Every Parent Needs to Ask the
Click here for a print version (PDF) of these questions.
Compiled by Jonathan Ekeland
Co-Founder of DiscoverChristianSchools.com
- In what way does the school combine Christianity and learning? (Answers may range from a modest "required chapel" to a quite thorough program of seeking God's truth in all subjects).
- Must all children come from Christian homes or are some non-Christian homes represented? (Some parents prefer a mix, especially since it may indicate a respect for the academic standards of the school).
- Is there a denominational or sectarian emphasis in the religious teaching?
- Are the teachers required to accept the authority of Scripture or are they merely "Christian" in general terms?
- What is the average number of years the faculty has been teaching? (Look for some seasoned veteran teachers, not a whole staff just out of college).
- How many present faculty members have been here five or more years? (High turnover may indicate a problem)
- How many different subjects would a teacher in the upper grades usually teach? (Usually points to mastery of a subject when teaching just one or two subjects).
- Are the teachers certified by the state or working toward it?
- What experience and academic credentials does the headmaster and/or principal have?
- Is the principal the pastor of the church? What role does the pastor play in the school?
- What is the teacher-student ratio?
- What percentage of last years' students are returning this year? (A retention rate of 80%-89% is good, 90% -100% is excellent)
- What are the discipline procedures? Under what circumstances would a child be suspended or expelled? What are the school's three biggest discipline problems?
- What rules will my child be expected to follow? Do you have a student handbook we could look over?
- How diverse is the student body culturally and socio-economically?
- Have there been any problems with drug or alcohol abuse?
- How do standardized test scores in basic academic areas compare with other schools in the area, both public and private?
- To what colleges have recent graduates gone? What percentage of the graduates go to a four-year institution? What percentage go to a two-year institution?
- Are there any honors and/or advanced placement courses offered? What are they? What's the grading system look like?
- What are some of the extra-curricular activities (music, art, sports, drama, etc.)?
- What textbooks would my child be using? How often are they updated?
Foundation of the School:
- Is the school a member of a national association of schools or a state association of secondary schools?
- Is the school accredited or registered with the state education department? (Lack of accreditation may affect college entrance)
- How much involvement are the parents expected to take in the life of the school?
- What contacts are maintained with non-Christian schools, such as athletic competition or debating teams?
- What standards does the school have for acceptance? (Some schools cater to problem students: others are so selective they would be called "elitist.")
- How closely have operations come to breaking even financially in the last two years? Does the school have any debt? What has enrollment been like the last five years?
- Can the school supply the names of some parents in my neighborhood with whom I can discuss the school?