Questions to Ask
Below are some factors that you may want to consider
when researching districts and schools. Some of the information can be
obtained either by visiting the websites mentioned previously, or by reading
the School Accountability Report Cards provided by district offices. Much of
the information can only be obtained by actually visiting the school.
Services on Campus
Is there child care on the premises or
nearby? Are there programs and cooperative relationships with recreation
departments, scouts, or other programs? Is there a homework club or other
academic after-school effort? Are there programs for parents in the evening?
Does the school have Special Education, Language services, or
a gifted/talented program? Does the school feature any other special programs,
focus themes, or outside resources? How are these programs structured?
Is the school participating in class size reduction? If so,
how is the need for more classrooms and teachers being addressed?
Ask about discipline, homework, and grading policies to make
sure the school's priorities are similar to your own.
Who is on the staff? Is there a librarian, counselor, speech
therapist, nurse, teacher aides, parent volunteers, cross-age or peer tutors?
What are teachers and staff doing to keep their skills up-to-date and to
broaden their knowledge base?
How does the school measure student progress? Have academic
standards been adopted? How are these measured?
Parent and Community Involvement
Are there parents and community members volunteering in the classrooms, labs,
and special events? Is there an active school site council? What does the
school site council do? How well attended are its meetings?
Are there crossing guards? Is there appropriate playground
supervision? Does the school sponsor any student safety programs?
What awards have been received by students, teachers, and the
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