Whether you’re looking for a school for the first time for your kids or looking for a new school, you might be wondering what qualities to look for before enrolling your children.
Three qualities that make a good school are:
- Strong school leadership
- A successful learning environment
- A curriculum that aligns with state standards
This article will cover these qualities in more detail as well as a few other important ones. Keep reading to learn more so your child can go to the best school possible.
Effective School Leadership
It’s important to not only look at the school’s teachers, but also to get to know the principal, the administrators, and the counselors.
Keep in mind that school decisions and school changes are made by these people. So, they will determine how the teaching is conducted and whether your children are successful.
The principal and counselors are also the first people you will be referred to if your child is having any issues.
Every school leader will have their own style, but they need to be able to implement change effectively and gracefully. They also need to be proactive when there are school problems.
Supportive Learning Environment
This is where the teachers come into play. All the instructors should be probably trained and give the students room to learn and grow.
All the teachers need to be engaged in the student’s learning, not just handing out work and expecting the children to learn on their own.
All learning spaces should also be safe and clean. This is especially important for young children as they spend more time walking around or playing on the floor.
Personalized learning is also key. Make sure the teachers are willing to help your child if they have a learning disability or if they need extra help with instruction.
Small learning environments are also better. An effective school will have small student-to-teacher ratios.
The school should also have extra learning resources like a computer lab, a skills lab for science classes, libraries, and extracurricular activities.
Curriculum that Aligns with State Standards
Each state has its own standards when it comes to instruction, curriculum, and assessments. These standards show what your child should be learning each year.
These state standards are created to ensure all students are prepared for higher education such as college or trade schools. All staff needs to be educated on state standards including having access to strategies and materials that are useful for implementing the standards.
The staff also needs to understand the assessments and what they are intended to measure. Teachers also need to be willing to teach in a manner that prepares the students for these assessments.
Ideally, a good school will have annual meetings with the parents about the curriculum and all end-of-year assessments so that everyone is on the same page.
If your child doesn’t go to a school that follows the state’s standards, they are at risk of not being prepared for college.
Other Qualities to Look For In a School
While the three qualities above are arguably the most important qualities to look for in a good school, there are a few others to look out for.
These things include:
- Strong Systems of Communication: All staff and teachers should be communicating with each other, the students, and the parents.
- Involvement from Families and Local Community: Good schools will understand that local businesses, families, community colleges, and social service institutions all play a crucial role in educating young adults and children.
- Professional Development: Teachers and staff should always be continuing their education with professional development courses or seminars.
- High Expectations for Students: To succeed, students need to know they are expected to learn and meet certain standards. Obstacles should be observed, but the student should be able to overcome them with the proper support from the school.
- Clear Focus: A good school will have a mission statement that everyone knows and follows. It should share the values and beliefs that show the direction of the school.
- Monitoring of Learning: A good way to see if a school is effective is by seeing how well the students are doing. Staff members should monitor the progress of students as well as check in on classroom time to see how the instructors are teaching.
Some cities and districts have better school systems than others. It might be worth checking a district before moving to see the rating of their schools. Many places also allow you to tour the school and meet the principal.
When searching for schools for your children, make sure they have effective leadership, supportive learning environments, and assessments that meet state standards.
Finding these qualities ensures your kids will be in good hands with a supportive and reputable school that makes each student successful.