What type of school is right for my child and my family?
This is a question that only you, the parent or guardian, can answer. We and our education partners can provide you with valuable information that will help you make an educated decision about your child’s education.
The most important thing you can do to find the right educational environment to A) be clear about what your child needs, and B) what you want from a school. Identify what your child would need from a school – such as strong academic standing, values, diversity or extracurricular activities – and search for several school options that can meet your top priorities. Visit those schools to discover if any of those options are a match for your needs.
What kinds of questions should I ask a school when I visit?
There are many questions you could ask during a school visit, and the best way to develop your list is to ask yourself these questions:
- What does my child need to help him or her learn and grow emotionally?
- What about their current or past school environments worked? What about it didn’t work?
- Have I asked my child what he or she needs and what would help them learn?
- What are my child’s passions?
When you meet with school officials, listen to their answers to help you decide if the school seems like a good match for your child. Never be afraid to ask follow-up questions or to ask for clarification on any answer they give.
How many school types should I consider?
We encourage you to consider at least two or three of the types of educational environments currently available in Northwest Arkansas. This will allow you to make an informed decision for your child’s future. Please don’t let the fact that some schools require tuition deter you from researching them. Private schools that are tuition-funded often have scholarships, endowments and other financial options to help families who might struggle to afford tuition.
When should I submit my applications for schools?
The forms you will need for each educational environment will differ, whether it’s school choice forms for transferring to a new district, or an application for a private school. This means that the deadlines will differ so it’s vital for you to start the decision-making process as quickly as possible so you can meet any applicable deadlines. Also keep in minds that deadlines can be moved from year to year, even for the same forms. We at RootED NWA can help you navigate this process!
How do I apply to or enroll in a school?
Once you have identified several schools where you might like to enroll your child and visited those campuses to confirm they are a good match for your them, you need to gather any applicable forms. Some schools offer applications online; others require the completion of paper forms. If you need the help of a translator, make sure you are prepared to ask for that help in advance.
What if I get waitlisted at my first school of choice?
While Northwest Arkansas is growing in educational options, the numbers of available spots at certain schools is small. We encourage you to apply to all of your choices and do not wait until you are added to the waitlist of your first choice before applying for the second choice.
How can I help my child get the most out of his or her current school?
You are your child’s first teacher, and together with the educators at their school, you have the power to help your child be successful. Here are some of the actions we recommend:
- Maintain communication with your child’s teacher to make sure your child is on track with their learning and behavior. This is important to spot potential problems early, but also so you can celebrate your child’s success!
- Help your child with homework and ask questions about their school day. This communicates to them that you are interested in their schooling. The more you ask, the more your student will expect your involvement – and that’s a very good expectation to set with your child.