What Questions to Ask on a School Tour

Asking the right questions on school tours will help guide you to the right one faster.School tours allow you to get to know certain schools better. But asking the right questions on these tours will help guide you to the right one faster. Be sure to print these out before your next walk-through:

• Does the school have strong leadership? Principal sets the tone for all classrooms.

• Are there signs of parent engagement? Confident schools are usually open with parents.

• Are there signs of respect between kids and adults?

• Are the students engaged?

• Is the library rich, fully stocked, and organized with a clear system for locating books?

• Does the school rely too heavily on test prep and textbooks? If so, this could bore students and they may become disengaged.

• Is the classroom neat and tidy? What is the noise level? Noise is OK, but it shouldn't feel chaotic.

• Are there behavior charts signaling a mix of structure and freedom?

• How large is the class? Could small numbers be a sign of absenteeism?

• What is the school's philosophy? Traditional schools emphasize content and usually set up desks in rows while progressive schools emphasize process and usually set up desks in clusters.

• How does faculty handle discipline?

• How many hours of homework is expected each night? Is homework given on weekends and holidays?

• What are the after-school activities and clubs?

• Does technology make lessons more interesting or are they a distraction?