While looking at schools, my family is paying attention to the following (not necessarily in order of priority). Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas.

Community and Culture

– Behavior; how is bullying addressed? How is behavior addressed?

– Do teachers/ staff lead afterschool activities? (shows commitment to relationships w students and to community)

– How are students taught to love learning?

– Demographics of; cultural diversity among students/families?

– How are right and wrong discussed?addressed?taught?

– How does school collaborate w other schools? With high schools?

– What is the school’s philosophy and practice around testing? (standardized and general)

– Who do we know from the school from our community? Opportunities to carpool, get each other out of logistical binds, etc?


– Offer Languages?

– Advanced math?

РHow are subjects (math, history, science, art, etc)  integrated? How do teachers collaborate and synchronize lessons?

– What/how are art, music, or performance arts offered? How often?

– What/how is PE offered! How often?

– What/how is science offered! How often?

– Does the school have a well-resourced library w/ full-time librarian?

– How do academics connect with destination high schools?

– Where do students go to HS?

– How does recess or free time fit into the schedules?


– Any athletic offerings? Team sports?

– Any project activities? Newspaper, yearbook?

– Any community partnerships? Museums, technology, businesses, nonprofits?


– What is expectation of parents re fundraising?

– What else is required/expected of parents?

– How does school reach out to parents?

– Are grades/homework/assignments posted online?


– How will kids get to school?

– How does lunch work?

– Aftercare details? Cost? Hours? Activities/electives?

– How much homework should families expect? Samples?