5 Essentials Questions when evaluating Independent Schools

Dr. Karen Eshoo, Head of School and Nina Newman, Director of Admission and Financial Access have a conversation about the essential questions to ask independent schools as you evaluate if an independent school is right for your child and which school in particular is the best fit for your child.

Question 1: How are curricular decisions made? (1:36)

Many families ask about the curriculum and which courses their child will take, but more importantly is what is the school’s educational philosophy and how do they decide which courses to offer students. For example, how often does the school look at changes in brain science, changes in the workforce, and changes in technology to adjust to the growing times? In the video, Dr. Eshoo explains how King School makes curricular decisions. 

Question 2: What does it mean to be a student-centered school? (9:26)

Student-centered is a “trending term” to use amongst schools because of course you want to make decisions based on the needs of the students. However there are differences in what each school means when they use that term. What does it actually look like within the school? In the video, Dr. Eshoo explains how King plans everything they do around the needs of their students and how to make it the best learning environment for each individual student. 

Question 3: How to students develop grit and resilience? (13:24)

Many of you probably credit the challenges in your life for your successes today. While you want a caring, nurturing environment, you also want determined and hard working children. Every school determines how to challenge students differently. In the video, Dr. Eshoo explains how King challenges students. 

Question 4: What is the school’s philosophy on diversity and inclusion? (17:37)

School is meant to prepare students for college and beyond and we’re preparing students for the real world. As students, they should learn that differences are meaningful and powerful, not scary. As parents, you want to know if a school understands the impact diversity and inclusion has on your child. In the video, Dr. Eshoo explains how King’s diversity and inclusion helps students learn more deeply and prepares them for the world because they are constantly working with people who don’t look like them, think like them or have the same life experiences as them. 

Question 5: What is the school’s approach to extra-curricular activities? (21:50)

It seems obvious that schools offer extra-curricular activities, however you don’t want just an endless list of options. Yes, options are great, but how does the school make it possible for students to actually participate in whatever they want to do. Is everything offered at the same exact time? Are activities integrated into the life of the school? Can your child try new things? Can they make it on a team? Who helps them decided when to add or when to step back? These are helpful questions to ask. In the video, Dr. Eshoo explains how King offers options to students and we help students balance. 

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