How exactly do you choose the right school for your child? During this guide, we recommend different criteria and questions to consider as you go through the selection process and choose a CBSE School Ahmedabad or anywhere else for your child. Keep in mind that you are searching for a school that will fit your child best and make your child’s learning experience as rewarding for them as possible.
Here are the steps that you should follow:
Create a list of what you want
We recommend first writing down not more than five things that are most important to you as you consider which school you want to choose for your child. As you go through the school selection process, you might want to revise the list or add to it.
Consider your child and your family
We suggest starting your search for the right school for your child by considering what you want the school to do for your child and your family. For example, does your child have any special language or education needs? We recommend asking the following questions when considering this factor:
● Does your child require a more or less structured learning environment?
● Does your child need more challenging work or more individual attention?
● Does your child have any special learning needs? Do they typically need extra help or more time to complete an assignment?
● Does your child need a learning environment that fosters creativity?
● Does your child have special language needs? Do they need a language acquisition program?
● Does your child learn best by doing hands-on projects and seeing how things work? Or does your child learn best by reading about how something works? Or by listening?
● Does your child enjoy participating in discussions?
● Does your child enjoy learning through physical activity?
● Is your child mathematical and logical? Are they musical or artistic?
● Does your child enjoy working alone or prefer learning in groups?
● Do you want your child to attend a school within walking distance or your home or can they go to school further away? Can your child’s talents be nurtured further away from your neighborhood?
● How far are you willing to drive your child to school or have them bused?
● Does your child want to be in school with their friends?
● Do you want your child to attend school near your after school care? Do you want them to go to a school near where you work? Do you want them to attend school near a grandparent or other relative?
● Does your child have any transportation needs that need to be considered when selecting a school?
Gather information about schools
Next, we recommend gathering information about various schools by speaking to friends and family and doing research on the internet. You should learn about the school policies and services, in addition to the curricula and philosophy. Here are some questions you should ask:
● Does the school have a strong core program with subjects like English, mathematics, science, arts, history and foreign language?
● Which courses does the school offer beyond the core topics?
● Is the school effective in teaching subjects to read?
● Does the school have a particular focus for the curriculum?
● Does the school provide advanced placement, international baccalaureate and honors courses?
● Does the school offer opportunities for gifted students?
● Does the school provide extracurricular activities?
● Does the school have a curriculum to support students with special learning needs?
● Does the school have an approach to teaching and learning?
● Do you think your child would enjoy learning from this educational approach?
● Does the school communicate in your child’s native language?
● Do children with special language or educational needs perform well on tests?
● What is the homework policy and is it reasonable?
● Do you want your child to attend a coeducational or single-sex school?
● How large are the classes at this school?
● How do the school’s test scores compare to test scores at other schools?
● Have test scores increased or decreased over the past few years?
● How do students moving onto the next stage of schooling perform at their new schools?
● How many students leave school before completing the final grade?
● Has the school received any special recognition or achievements?
● What is the school’s discipline policy? How do they handle students who misbehave?
● What does the school do to help develop students’ global citizenship and character?
● Are students able to leave school on their own?
● Does the school have a program that supports students and helps prevent and address any behavioral issues?
● What is the school’s policy on absences? How does the school encourage attendance?
● Which measures does the school take to promote safety?
● Does the school have a program to help prevent drug and alcohol abuse?
● Does the school have a dress code and do students wear uniforms?
● Is the school considered safe?
● How does the school prevent and handle any issues with tobacco, drugs and alcohol?
● How does the school help handle and prevent violence, harassment, bullying and other abusive behavior?
● Which measures does the school take to promote safety? Which safety or security measures are in place at the school?
● Does the school have an emergency plan for local and national emergencies? Are there drills for students?
● How does the school let parents know about emergency school closings? How does the school communicate with parents who speak in other languages?
● Which extracurricular activities does the school provide after school or during the weekend?
● Are all students allowed to participate in extracurricular activities?
● Which activities receive the most resources and attention?
● Does the school sponsor any field trips and are they available to all students?
● Are there any school publications? Are the publications available in other languages?
● Is there a well-stocked school library where students can do research and check out books? Are there any reading materials and books available in other languages?
● Is there time offered during the school day for students to go to the library?
● Is there an auditorium or a large room available for school assemblies?
● Is there a school nurse on duty on a daily basis?
● Is there a cafeteria on the school campus and does it provide a nutritional lunch program and breakfast program?
● Are there tutoring programs and counseling services available to all students?
● Is the school accessible to children with mobility limitations?
Visit and observe the schools
We also recommend contacting the schools and making appointments to visit and tour the schools. Tour these schools during regular hours in order to visit some classes. Schedule an appointment with the school principal and attend an open house, parent-teacher meeting or other school function to gain information about the attitudes of students, parents, and staff. Here are a few questions to ask and consider during your tour:
● Is the school neat and orderly?
● How is the school work displayed?
● How does the school communicate with parents and students? Do they communicate through a weekly newsletter, email or a website?
● Does the school seem welcoming towards all parents and students?
● How are students with learning needs treated?
● Are the teachers helpful and friendly?
● What are the principal’s philosophies regarding education and discipline?
● Which extracurricular activities is the principal most interested in?
● Is the principal typically at school and available to speak to parents?
● Does the principal take time to get to know students?
● How does the school improve teacher performance and keep good teachers?
● How do the principal and teachers respond to any parent concerns or complaints?
● What is the principal’s attitude towards students with learning or language needs?
● What are the school’s strengths and weaknesses, according to the principal? And where could the school improve?
● How do the teachers grade the students’ work?
● Do the teachers have fairly high expectations for students to achieve high academic standards? How do teachers relay these expectations to the students?
● Do teachers tend to share course content and objectives with parents and students?
● Do teachers assign homework and is it frequent and rigorous?
● How frequent are teacher-parent conferences?
● Are the teachers well qualified to teach their core subjects?
● Are there specialized staff members available to address special learning needs, including a speech therapist, psychologist and aides?
● Do the teachers know all of the students in their classes?
● Are teachers available to offer extra help to students?
● What is the school policy about teacher responses to parent questions?
● Do teachers have websites with notes and information for students and parents?
● What is the attendance rate for students?
● What do students say about the principal and about their teachers? What do they say about homework?
● Do the students have a lot of school spirit?
● Do the students enjoy the field trips?
● Do students feel secure and safe at the school?
● What do the student publications say?
● What else do the students say about the school?
Whether you are choosing a public or private school, whether you are choosing schools in Ahmedabad or elsewhere, whether or not you are planning on paying tuition, it is super important to plan carefully. We recommend following the above criteria and questions to think about as you are selecting a school for your child.