How to choose the best school?

Posted by on 13/12/2018

By Katie Fowle, Global Education Adviser

Choosing the best school is an essential first step in supporting your child’s academic, and social-emotional learning. As parents, you get to decide what type of learning environment your child participates in.  As a parent of children abroad, this decision can be even more complicated. This three-step guide will help you evaluate your school choices and make the best decision for your family.

Step 1 – Decide how you want your child to learn.

Schools can have different approaches to teaching and learning.  This can be found in the school’s mission and values statement.   Review potential school’s websites thoroughly, paying particular attention to their academic philosophies. Decide how well these statements, as well as the principal’s message, align with your beliefs about how you want your child to be educated.

Step 2 – Decide what you want your child to learn.

Schools teach different standards and utilize various curriculums to meet these standards.  More and more school are also incorporating learning profiles which encourage higher-order transferable skills and learning habits.  Use the divisional curriculum pages (elementary, middle, high school)  to understand what your child will be taught and see if it matches up to what you believe.

Step 3 – Decide the community you want your child to learn in.

International schools are often the hub of your child’s life.  Look to see what counseling services and after-school activities the school offers.  See how active the parent-teacher organization is in supporting families.  Read reviews online or ask in social media groups about the school community and culture to ensure it is supportive for your child.

Choosing a school that is the right fit for your child can be overwhelming, especially when it is complicated by a move to a new country, new culture and new curriculum.  Think about your child and which learning approach, curriculum and school environment is best suited to your child’s needs. Then use these three steps to evaluate school options and identify the best place for your child to learn. Good luck!

I am a Global Education Adviser and I guide parents in navigating their child’s education so parents feel informed and supported at every school.  As a highly qualified educator, mother, and spouse I understand how stressful choosing the right school can be. For more information, visit my Facebook Page Global Education Adviser or email me at to learn more.

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