What School Is The Right “Fit”?
By Jennifer Brozost and Vimmi Shroff
The New York City metropolitan area offers hundreds of excellent educational choices. Some of the oldest private schools in the country are located in your city. An amazing aspect of living in New York City is the opportunity afforded to parents who have the privilege to apply to a wide array of top-notch independent schools.
You may learn that there are too many terrific schools from which to choose, as opposed to not enough! Many families often begin their school search with the assumption that they know the best fit for their children. But, inevitably, they are in for a surprise. We have advised all parents over and over to keep an open mind when looking at schools.
You will discover that each school has a unique culture and style. The good news is that most families will relate to the cultures of many schools, not just one.
Use these suggestions to narrow your choices:
Prior to visiting schools, think about the 'ideal' educational environment for your family. (This may change as you complete your tours and realize the range of schools that are out there).
• Do you want a small or a large school?
• Would you be comfortable in a traditional or progressive setting?
• Do you prefer single sex or co-ed?
• Which special subject areas are important to your family?
• What do you value most? Community service, diversity, academics, social/emotional development?
Remember, it is important to do your own research and to ask the questions that are most important to your unique family!
Categorize each school in your list under three headings:
• What You Know About Schools
• What You Would Like To Know
• What You Have Learned
This might sound like a lot of work, but after touring and interviewing at ten different schools, it all becomes a big blur.
How Will We Know If This Is The Right School For Our Family?
Once you've toured all your schools and your chart is completed, this is the time to narrow or amend your list. Add schools to your top three or eliminate the ones that no longer appeal to you. You will have a clear feeling of schools that resonated with you. It's a combination of your research, homework, and instinctive reactions. You will walk into certain schools and feel like you are "Home."
Some of your pre-conceived notions will be what you expected and some will be tossed out the window. Be open and ready for some delightful surprises!
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