First, parents must define the child’s needs as distinct from their own. It is paramount to keep the child’s needs in mind throughout the process.
Next, examine each school’s mission. Be sure you understand the mission statement, and ask for specifics as to how that mission is implemented.
Look beyond the school’s reputation when making this important decision. Ask about specific programs and where students go after they graduate or leave the school. What scores did students earn on the SAT or other standardized tests? Schools should publish this summary data.
The child should have the opportunity to visit the school before any final decision is made. Depending on the size of candidate pools, many schools encourage a potential student to come to visit for a day. If your child is accepted, it is reasonable to request a visit, especially if you have doubts.