When children reach the high school age one of the most challenging tasks for parents is finding a good school for their children’s to attend. Parents need to be able to recognize what successful high schools looks like, and utilizes that information to identify the best choice for their children. Making an informed decision can help determine what school has the best career preparation for their child. Ultimately, their future is in the hands of the school they decide to attend.
High schools are very important when it comes to helping children to mature into productive people in our society. Who we allow to education our children is very important, and should be taken very seriously. The successful schools have a staff which demonstrates they have a vested interest in helping children to succeed, and they will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Successful high schools generally have some of the same characteristics. Parents should become aware of these characteristics in order to make an informed decision when enrolling children in school. In order to make an educated decision, parents should do their homework and research any school they have an interest in. This article can help parents by discussing five characteristics successful high schools have in common. Parents should take the time to investigate these characteristics before making a choice on which school to enroll their children.
The first positive quality involves the staff:
Is the staff motivated to help the students?
Is the staff qualified to meet the demands of high school students?
Does the school have good experienced teachers?
Are the teachers certified in their subject area?
Does the staff work after school if needed to help improve student achievement?
Do the students and parents have a good repore with the staff?
Is the staff involved with extra-curricular activities with the students?
Does the staff keep the parents informed of the progress of their child?
The second positive quality involves the school curriculum:
Does the curriculum meet the needs of the population it serves?
Does the curriculum involve higher order thinking skills, and investigative skills for the students?
Does the curriculum align with the state standards?
Does the curriculum allow for student participation?
Does the curriculum have strong assessment tools for the students?
Does the curriculum allow for help when students are behind?
Does the curriculum have a track record of success?
The Third Positive quality involves a successful track record:
What percentage of students graduated each year?
What percentage of students attended college?
What percentage of students attended a vocational?
What percentage of student’s sign-up for the Military each year?
What percentage of students gets jobs immediately after graduating?
How much scholarship money does the school earn each year?
What is the attendance record for the school?
What kind atmosphere is in the school?
Are parents involved in the school?
The fourth positive quality involves extra-curricular programs:
What kind of extra- curricular activities does the school offer?
Does the school offer a variety of extra-curricular activities?
Some of the activities might include the following: sports, clubs, organizations, coop program, tutoring program, field trips, college fair, college tours, dual enrollment programs, school officers, etc.
Are students encouraged to participate in extra-curricular programs?
Does the staff organize most of the extra-curricular programs?
Are there leadership opportunities for the students?
Are there a number of clubs and organizations for the students?
Can students start clubs or organizations?
The fifth quality involves the school leadership:
The principal of the school will be the person who will set the tone of the building. It is very important that the parent is familiar with the kind of person he/she is, and what kind of leadership style they utilize.
Is the principal positive when you talk to him/her?
Does the principal make every decision in the building?
Does the principal use a shared leadership style?
Does the principal have a good repore with the students, staff, and parents?
Does the principal have an open door policy?
Is the principal visible throughout the building and at school activities?
Is the principal open for creative ideas?
Does the principal put the students first?
Are academics important to the principal?
In addition to the qualities listed above, the parent can get additional information about the school and the principal by observing what is going on day to day in the building. The day to day activities should include an orderly run school with a respectful staff and helpful main office. Additional positive qualities include: having a mission statement visible as you enter the building and keeping the building, clean and safe.
Overall, parents need to do their homework before sending their children to attend a high school for the next four years. This opportunity only comes once in a life time, so parents and students need to be prepared to make this experience as successful as possible.