Our 13 year old is in grade eight and we have to apply to high schools for her in November. Today we are going to an open house for high schools. The question must be asked, what are the ingredients of a good high school? For me, I am looking for three main things:
1. The school has to be engaging in various types of education. I want to see classroom experiences combined with experiential learning. I want to see that education to them is just not what you scored on your latest standardized test;
2. I want to see a nurturing environment. In a perfect world, the school has excellent diversity where perspectives of all types are accepted and discussed. I want to see a school where respect is not just demanded of the students but also demanded of the faculty as well. Respect is a two-way street; and
3. Please just for a minute, forget the edu-babble and talk to me as a parent in a manner that I am treated as a partner in my child's education. Don't just lip service me - demonstrate to me that you understand that education does not stop at the classroom door. I know students in high school have to be more independent but that does not mean parents should be completely cut out of the loop.
While the final choice is my 13 year old's, it will be her school after all, that we can help guide her choice to give her opportunities for success in her future. I guess that should be the goal of any parent.
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