Private School Community Values That Fit Your Family Values
As a parent considering an independent school education in Houston for your child, I know how daunting that task can seem. I remember when I was looking for a school for my own children. I thought I had only one chance of finding the perfect school match for my children and our family. I did not know how to begin or even what I was looking for! Fortunately, young parents of today have so much more opportunity to research their school options through many web searches, social media platforms, etc.
My husband and I had just moved here from Dallas when my daughter was 4 ½ years old. I was not only a newbie to Houston, I was a newbie to the whole school search process! As this was before the internet and Google, I was on my own! UNTIL…I joined a neighborhood playgroup! The time with my new friends on Tuesday mornings quickly centered around conversations about schools. The other sage moms rattled off names of schools, whether to go to private or public, where was the best location, who had the best ‘blah blah blah.' I did not know how or where to even focus my search because the ‘blah blah blah’ was tuned up so loud that I could not think! I wanted to find a school that would provide an environment of trust, with like-minded community members where my children would be safe, nurtured, and be spirited along their educational journey. I did not know how to find that place!
I was fortunate to have one of my new friends (a native Houstonian) help me with my due diligence in finding “the perfect school.” We scheduled tours, collected brochures, and asked the administrators questions that ranged from class size, faculty tenure, student programs, extended day, tuition, and school culture. I was able to narrow down my list of acceptable schools. I am happy to report that I did find that “perfect elementary school” for my three children. As they grew older and entered high school, they had more of a voice in their selection. My oldest daughter chose to stay in the private school sector, while my younger two children opted for our large neighborhood public high school. I was confident that their elementary school had prepared them to meet any challenge in their continuing journey into becoming lifelong learners.
I realize that as young parents, you all are busy with the daily tasks and have little time to slow down. I was there once! I would like to suggest that you take time to reflect on your values, and thus become clear on what it is you are looking for in your child’s school program.
Narrow down what is important to your family:
- Do you want a larger school with extended grades?
- Do you prefer a small more intimate feeling on the school campus?
- Do you want a school where older students interact with younger students?
- How does a long commute impact you as a working adult?
- Do you want your child to attend with neighborhood friends?
- Are you wanting a school that has a faith identity?
- Does your child seem more like a STEM/STEAM kid?
The ‘blah blah blahs’ will always be there, but hopefully, you can turn them into background noise and turn the volume up on what it is that you truly think is best for your family. Become clear on your family’s values. What are you looking for right now? Do not base your search on “what college will my student ultimately get into?” Think in REAL-TIME! What is the right school for your child, right now?
As for my family, I am pleased to share that I did find the right school for my three children at the right time! We hope you will consider The Fay School as you navigate finding the right school for your family, right now.
About the Author: Allison Teare has served The Fay School for over 15 years. As a mother of three and grandmother of seven, she has both personal and professional experience in helping place children in an independent school setting.