As I discussed in my last blog post, the best way to get a feel for a school is to take a tour. I highly recommend visiting as many schools as you can. Many parents will tour as many as five or six schools before they start applying. A school tour does not lock you into anything. Think of a tour as window shopping – you see what is out there with no requirement to buy, or, in this case, apply.
Different kinds of tours
Every school structures its visiting day differently. Some schools like Trinity Christian Academy offer frequent tours while others like Cistercian Preparatory School have two open houses during the school year, but offer individual campus tours by appointment. See the Dallas private school tour schedule for more details. Schools may offer an evening open house or a coffee during the school day so that you can see the kids in action. Almost all schools offer some type of tour. Tours may be led by a student, parent, head of the school, or the admission director. Usually, there is a program or question & answer session either before or after the tour. If, after attending one of these events, you don’t feel like you learned enough about the school OR if there is a school you are interested in that doesn’t have any tours for prospective parents listed, then feel free to call the admissions office and request a one-on-one meeting.
Choosing schools to tour
How do you know what schools to visit? Refer to my previous post for tips on how to get started. You can get referrals and information from a number of different sources:
- Your child’s current school. If your child is in a school that only offers a limited number of grades, it is assumed all children will leave the school. Your child’s teachers can steer you to schools they think will be a good fit for your child.
- Parents you know. Talk to other parents you know, trust, and who know your child. Those who have been through this process before can be especially helpful.
- Attend the Dallas Private School Preview offered every fall. This is an annual event where representatives from most Dallas private schools have booths, provide brochures, and answer questions. It should not replace a school tour but provides good, basic information that all parents need.
- Work with an educational consultant. There are professional consultants in Dallas, like me, that provide advice every step of the way through the private school admissions process to simplify your life, reduce stress, and hopefully get the result you want: an acceptance letter from the right school for your child! Please contact me or do a Google search to find the top consultants in your area.
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