Private school community in Los Angeles: Get to Know the People at the Private Schools
When exploring potential private schools for your child, it's crucial to go beyond the glossy websites and meticulously crafted tours. These methods often showcase the school's best features while leaving important aspects hidden. To truly understand what a school is like, you must channel your inner detective and thoroughly investigate all aspects of the institution.
One effective approach is to focus on getting to know the people who make up the private school community in Los Angeles.
Start by observing the individuals leading the tour. Are they parents, administrators, teachers, or students? Recognize that the school intentionally selects these representatives to provide a specific perspective. By understanding who they are and their role in the school, you can gain insight into the institution's priorities.
While on your tour, pay close attention to the students.
Are they actively engaged and happy? Do they work individually or collaborate with their peers? Observe how they treat one another—do they demonstrate kindness and respect? Take note of their attire and try to envision your child fitting in. Additionally, observe their behavior during transitions between classes or outdoor playtime. Are they loud or quiet? Is there a sense of organization? Take note of the learning materials used—textbooks, technology, or a combination. Evaluate your comfort level with the classroom environment and consider the representation of different ethnic, economic, and family backgrounds. Assess whether the level of diversity aligns with your expectations and comfort level.
Another essential group to consider is the teachers.
Do they exhibit enthusiasm and attentiveness? Do they genuinely enjoy their work? Take note of how well they seem to know each child individually. It's also
valuable to inquire about the average tenure of teachers at the school. Consider the diversity among the faculty—different ages and genders. Determine if this diversity is important
to you. Find out if the private school community in Los Angeles supports and funds professional development for its teachers and if they implement innovative ideas acquired from conferences.
The perspective of current parents is invaluable in your research.
Take the opportunity to interact with them and gauge their happiness and willingness to share their experiences. Do you feel a sense of connection with these parents? Observe if their lifestyles and values align with your own. A glance at the carpool lane can provide additional insight. Is there a similarity between the vehicles in the lane and your own? Assess the level of parent involvement in the parent association. Engage in conversations with parents and inquire about the topics that typically arise during parking lot discussions.
The school's administration is a crucial element to consider.
Evaluate their effectiveness as a team. Are they accessible and communicative? Determine the size of the administrative team and assess if it's easy to identify the appropriate person to approach with questions or concerns. While exploring the administrative aspects, gather information about the school's general provisions, such as the presence of a school nurse and how medical needs are addressed. Additionally, inquire about security measures and any emergency plans, such as earthquake preparedness.
As you gather this information about the people at the institutions you are considering, utilize it to assess whether the school aligns with the needs and values of your child and family. Remember that schools will provide valuable insights into their identity—listen carefully to what they reveal.
Contact Lisa if you would like help analyzing the school information you have collected.