If you want your child to grow up with a deep catholic faith steeped in religious practice, then a catholic education would be the right path to take. However, placing a child in this environment will require much research, comparing, and observing before a final decision is made. Therefore, heed these well-meaning suggestions when selecting a catholic school for your child.
- Touch base with a catholic church in your location. You can go and look for the parish priest and ask him for recommendations on the top catholic schools in the area. Request the parish priest for a recommendation or endorsement letter to bring with you on your visits to the schools that were recommended. Further, ask your parish priest which school he thinks would be best for your child based on your child’s age.
- Make inquiries from the Catholic Diocese in your location. In situations where you want to broaden your search for a catholic school, the diocese in your location is where you should go. You might get lucky and discover that the diocese is actually running a school for children. This dramatically narrows down your search right there.
- Ask about tuition fees and extra-curricular fees. Get to the crux of the matter by asking about how much it will cost for your child to go to a catholic school. Compare the numbers with the other catholic schools in your area but be cautious about going for the lowest tuition fee. The cost of the tuition should never be your deciding factor. Check out the coverage of the tuition fee by looking at the breakdown of cost section.
- Conduct an ocular inspection of the catholic school. Walk around the school premises and check all the facilities for students like the cafeteria, rest rooms, library, classrooms, and whatever else that the catholic school offers for their students. Ask questions as you go along. Another thing that you need to clarify is the safety of the children while they’re at the school. Naturally, the school needs to be clean, organized, and warmly-inviting for the children.
- Check out the curriculum. There should be an ideal balance of subject matter that will cover the spiritual, intellectual, creative, artistic, and physical requirements of your child. Furthermore, the catholic school must reflect or mirror your values as a catholic family in the curriculum.
- Look at the capabilities of the teachers. The main reason why catholic schools and other private educational institutions stand or fare better than public schools is the caliber of education. Proof of that is the educational attainment and professional expertise of the teachers. Take a look at the roster of teachers at the catholic school you are selecting and see if they have an impressive cast that will educate your child in the best way possible.
- Sit at a class that is in-session. Another aspect of the selection process that you must not miss is observing a class that is in-session. Look at how the children interact with each other and with their teacher. Observe the teaching style of the teacher. Jot down notes and make sure you are able to freely ask questions after the class has been dismissed.
- Request for a compiled year-on-year report on school competitiveness. Look at how the school and its students perform in national testing and achievements tests as conducted by the local school board. Are the students active participants in local, national, or regional competitions? You need to cover these during the selection process as well.
- Check out the waiting list. When you have a hit, you’ll know it! The list of parents who want to get their child in the school is a major indication that this is a catholic school that is worth going to despite the wait.
As early as your child turns four would be the perfect time to start making inquiries. A good quality education is available in a catholic school setting. This is a good decision on your part as a parent.