Advice from a Director of Admission
One of the most important parts of any child’s application to a school is their visit day. The school visit presents a wonderful opportunity for your child to get a true view of what their experience at a school could look like. Often times, a school that may have stood out initially to you as a parent may be your child’s least desired or the opposite can occur, and a school that seemed less impressive to you will be your child’s hands-down favorite.
To get your child ready for the school visit there are a few easy things you can do to make the day go smoothly:
- Get them to bed early;
- Make sure your child eats breakfast;
- Dress him in comfortable clothes & shoes;
- Pack a full lunch;
- Give yourself an extra 10 minutes for travel time (you never know how traffic will be); and
- Keep calm and cool – kids can often sense a parent’s worry. This day should be an enjoyable experience for them.
Once you drop off your child, be ready to pick your child up and to ask him how his day was. Optimally, he should answer in one word: Fun!
After making sure that your child enjoyed their day, be sure to ask a few deeper questions. How were the teachers? How were the classmates? What did you do in science class? How was recess? Your child should come home with a new favorite teacher — someone who stimulated them or challenged them in a new way — and perhaps even a new favorite subject.
Your child should also feel that they’ve left their school visit with a few new friends. At most schools, including WES, your child will visit with their peer grade level and these students will be your child’s classmates and friends should they attend. It is vital that your child feel as though they can easily make connections once they are enrolled. The academics are important, but equally so is the social dynamic. Your child should want to return the following day! Their curiosity, in both the classes they attended and the friends they made, should be peaked.
Finally, if your child’s answers to all of your questions are positive, then keep the school on your list. After a few visits at different schools, usually there is a clear option for which school is a “best fit.”