A group of moms at the park where talking about their school touring schedule and one woman asked, "But what do I look for?" She admitted that she was so focused on evaluating the kindergarten classes that she forgot to examine the rest of the school more closely. The conversation progressed to middle school and high school placement. I confess I haven't paid attention to the feeder patterns for middle school and how my requested selections are impacted. How many of you are looking that far ahead towards middle and high schools at this stage?
I wonder what is it that makes a school great beyond test scores and parent participation. When you're on a tour, what do you look for? Happy children? Engaging teachers? Do you rely on a feeling, sense, or vibe about the place?
I've started school tours and always leave wondering what (better) questions I should have asked. What does strong leadership in the administrative staff of the school look like on a daily basis? How can you tell from a brief visit with the school that the teachers are a strong supportive unit? How would you know if there is playground bullying or if it's a safe learning environment?
What is it that gives a school that oomph for you to put it on your list of 7?