Why Did You Select That School?

One of the first things a parent says when she speaks to me about private schools is something along the lines of "I want my son to go to such and such a school." When I diplomatically ask why she is interested in that specific school, the answer is usually "because I heard it is a really good school." That is a starting point in determining which school your child should attend. However, there is much more to the process than merely expressing an interest in a school because you heard it was a good one.
 
So, why not you and I work our way through that initial consultation? Hopefully it will help you refine your private school search process. Ideally it will help you find a school which meets your requirements as well as what your child needs to flourish and be happy.
 
What are you really looking for?
 
Understanding what you are really looking for is a critical part of any private school search process. So, start at the beginning and apply a couple of filters. The first filter asks what type of school are you looking for? Day or boarding? With thousands of private schools here in the United States as well as hundreds more in Canada and the United Kingdom, using this filter reduces the number of schools for our consideration rather dramatically.

As this introduction to choosing a private school states, you have to look at a lot of schools before you find the one that's right . . .read more
Some school administrators understand social media and its power as part of their marketing strategy. Others think it is merely an adjunct to their other marketing tools. Still others think they know how to use social media and clearly have no clue how to use it effectively. This short article is aimed squarely at the small to medium sized private schools which cannot afford marketing staff and expensive marketing programs. My observations and suggestions are rooted in many years of observing how the small to medium sized private schools manage their marketing. Some do very well. Others don't seem to understand how to manage it.
 
Successful marketing at any level requires persistence and consistency. Professionals know that. Indeed that is what you are buying when you hire a professional marketing firm to design your web site or handle your social media strategy. With this as our backdrop let's explore a couple of low cost yet effective ways in which we can make your YouTube Channel more effective
 
Control it
 
My training and education both as a classical musician and as a technology professional have taught me to be a control freak. I would never have dreamed of letting my choirs wander all over the place musically. I had a vision of how I wanted a piece of music to sound. I controlled all aspects of my choristers' performance to produce the result I wanted. That is essentially what you have to do with your school's YouTube channel. You will receive much free . . .read more
A couple of years ago I wrote 5 Ways to Support Your School in which I examined the ways you can support your school financially. That article was aimed at private school graduates and discussed how they could support the school which had given them such a good start. Now let's look at how parents can get involved with their child's school.
 
The old standbys still exist. Helping chaperone a field trip and bringing in a plate of cookies or cupcakes are still welcomed. Mind you, these days you have to make sure that you have liability insurance for the trips and must take care to avoid ingredients which might cause an allergic reaction, such as peanuts. Once those matters have been dealt with trips and cookies are always popular.
 
Why get involved?
 
Aren't you busy enough? You have a full time career. Your wife's job requires her to travel frequently. How on earth are you going to find time to be involved with your child's school? Practical excuses aside, you want to be involved with your child's school to show your support for the school and its programs.

This event at The Hockaday School, Dallas Texas, was made very memorable because of all the parents who attended.
 

I served on my youngest daughter's class parents committee. If I remember correctly, we met once a month. We were charged with raising money to buy something for the classroom. I remember baking cookies and muffins. . . .read more
The two main college admissions tests are SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT (American College Testing). Each of these tests generates a high degree of angst for juniors and seniors. I suppose a certain amount of concern is justified especially if you have not been a good student during your middle and high schools.
 
What is the purpose of these tests?
 
Both SAT and ACT are deigned to assess a student's readiness for college level academic work.
 
"The SAT and SAT Subject Tests are designed to assess your academic readiness for college. These exams provide a path to opportunities, financial support, and scholarships, in a way that's fair to all students. The SAT and SAT Subject Tests keep pace with what colleges are looking for today, measuring the skills required for success in the 21st century."

This clip from the College Board explains what the SAT is.
 
 
Here is a brief description of what the ACT test comprises:

"The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in: English, Mathematics, Reading &Science
The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute Writing Test.
ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the US.
The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 . . .read more
You and I are conditioned to expect to be able to comparison shop for everything we buy. When we search for an item on Amazon the website presents us with other options. We can read reviews by other purchasers. These factors together with our own understanding of value and price point help us make the decisions which drive our purchase. So, why can't we do the same with private schools? Why isn't there some way of ranking schools? Wouldn't rankings make our task of selecting the right private school for our child a whole lot easier?
 
For starters, choosing a private school is not like buying a set of towels or sheets online. We have confidence buying towels and sheets online from a trusted vendor using a secure credit card because we know what we are buying. Choosing a private school is much more complicated. Why? Because in the first place it is a major decision. We won't be able to return it and get our money back if we don't like it, which is what we do when we buy merchandise which turns out to be unsatisfactory. And the amount of money involved in the transaction is large. Furthermore we are talking about a decision which will have a serious impact on us and our child for several years.

This brief video lays out the process for you.
 
 
Major decisions have many more factors and variables involved than minor decisions such as purchasing those towels . . .read more
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Recent Articles
 Why Did You Select That School?
Why Did You Select That School?
"Because I heard it is a good school." That may well be, but there are some other factors in the private school selection process we need to consider.
Elements of a Successful YouTube Channel
Running a small to medium sized private school? Can't afford marketing staff and expensive marketing programs? Read on.
Getting Involved With Your Child's School
Getting involved with your child's school benefits both you and the school. It's a win-win for all concerned.