Three parents, who made three different school choices, share advice on how to decide where to send your kids
Every parent wants the best education for their child, but it can sometimes be hard to know which option is the best one. In Philadelphia, 65% of the city’s 237,000 school-age children exercise choice every day by attending a school other than their assigned neighborhood school. The Philadelphia Inquirer asked three parents, who all made different educational choices, to share their experiences and give advice to other parents grappling with this decision.
Here’s what our St. Martin de Porres Catholic School, an Independence Mission School parent had to say:
I chose Catholic school because of the smaller class sizes
Name of parent: Tracey M. Harris
Mom of: Tyanni Monique, 8th grade; Tyrese, 11th grade
Schools of choice: Tyanni attends St. Martin de Porres Catholic School. Tyrese attends Roman Catholic High School.
How’s it going: [It’s been] nothing but superb. My family feels we have chosen the correct schools for our children and we are looking forward to the high school selection process for my daughter and the college selection process for my son.
Biggest priority when choosing a school: [I looked at:] quality of the school and how much compassion the principal, teachers, and administrative have for the students; the school’s curriculum; and parental involvement within the school. I also looked at the safety of the school, academics, diversity, cost, graduation rate, the environment, and extracurricular activities.
Why I chose a Catholic school: The reason I chose Catholic education is because of the faith-centered environment. When my siblings and I were little, we grew up in the church. I also chose Catholic school because of the smaller class sizes. The teachers can try to address every child’s need. In my opinion, small class sizes can bring out the best as every child is unique.
What I tell other parents: Choose a school with a great academic program. Look at diversity and class size. Meet with the principal and request a school tour.