5 Questions To Ask At An Information Session

If you are considering independent school for your child, the time to be looking is now.  With so many choices for Kindergarten in Baltimore, it can be dizzying.  Having a few decades of experience and three very different children, I can say I have learned a few things along the way – and I want to share them with you.  Here is a list of five things I believe will help you begin the process of choosing a private school for your son or daughter.

1. Will my child be safe?  Physically, emotionally, and when she has an idea that doesn’t fit the mold?

2. How big are the classes? What is the student teacher ratio? And how does a teacher handle the student who wants to monopolize? Or who wants to hide?

3. What is the educational philosophy of each school you visit.  A good administrator should be able to answer this question without hesitating.

4. Is there an honor code? Any attention paid to life skills? Ethics? Being a better human being?

5. Before and after care? What are my options and is there any enrichment included along with snack and playtime?

6.  How can I afford an independent school education for my children?

Ok, I couldn’t stop at 5, when cost was still looming!  At St. Paul’s, a K – 12 school in Baltimore, we award over 3.5 million dollars in financial support every year.  Parents apply at the same time they go through the admissions process for their child.  Here we value socio-economic diversity as much as religious, ethnic and cultural diversity.  Financial support makes that possible.

So call a few schools, attend a few Open Houses, be sure you will see classes in session when you visit, and have courage.  There are lots of good options and if you do your research, you will find the right fit.

Martha Donovan

Martha Donovan

Mrs. Donovan is the Associate Director of Lower School Admissions at St. Paul’s. She previously spent ten years in Middle and Upper School Admissions at the Key School in Annapolis, where her three children graduated. Since coming to St. Paul’s, she and her husband have moved to Baltimore and love it. Mrs. Donovan also has experience as a national news editor with NBC Radio and Mutual News, and spent a year as a Press Secretary on Capitol Hill. You will often find her in the Kindergarten classrooms or on the early carpool line, anywhere she can see the kids in action. She can be reached at mdonovan@stpaulsschool.org

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