1. Does the school fit your philosophy of education?
Consider your own philosophy of education. Is it important to you that the gospel and the Bible are part of your child’s growth and development? Do you want their academic instruction to be filtered through the lens of a Christian worldview? If so, you will want to make sure you include private Christian elementary schools on your list of institutions to consider.
2. How many students are in each class?
If at all possible, you want to find an institution that has small class sizes. A maximum of 15-20 students is ideal. A school may have excellent facilities, in a convenient location, with great teachers; however, if the ratio of students to teachers is more than 20:1, your child may not receive the individual attention that they need.
St. Paul Lutheran School of Northville’s class sizes do not exceed 20 students and are often even smaller. Contact us for more information regarding how small class sizes help us better fulfill our school’s mission.
3. How are disciplinary issues and bullying handled?
It is likely every student will experience a behavioral issue. Students must understand why what they've done is not acceptable, and what they can do better follow the rules. They should receive discipline in accordance with the rules infraction, as well as positive instruction and encouragement to continue in obedience.
In addition to regular behavioral issues, you will want to know what the specifics are in regard to incidents of bullying. Will your child be able to feel safe from bullying? Will “bullies” be guided through counseling and other means to better express frustration?
4. How does the school support students with different learning styles?
Children do not all learn by the same means. It can be challenging to balance teaching a group of students while ensuring individuals receive appropriate attention. Having small class sizes helps meet this goal.
In addition to understanding how an institution helps students with various learning methods and styles, you will want to know that students learning disabilities are given the attention that propels them to achieve appropriate goals?
5. How does the school facilitate learning?
Take a tour of each elementary school you are considering to answer these questions regarding the learning environment:
- How are the classrooms organized?
- Do teachers mix instruction with hands-on learning?
- Is there enough outside time?
- Are outdoor facilities safe and fun?
- Is there a physical education program
6. What is the school’s vision regarding parental involvement in education?
Another way to rephrase ask this question is, “How much homework will be assigned?” Homework has an important place in your child’s education. It provides an opportunity for your children to see you as an important educational resource and influence. However, you will want to know whether the homework expectations are reasonable and appropriately challenging.
7. Are there after-school and extra-curricular activities?
Extra-curricular activities afford students an excellent opportunity to explore their creative side through art and theatre programs, get involved in science and reading programs, or play sports. All of these activities encourage curiosity and teamwork.
At St. Paul Lutheran School, our teachers and staff believe each student is a Child of God gifted with the potential to achieve success. We are committed to making sure each child grows spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and physically to the best of their abilities. If you would like to know more about our elementary or middle school programs, contact us.