What To Look For During A School Tour and Parent Interview

Advice from a Director of Admission

As a prospective parent, you will be able to gain the greatest insight into a school’s community and dynamic while on your school tour. An open house is a wonderful way to see a school and make several connections, but also be aware that the school is truly on show and aiming to be at its best. Your private tour is also a wonderful time to evaluate a school and witness whether it truly enacts what it professes to practice.

From the moment you arrive for your tour, think about how you were welcomed onto campus. Was there somewhere for you to park? Was the front desk expecting you? Were you greeted warmly and offered a place to wait while a member of the admissions office was told that you had arrived? Did the admission officer greet you by name? At WES, it is our expectation that each and every family that steps foot on campus is greeted personally and with congeniality. Don’t be surprised if, while you are waiting in our admissions suite, myself or Nick enters and greets you by name and asks how your child is doing. Here at WES, our admissions office sets out to build a personal relationship with you from the first moment you step on campus through to the completion of the application process.

During the course of your parent interview, be sure to ask questions of your own, but also make a note of how engaged your interviewer is. Do they seem genuinely interested in you and your family? Are they curious to learn more about your child’s passions and hobbies? Do they take the time to answer questions you may have? The parent interview is a wonderful opportunity to gage how engaged and interested the admissions office is with you, as a unique and singular family.

Finally, as you set out on your tour of school, be looking for a few things. Do the students seem happy? Do they greet you in the hallways? Are you able to speak with some of your child’s prospective teachers? Do any administrators make sure to introduce themselves to you? Do you see any current parents around school? These are all great indications of the kind of community a school has and of the type of community your family might be entering.

So, when touring at WES, don’t be surprised if a student walks by with a cheery “Hello!” and one of our teachers invites you into their classroom to show you what our students are working on. At WES, our warm, nurturing family community is one of the things we cherish most and something to which we can’t wait to introduce you.