As a parent, you want what’s best for your child, and that begins with a high-quality Catholic education. Choosing a Catholic school is one of the best decisions that you can make for your child.
With so many Catholic schools to choose from, however, how do you know which is right for your family? In this blog, we’ll explore five ways that you can research Catholic institutions in your area to determine the right school for your child.
The Importance of Doing Research to Determine the Best Catholic School for Your Child
For parents, the decision to send their child to a Catholic school can be a difficult one. The cost of tuition, specific family and educational needs, and a general lack of knowledge surrounding Catholic schools in your area are just a few factors that come into play when considering the right Catholic school for your child.
While it’s impossible to know exactly what your child’s experience will be like at any given Catholic school, there are some steps you can take to help ensure you’ve chosen the right school for your family.
1. Talk with other Catholic school parents.
Start by asking other parents what they like about their children’s schools. Ask them about their goals for their children, because that’s where your conversation should begin naturally. You need to consider what kind of education you want for your child before you can know which schools will provide the best.
2. Visit the school during operational hours.
It’s impossible to get a good feel for a school just by reading its website or talking with an admissions director – you need to see it in action. Most Catholic schools offer tours during the school year and often host open houses during late summer or early fall. Don’t resort to drive-bys: schedule a time to visit, sit in on classes, meet teachers and students, and ask questions about everything from curriculum to extracurricular activities.
Once you’ve identified some Catholic schools that interest you, visit them during school hours, too. A visit during school hours will give you a much better perspective of what goes on at each school every day and whether it meets your needs – as well as those of your child.
3. Determine your family’s needs.
How far are you willing to drive? Would you send your child out of the district? If a new school means relocating, what part of town would work best? Answering these questions will help narrow down your options for choosing the right Catholic school for your child.
4. Determine the type of educational environment your child desires.
What type of learning style does your child have? Are they independent learners who need little supervision and guidance, or do they require more attention? What type of faith traditions do you follow as a family? All of these questions can help you determine the type of Catholic learning environment that will be most beneficial to your child.
5. Watch for signs of faith.
A Catholic education should be characterized by more than just the name on the school’s sign. Look for signs of faith in the school’s hallways, classrooms, and auditoriums. Observe how students interact with teachers and other students as well as how they treat their surroundings. Are there opportunities for prayer? Do students attend Mass regularly? Is there a campus ministry program?
Catholic schools are a wonderful choice for families who want the best in education, plus the addition of a religious component. Catholic schools offer a faith-based environment and education that can be beneficial to your child throughout their life and beyond.