High school is a big step in every teenager’s life. Parents can make their student’s transition from middle school to high school easier by asking all the right questions and taking all the right steps in deciding which school works best for your child. Here are some tips on what to look for and ask when looking at high schools.

School Culture

Get a feel for the overall culture and asses the students that go to school there. Take a tour and walk the hallways with a faculty member. They can point out all the standout facts and events happening at the school. You can learn about the monthly assemblies that happen, as well as sports and other extracurricular activities.

Resources

Ask questions about the student teacher interaction. Is there a good student to teacher ratio? Your child will succeed in high school if he or she has all the right tools and people helping them. Learn about the guidance counselor’s services and other available resources, like tutoring. Find out if faculty members are regularly available to help students after school.

Academics Offered

When choosing a high school, think about the academic subjects your child loves and see if those subjects are offered. Is your child good at solving math problems or writing stories? Take into consideration what your child is best at and check if specific electives are offered that will enhance your child’s education skills. Aside from the core classes, consider fun classes that could bring out your child’s creative side like a pottery or design class.

Extracurricular Activities

Chances are your child will want to be involved in high school. Find out what sports and clubs are offered. Ask your child the top 3 sports or clubs that most interest them and check if the school has those activities. If you child isn’t interested in playing a specific sport, maybe they’ll want to attend sporting events after class. Is Friday night football or volleyball games the most popular event to attend? Let your child’s interest create their path in high school.

Parent Engagement

Consider the level of parent involvement expected at the high school you’re considering. Are parent- teacher conferences scheduled each quarter or semester? Is there a parent-teacher association for parents to voice their ideas and concerns? Look for schools that encourage and invite parent interaction.

Location/Cost

Parents may also find it necessary to also think about their own needs when choosing  If students are being driven to school each day, is the school conveniently located? If there’s a school bus, what time will it pick your child up and how long is the ride? Parents also need to keep costs in mind that may not be obvious, such as transportation costs, uniform costs, fees to join clubs or sports, technology fees, and equipment insurance fees. Fees can accumulate, so try and get a handle on all the individual costs that could be incurred throughout the year.

Graduation Rates

The most important trait of a high school is the graduation rate. Ask schools to provide statistics the percent of students who graduate and the number that go on to college. Usually, this information can also be found online. The success of students should be one of the most important tests in deciding which school your child should attend.

Your child’s best interests are always paramount when choosing a high school, but with so many different options, considering each of the above points may make the decision process a little easier.

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