The Baton Rouge market offers a plethora of options for families seeking an independent school education for their children. Digesting information and comparing schools can be a daunting and time-consuming task. When meeting with prospective families, I often jokingly compare the preschool admission experience to the college admission experience – so many options, varying processes, and each school with its own programs, deadlines and requirements! Where do you start?
We encourage parents to begin by considering the factors that are most important to their family. Are you in search of a spiritual or faith-based school? Do you have an opinion regarding school size? Do you want your child to have frequent exposure to classes in music, art and world language? Once you identify the schools that match your family’s requirements and interests, you’ll likely want to dig a bit deeper. What’s the school’s educational philosophy? What is their curricular approach? What are the student-to-teacher ratios? Are the students involved in any type of service to our community? How does the school support students through the college selection and application process?
Beyond all of these questions there is good news; the volume of school choices available in Baton Rouge positions each family to find the school that is the best fit for their child. While parents often rely on the advice and opinions of others who previously embarked on the journey to an independent school, I caution you from using this as your only method of research. Each child is unique and each family has their own lens through which they evaluate schools. Sharing spreadsheets, stories, and contacts is an excellent way to gather information. But seeing is believing. If you do nothing else through this process, I encourage you to visit the campus of each school you are considering. The campus visit is your firsthand opportunity to determine if the school you now know on paper comes to life as a fit for your child. While you may find it helpful to have a list of questions to ask during your visit, also be observant as you explore campus: Do the children seem engaged? Do the teachers and staff appear to enjoy their work? Do your surroundings suggest an active and happy school? Perhaps there are other observations that can help you assess the school’s ability to serve your family.
If you are interested in visiting Episcopal to explore how we might be a fit for your child, I invite you to join us for Test Drive Tuesday. We look forward to meeting you and learning more about your family!