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Finding The Perfect Private School

Thursday, January 31, 2019

I am writing today with the prospective of once being a confused parent of three trying to make sense of the independent school world and now serving as the Director of Admissions at The Fay School.  I would like to share a few suggestions that will help you as you begin your search for that “perfect school.”

Tips for Finding the Perfect School:

  • As a parent, it is important that you set aside time to tour in person all the schools you are considering.  While all schools host Prospective Parents’ Open Houses, I recommend the option of an individual tour. These tours are often-times led by an admissions associate, cheerleader parents, or student ambassadors.  Some questions you might want to ask:
    • What makes this school different?
    • Does the school have a faith identity?
    • Does the school embrace parent volunteers?
    • What is the student/teacher ratio, at the classroom level and whole school?
    • Does the school offer extended hours, both morning and afternoon?
    • What schools do the graduates attend?
  • Look at the campus through the lens of your child’s eyes.  Do the classrooms have a lot of natural light?  Are the playgrounds friendly and filled with happy children?  What is on the walls?  Do the children at the school look like my child? Would I want to be a student here if I were my child?
  • To gather more information about the school, go to the source...the Director of Admissions. If you want to know about the extended day program, ask to meet that Director of that program.  If you are curious about the chapel program, ask if you can attend one.  If you want to know about the school from another parent, ask the Director of Admissions to put you in touch with a current parent. Listen and absorb!

Find a school that will prepare your child for the path, not the path for the child.  If you are successful in that endeavor, then you have found the “perfect school.” 

About the author: Allison Teare has served The Fay School for over 15 years as the Director of Admission. 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.