we visit the gym, library, lab, pool, playground, etc?
- What transportation options are available?
- What kind of extracurriculars are offered? What do your music, athletics, and arts after-school programs encompass?
- What elective options are available to students? How much of their school day is devoted to electives?
- How is the school day structured?
Things to Observe
If visiting during the school year, make sure to pay close attention to the students currently attending that school. Observing current students offers a pretty good indication of the school environment.
- If you get to step in during a class, do students seem engaged in lessons? Are teachers enthusiastic when teaching and interacting with students?
- How do students interact with each other during recess or in the halls? Do they seem cheerful?
- Do students show respect to teachers and staff?
- Does the school feel welcoming to students? Are classrooms and common areas inviting and age-appropriate?
- Are facilities well maintained? Are bathrooms and common areas kept clean? Are these areas treated with respect by students?
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