We’re heading into school tour season! The fall is an exciting time full of research and exploration into new school possibilities. Now is the time to begin imagining what your child’s educational future could look like: would they prefer co-ed or single-sex? What is their approach to learning? What sorts of extracurriculars are they interested in participating in? All of these questions can begin to be answered with school tours or open houses.
But don’t forget: school tours are an opportunity to make an impression on admissions committees. Parents and students will gain a great deal from learning more about each school, but school admissions teams also gain a great deal from meeting prospective families and assessing interest and fit. It’s important to put your best foot forward during a school tour to get your admissions journey started off right. Here are our tips for maximizing school tours, for both parents (at any school level) and older students (for middle and high school):
One of the most important parts of preparing for a school tour is developing a list of questions in advance. Parents touring nursery schools or kindergartens should be prepared with questions, and older students (middle and high schoolers) who will attend school tours themselves should also develop a list. We recommend brainstorming at least 2-3 questions for each tour.
The best way to prepare is to browse schools’ websites and write down the questions that aren’t answered on the site. Above all, make sure your questions are ones that you’re genuinely interested in learning more about. That being said, here are a few general questions to get you started:
Questions for Student Tour Guides:
Questions for Admissions Officers:
Prepare your questions in advance, dress for success, and arrive at your school tour or open house ready to make a positive first impression. With any luck, you’ll fall in love with a school that is the perfect match for your child!
This year, many school tours and open houses might still be virtual due to COVID-19. Some of these tips still apply, namely preparing great questions!