How to Choose a Good School for Your Child
As parents, we want the best for our children and we will especially go to great lengths to ensure that they receive the best possible education. When faced with the daunting decision to pick the right school for our child, the task can seem overwhelming, but Mount Dora Christian Academy is here to help.
If you need help figuring out how to choose the right school for your kids, you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ll outline actionable steps and specific questions to ask so that you can learn how to find the best school for your child, making your school selection process go as smoothly as possible.
Consider Your Child’s and Your Family’s needs
When choosing a school for your child, it might be tempting to gather a list of all surrounding schools and make a decision based solely off of surface-level merits such as test scores or class sizes, and while these do warrant a fair amount of concern, the process of choosing the right school for your child should always begin with the needs of your child and family to ensure a proper fit.
The truth is, every school is a unique entity, and each school brings its own set of unique traits, values, beliefs, and ways of doing things. At the start of your search, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:
• Does your child perform better with more challenging schoolwork?
• Does your child perform better in a smaller classroom setting?
• Does your child have classroom accommodation needs?
These questions play an important role in the school selection process since knowing the answers will allow you to pair your child with a school that emphasizes your child’s strengths.
Equally important are your family’s needs:
• What is the school’s location and distance from your home?
• When does school start and end?
• Does the school offer extended care?
• Does the school offer a hot lunch program?
• Does the school offer transportation?
• Does the school offer after school tutoring?
But that’s not all, because you will also want to consider your needs as a parent. It might not be ideal to choose a school that starts at 8:30 when you have to be at work by 8:00. Equally important is the school’s distance. If the school is 50 miles away and does not offer bussing, then it most likely won’t be a good fit either. Finally, you’ll also want to consider whether or not you’ll have time to pack your child a lunch every day for school, and if not, then you’ll need to ask the school what kind of lunches they can provide, and at what cost.
Questions to Ask When Selecting a School
As we’ve already established, learning how to choose the best school for your child begins with asking the right questions. Now that you’ve identified your child’s and family needs, consider these questions when researching schools. A school’s website may provide valuable information but a scheduled tour will help you gain important knowledge about a school’s culture, teacher/student relationships, and a deeper understanding of the school’s mission and purpose.
• Are teachers available for parent conferences?
• How are teachers held to a high standard?
• How often do teachers communicate class information and grades with parents?
• How well do the teachers get to know their students individually?
• Besides the core subjects, what additional electives or advanced classes does the school offer?
• Are there any extracurricular clubs or activities that supplement what is taught in the classroom?
• How does the school foster life skills and prepare their students for 21st century careers?
• Does the school have emergency drills for both national and local emergencies?
• How does the school handle bullying or harassment?
• What measures does the school have in place to ensure the safety of its students?
• How does the schools standardized test scores compare?
• Has the school earned any prestigious awards?
• How well does the school prepare their students for the next level? What is the graduation rate and college acceptance rate?
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is one of the oldest sayings, yet that doesn’t make it any less true. Whether a school is freshly built with not a single paint chip in sight or it looks like it’s stuck in the 60’s, don’t let superficial traits deter you from choosing a school. Even the most worn down school campuses can have some of the best teachers and curriculum in the whole city. Instead, consider scheduling a tour where you can briefly visit a few classrooms to observe and get a better feel for the school.
Chances are no one school will meet all of your child’s and family needs. You will know when a school “feels right” after visiting and perhaps scheduling a shadow day for your child. Follow your gut instinct.
About Mount Dora Christian Academy
If you are looking for a school for your child, consider Mount Dora Christian Academy. The education we provide our students from grades preK-12 is held to the highest standard and is something we strive to always improve. Values such as ethics and character are equally important traits in our educational environment. We believe test scores are not the only factor that leads to impressive learning outcomes, educational success, and the development of future leaders.
Accomplishments in Academics & Leadership
• 2017 National Blue Ribbon Elementary School Award Winner
• Elementary Innovation Lab fosters collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity
• Biomedical Science Institute offers project-based learning taught at the college level
• MDCA students serve as Mount Dora Chamber Board Members
• Dual Enrollment Courses Offered from Harding University & Lake Sumter State College
• National Beta School of Merit | Beta expanded 4th – 8th grades
• 21 Duke TIP qualifying students
• Class of 2018 has earned over $1,000,000 to date in college scholarships with 99% of the class pursuing post-secondary education
• Daily Bible Class and Chapel for all students
• Faithworks – Day of service for entire school April 20th
• Student led service groups in Elementary, Middle School, and High School
• Several students have become Christians and spiritual mentors for their peers and within their churches
Fine Arts Accomplishments
• Secondary students performed Two Divine Comedies about Shakespeare & His Characters
• Elementary students performed Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
• MDCA Art Festival April 2nd – 6th
• MDCA Color guard received straight superiors at the State competition
• MDCA Jazz Band and Performing Concert Band participated at MPA and featured at local community events
• 2 Softball, 1 Basketball, and 3 Volleyball signees
• Football 9-1 Division Champions, Coach Kolby Tackett named Sunshine State Conference Coral League Coach of the Year
• Cross Country State Champions, Coach Zach White named Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year
• District Runner-Up Boys Basketball, Coach Steven Hayes named Florida Athletic Coaches Association District 7 Coach of the Year, Senior Joseph Martz was named FACA District 7 Player of the Year and senior Caleb Baker was named to the FACA District 7 All-Academic Team
• Boys Track and Field #1 pre-season ranking
• Softball #4 pre-season ranking
• Unveiled our $5 million sports complex featuring a synthetic turf field, an Olympic-sized track, a fully equipped press box with stadium seating for more than 600
Contact Mount Dora Christian Academy Today!
Have any questions? Feel free to contact us or request more info and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!