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Thread: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

  1. #1

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    Default What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    So we're meeting with the Principal of the primary school we will likely send our kids to on Tuesday. It looks perfect for us. I've done a tour, I really like the environment and their philosophy (as reported by their website).

    Our biggest reservation is the fees - it's an independent school - and I want to be as sure as possible that we're getting what we're paying for.
    Does it just 'sound' good because they have a good PR writer and web designer or do they really do what they say they do?!

    I want to make sure I get the most out of the interview time with the principal and am trying to narrow down to just a few really good questions so I can get as much useful information as possible in a short time.

    What would you ask?


  2. #2

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    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    Just off the top of my head...
    Number of students in each class through ALL grades
    Number of teacher aides employed at the school
    Advanced learning programs available
    Plans and processes for kids struggling

  3. #3

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    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    Homework expectations in each year
    Schools views on term time abscences eg for family holidays
    Schools expectations of parents
    Out of hours school care

  4. #4

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    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    How does the school put into practice the values they espouse on their website?

  5. #5

    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    What the process is for feedback to the parents - when and how does this occur?

    What disciplinary actions do the school take?

    What is their anti bullying policy and how is it implemented?

  6. #6

    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    If you can see the children learning, and then ask them to tell you something about the school.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    Parent involvement in the classroom, year level and school as a whole
    Student (behaviour) management policy
    Not only finding out what do they do for struggling students, but how do they identify struggling students? Ie what qualifies as a 'struggling' student? What about those that are just a little below average?
    Can you speak to current parents at the school?
    How active is the P and C?
    How is technology used at the school?
    Excursions and camps and associated costs
    Other programs eg kitchen garden, gifted and talented, music etc - how well attended, funded and supported are they?
    Social skills program (virtues, You Can Do It)
    Family Planning education ie sex ed

  8. #8

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    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    Wow, I want to know all this stuff.... the principal may have to give me 2 hours!
    Thanks so much ladies. Wil have to consolidate and prioritise. I wish I knew other parents who have kids there, it's be great to talk to someone who's actually lived it and doesn't have as much of an agenda to make it looks good.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    A good principal will tell you to call or email with anything you don't have time to ask or forget to ask. This is what sold us. Not just the offer but the time they took to answer our questions. And we asked a lot. We were actually told that they hadn't had parents this thorough before and had never been asked some of our questions. Being able to go back to them later also meant we could clarify a few things that didn't quiet make sense to us.
    Have a look through their parent handbook before hand if you can - it may provide some answers or give you more questions. Also, if they have a Facebook page or a website, jump on and have a look. Which reminds me - ask about their filtering policies and who manages their website. I know of a primary school who had their website hacked so any and all links were redirected to adult sites. Thankfully the kids weren't exposed to this content.

    If you need to use OSHC, check if it's independent to the school or run by the school. If it is independent, check what governance (if any) the school has over it.

    Choosing a school is a huge and difficult decision. It certainly did my head in! Good luck with it.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    Has this come and gone already?

    If not, I'll respond in full - I've just finished going through our interviews (not with your one, we loved that one, and went to the open day last year, but we're not going there).

  11. #11

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    Default Re: What questions would you ask a Principal about potential school?

    Been, done and enrolled. Thanks love. Good luck with narrowing the field.

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