Choosing the Right School
Sarah O'Neill & Bryce Richmond
So, you’ve decided to go the independent school route. Now comes the big decision–which school do you choose? There are many advantages to private school: more structure, smaller class sizes, space to learn independence, abundant leadership opportunities and more. But every school is very different, and there are ways to determine which is the right fit.
Assistant Director ofAdmissions Bryce Richmond has some tips on making the decision easier!
Consider What’s Important
Make a list of the things that are important to you in a school, including any curriculum specifics, extracurriculars, amenities, and location details. Going to private school is a significant investment, whether it be as a day or boarding student, and you need to make sure the school you choose checks off all of the important boxes on your list.
Determine Your Child’s Strengths and Interests
Whether it’s a specific sports program, subject area, or visual and performing arts, make sure prospective schools have opportunities to excel your aspirations. Take into consideration current strengths and weaknesses academically – do they need extra support? All of these details should be taken into account when searching for the right school.
Explore All the Options
I always tell students and parents to make a short list of 3-5 schools, big and small, to be able to compare and contrast. The only way you are going to know if a school is the right fit for your child is by seeing what feels right.
Schedule a Visit
You can do all the research in the world, but until you step foot on campus you won’t get the best feel for the community, staff or students. If the community doesn’t feel comfortable, it may not be the right fit.
Ask the Right Questions
When you visit or interview, make sure to have a list of pre-written questions, and write down the answers that you receive to look back on. Ask questions that you couldn’t find in the quick facts section.
Tilton School has many resources available for the many questions that will arise when you’re inquiring. We also write posts monthly about the ins-and-outs of private schools that may be helpful when making your decision!