FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT TYPE OF SCHOOL IS RIGHT FOR MY CHILD AND MY FAMILY?
As a parent or guardian, you are the best person to identify what matters most in your child’s education and what factors will help them to be successful in school. First, identify what your child would need from a school, such as strong academic standing, values, diversity, or extracurricular activities. Then, search for several schools that can meet your top priorities. Visit those schools to discover if any of those campuses are a match for your needs.
HOW MANY SCHOOLS SHOULD I APPLY TO?
It is very important that you apply to more than one school. Families Empowered recommends applying to at least three schools. This increases your chances of getting into a school that is right for your child and your family.
HOW DO I APPLY TO OR ENROLL IN A SCHOOL?
Once you have identified several schools where you might like to enroll your child and visited those campuses to confirm they are a good match for your student, you need to get an application from every school where you would like to apply. Some schools offer applications online; others require the completion of paper forms.
HOW DO I VISIT A SCHOOL BEFORE I ENROLL?
We recommend visiting a school before you enroll. Most schools give tours, host open houses, or allow parents to meet with a school representative before enrolling. This is an important step because it allows you to ask questions to your family. Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools are offering tours by appointment only.
WHAT KINDS OF QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK WHEN VISITING A SCHOOL?
There are many questions you could ask during a school visit. Listen to their answers to help you decide if the school seems like a good match for your child. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- What does your school offer that makes it different from other schools?
- What type of student succeeds at this school?
- What opportunities do you offer students outside the classroom? (Are there sports, electives, clubs, after-school and before-school programs, competitions or field trips?)
- How do parents get involved in the school and in their child’s class?
- How do parents keep track of their child’s performance between progress reports and report cards?
- How do you grade homework? What is the consequence if homework is incomplete? What assistance do you offer struggling students?
- Do you offer advanced classes for students?
- How does your school support students who have learning challenges or special needs?
- How do you teach students who have limited English?
- How do you discipline students? How do you reward students who behave well?
- How do your students get to school? Is transportation provided?
Again, we suggest you take a school tour if possible. Visiting a school will give you the chance to see principals, teachers, and students in action; view student work on display; observe how well the campus buildings and grounds are maintained; and, of course, ask important questions to determine if the school is a good match for your child.
WHEN SHOULD I SUBMIT MY APPLICATIONS TO SCHOOLS?
Each type of school and district has its own application timeline, so deadlines for submitting applications vary. It is extremely important to research your options early, so you don’t miss any windows for applying to your desired schools. Families Empowered reminds parents about applications deadlines and requirements. Join our network to receive updates during the application season.
WHAT IF I GET WAITLISTED AT MY FIRST SCHOOL OF CHOICE?
If you are waitlisted at your top pick school, you still have options. Other local schools may be similar to your first choice. You can also work with your current school to ensure your child has a successful next school year.
Families Empowered always shares information about open seats at schools throughout the year. Reach out to us or sign up for free services!
HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD GET THE MOST OUT OF THEIR CURRENT SCHOOL?
You are your child’s first teacher, and together with the instructors at his or her school, you can help your child be extremely successful. Some actions you can take:
- Reach out to your child’s teacher to see if your child is on track to be promoted to the next grade level.
- Ask the teacher how your child is performing behaviorally and what you can do to improve his or her performance.
- Help your child with homework and ask questions about their school day. Send the message that you are interested in their schooling. The more you ask, the more your student will expect your involvement – and that’s a very good expectation to set with your child.
Give Allison or Lea a call to learn more about navigating all of your school options, and to get free, one-on-one help!