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 can help your child be successful in school. The most important thing you can do to find the right school is to be clear about what your child needs and what you want from a school. Identify what your child would need from a school – such as strong academic standing, values, diversity or extracurricular activities – and 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.
What kinds of questions should I ask when visiting a school?
There are many questions you could ask during a school visit, but it would be extremely beneficial to ask a school leader three particular questions:
· What does your school offer that makes it different from other schools?
· What kind of student succeeds in your school?
· Outside of academics, what opportunities does my child have outside the classroom? (Examples include sports, clubs, electives and after-school and before-school programs.)
Listen to their answers to help you decide if the school seems like a good match for your child.
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.
By applying to more than one school, you increase your chances of getting into a school that is right for your child and your family.
There are so many different schooling options in the Houston area – public, charter, magnet, vanguard, Catholic or other private schools – that you have the benefit of choosing from many possible local schools 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. Check with the school for each year’s deadlines.
Because schools each have different application timelines, it is extremely important to research your options early, so you don’t miss any windows for applying to your desired schools.
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.
What if I get waitlisted at my first school of choice?
If you are waitlisted at your top pick school, you still have options among the more than 500 schools in the Houston area. Other local schools may be similar to your first choice school. If your child is waitlisted, you can find a second or third choice option that is a relative match to your expectations. Or, you can also establish a working relationship with your current school to ensure your child has a successful next school year.
Each May, you can visit our website for a list of schools with available seats for the coming academic year. This list is developed annually each spring for waitlisted families who are searching for a school with available seats in the coming academic year.
Call Families Empowered at 713-589-8767 to speak with a staff person who can assist you in discovering the right option for your student.
How can I help my child get the most out of his or her 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, in light of his or her performance on the STAAR and Stanford tests. Ask how your child is performing on day-to-day assignments, as well.
· Also 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.