Today, a friend emailed me about her frustration with the touring process. She works full-time and she's struggling to find time to visit schools.
She wrote: "One thing I've been thinking about this process—be it public or private schools—is just how down-right hostile it is to working parents. Why do these tours need to be two hours long? Why are they all in the morning? (What would otherwise be my most productive time?) Have you had this reaction at all? Doesn't it all seem a bit insane?"
Luckily, I have a flexible job. I can work on a Sunday night and then skip a few hours on a Tuesday morning for a tour. Plus, I work only 30 hours a week. But still I feel like I'm running around nonstop trying to fit in work and the school search. I can't imagine how challenging the process would be for someone who's working over 40 hours and has to be in the office during core business hours. Or what about parents who are at home with a baby? They have to pay a babysitter or bring the little one along, which makes it difficult to focus on a school tour.
Does anyone have ideas for ways schools could improve the tour options? I know that some schools offer events in addition to the tours. I believe that Flynn offered a kindergarten night, and I know that Miraloma welcomes parents to attend the Friday morning sings. Does anyone feel like all the tours are on the same day—Thursdays? Would anyone attend a weekend open house? Most of the private schools host these. Please share your thoughts—but please try to offer constructive criticism rather than mean complaints. A lot of school parents are pouring tons of time and energy into leading prospective parents on tours. And I know we all appreciate that.