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Questions to Ask at Every School

Finding the right school for your child can feel overwhelming in the best of times, and we know it’s even more daunting amidst the pandemic.

As you begin learning more about Independent schools and start your school visits, it is useful to have a list of questions to ask as you research and attend information sessions at each school. To help you begin, we have compiled a few questions that we think are important. The list is not exhaustive, but we hope the questions will give you a good start in collecting information that will be useful as you consider your choices.
Questions we think are important to ask any year include:

  • What is the mission and educational philosophy of the school?
  • How does the school ensure each child feels known and understood?
  • How does the school create a community so all constituents feel they belong?
  • How is the school preparing students for the 21st century?
  • Does the school have a distinct educational focus or approach to learning?
  • Is there a strong partnership between teachers, students, and parents?
  • Do faculty members have opportunities to grow and learn?
  • What sets them apart from other schools?

Additional questions we think are important to ask this year in light of the pandemic are below. While we fervently hope everyone will be back to on-campus learning by next September, how a school has responded to the pandemic and it’s impact in the future may tell you a lot about its fit for your family. Questions to ask include:

  • What is the school’s approach to learning during the pandemic?
  • What are the measures/metrics the school is using to guide its decisionmaking about on-campus learning?
  • How is the school building community, especially among new students and families, when everything is virtual?
  • Assuming schools are fully open next fall, how will the school take into account the different learning experiences children had during the pandemic?
  • How will the school address the post-pandemic social-emotional needs of students?

These suggestions should help you get started as you navigate the independent school landscape, and we hope you will join us at an upcoming event to ask these questions of us! If you have not yet registered for one or more events, you may do so here.