How to Pick the Right School for Your Child

elementary children in a classroom

Among the many childhood influences, such as a positive home environment, a strong network of parental support, and other vital factors, a child’s educational experience will significantly impact the trajectory of their professional life and impact on society.

Deciding what school experience to give a child is one of the most important choices a parent can make to set their child up for success.  When the time comes to decide, consider the following steps to assist with this decision.

Step 1:

Take the Child and Family into Consideration

Before compiling a list of potential schools, take ample time to evaluate both the child and family values.  Consider the academic and social areas that not only challenge and interest the child but also align with family values.

This step provides the mental space to envision the best-fit learning environment for your child.  Parents may look for a school that offers an array of enrichment opportunities that include AP courses, study abroad programs, and clubs.  The Vanguard School offers an assortment of AP courses, study abroad programs, and clubs such as rocketry, fine arts, athletic activities, music, and more.

Step 2:

Identify Schools with an Exemplary Test Score History

Although academics are not the sole indicator of school excellence, they are essential indicators of the quality of education the child is likely to receive.

With this in mind, study how the school performs across different subjects and grade levels to identify potential pitfalls in their educational track.  The Vanguard School prides itself on academic excellence achieved through a Classical Education.  A recent article from the U.S. News and World Report ranks The Vanguard School as #1 in Colorado Springs, CO Metro Area High Schools.

Step 3:

Gather School Information

For each potential school, visit the school’s website, collect information, and look for what makes the school stand out.  Examine the school’s academic achievement, cultural enrichment opportunities, and determine if the school has a well-defined curricular approach.  In 2019, The Vanguard School was awarded one of the Colorado John Irwin School of Excellence awards as it was ranked 7th in the Nation.  These prestigious awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and rigor over time.

Step 4:

Schedule Visits and School Observations

After identifying top contenders based on the child and family needs, take advantage of face-to-face time with school visits and tours.

The Vanguard School provides several options.  Parents and children can choose to tour the school or attend a parent information night.  The child can also participate in a student shadow day where they accompany a current student through their classes.

During the visit, be sure to ask essential questions regarding academic curriculum, cultural enrichment, accelerated learning, extracurricular activities, athletics, and others.

Step 5:

Submit Applications to Your Favorite Schools

Directions for how to apply should be readily available on most school websites.  We recommend applying early, even for a child who is not yet school age.  Many selective schools are highly competitive and have a waitlist.  The Vanguard School often has wait lists, especially for early elementary grade levels.  Early applications may be necessary to ensure children have a slot available when the time comes to be accepted.  The Vanguard School has a user-friendly, online application process.

Additional Considerations

When searching for the perfect school fit, keep in mind each school’s vision.  Does this vision address the child’s needs and learning style?

The Vanguard School Vision

Vanguard students develop lifelong habits of excellence in virtue and intellect allowing them to prosper as classically-educated individuals advancing a free society.  Our enduring nationally acclaimed program prepares graduates for advanced education, meaningful contributions to society, and a life of purpose.

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