Choosing a primary or secondary school is one of the most important educational decisions a family can make which is why many parents choose to work with an educational consultant. These years are a significant period in a young person’s life. During this time, parents learn about additional support which may help their child, build connections with educators, establish relationships with other parents, watch their child develop independence and autonomy, and engage in their student’s learning.
The variety of options today, which include public, religious, private, boarding, charter, magnet, virtual, vocational, and at-home school, can be confusing.
The process of applying to primary, elementary, and/or secondary schools consists of numerous choices, deadlines, and rules–both written and unwritten. No wonder many families feel stressed. International College Counselors can help your family navigate the school admissions process. In addition to our team of advisors who guide students through the boarding school process, we now have a team dedicated to placing students in South Florida primary and secondary schools that fit them best. We know this process requires planning, cooperation, and consultation. An educational consultant will support you and your child, helping to narrow a list of potential school choices, complete the applications, and ultimately, select the best-fit school. Based on our knowledge of schools in South Florida and beyond, we can help you identify programs and opportunities that are best for your child.
When choosing a school, the goal is to address the needs and nurture the interests of your child in as many ways as possible. Doing so will positively impact their academic, social, and physical development. A few basics to consider include:
1. Child’s interests and needs
The appropriate school should support the individual child’s particular interests. Different schools specialize in different areas. As much as you want your child to excel in their academic journey, you also need to identify a school that provides your child with opportunities to explore and develop their interests.
Consider, too, what support services the school offers. Some of the options include programs for children with learning differences and/or for those identified as gifted. Other programs a child may need are English as a Second Language (ESL), literacy, or numeracy support.
2. School philosophy, organization, and curriculum
Knowing a school’s philosophy and approach to education can help a parent identify the strengths and weaknesses of that school. The teaching approach can often determine whether a child will thrive. Understanding what classes are expected of your child–from religion to world languages–might also be a determining factor. Additionally, it’s important to consider the size and organization of the school, including the student-teacher ratio.
In high school, academic programs and the courses a student chooses matter to colleges. Some accelerated programs that allow students to show their academic prowess include AP classes, IB curriculum, AICE/Cambridge curriculum, and dual enrollment.
How important is convenience to you? Some factors to consider include: What is the commute time? Where are the after-school activities held? Does the school offer transportation? What time does the school day start and end? In which area do most of the students live? Sometimes, these issues can be managed, but sometimes, they may cause additional stress.
4. Other factors of consideration
In addition to meeting your family’s practical needs, a school should also match your personal preferences and values. Other factors to consider when choosing a school may include, diversity, culture, extracurricular opportunities, and safety.
For secondary school students, additional considerations may include graduation rate, what schools students have gained admissions to in the past, and standardized test scores.
The price of the school can sometimes be the most important factor when selecting a school. Families may have to make sacrifices to afford certain private schools, such as forfeiting vacations and home repairs. Items like uniforms, laptops, and activity fees may also need to be factored into the cost, so be sure to ask during the admissions process what to expect. Many schools offer need-based financial aid; some schools – typically high schools – offer scholarships for children with special abilities, such as academics, athletics, or the arts, but many do not.
The primary and secondary school years can be a time of great achievement for a child. You may want to speak to an International College Counselors educational consultant who can assist you. For any and all help finding a primary or secondary school in South Florida or a boarding school that best suits your child’s interests and aspirations, while also offering maximum opportunity for growth and development, contact International College Counselors.
Visit https://internationalcollegecounselors.com/ or call 954-414-9986 x6.