School Visit Checklist
Preparing for a school visit is crucial for parents if they really want to ask the right questions and ensure the school is a good fit for their children. Chalksmart has talked with a number of admissions officers, and below is a summary of what they recommend.
Before Your Visit
- Understand the school’s curriculum and philosophy – most information is available on the website or right here on Chalksmart.
- Write down specific questions that you want to ask, or print out from here
- Make sure to set up your appointment so the school knows that you are coming!
During Your Visit
- Look around – do the children seem happy and engaged?
- Be sure to observe a class in action.
- Remember – the admissions team may not be wholly representative of the school. It’s important to see the teachers and even talk to the principal.
- What do the facilities look like? Does it seem safe? Are the bathrooms and cafeteria clean?
- Who provides the food catering service?
- Check out the student work. Does it look age appropriate?
- Are the teachers energetic and experienced?
Questions to Ask
- Does this school have an educational philosophy or mission?
- What is the maximum class size?
- How are classes split up?
- What is the breakdown of nationalities in the average class?
- How does the school teach language, arts and music?
- How long do most students stay at the school? Why do they leave?
- What minimum and average qualifications do teachers have?
- What is the licensing of the school? Accreditation? When was it updated?
- What extracurricular activities are available?
- Where are the students from?
For Pre-K / Kindergarten / ECE students
- How are classes broken up and how many students are there in each class?
- Where are the teachers from?
- What does the school do to build character or reinforce positive values?
- How much outdoor time do kids get each day?
For Primary students
- What is the school’s approach to reading, math, science and social studies?
- What language classes are offered to students?
- How does the school prepare students for success in secondary?
- How often do children usually stay at the school?
For Secondary School students
- Does the school have a particular curriculum focus?
- If the school does IB, what are the average scores? Does every student take IB?
- If the school focuses on SAT or ACT, what are the average scores?
- Where do students go after they graduate? Do you have a list of acceptances.
- Is college counseling and support available?
- What extracurricular activities are popular? Sports?