The Parent Interview and School Tour is a vital opportunity for families to get to know a school and see it in action. A lot of planning goes into the application process for NYC Firm Schools, and much of it culminates with the interview and tours. No matter how many shiny brochures you have read or tasteful websites you have visited, nothing gives you the real view of school and it’s environment better than actually talking with the staff and visiting it yourself.
The Independent School Admission Association of Greater New York, ISAAGNY, has some wonderful tips on Parent interviews and school tours:
1. Turn off your cell phone while you are visiting. If you must receive a phone call, please let the admissions officer know and do it discreetly. Do not answer the phone when you are visiting a classroom.
2. Many schools offer you your choice of interview dates. Please do not ask them to change them once you have booked a date, unless your request is due to an unexpected emergency.
3. Some schools have limited slots for interviews and do not offer you a choice of date. Try to fit them in before calling to ask for a change.
4. The parent interview is the time to determine whether you think the school will be a good fit for your family.
5. Do ask questions, but don’t ask questions that show that you haven’t read the admissions literature or looked at the school’s website.
6. Do look around the school when you visit. Do you like what you see? Is something missing? Do you find the staff and teachers friendly?
7. Do not ask antagonistic questions, especially in large formats such as an Open House.
Keep in mind the goals you wish to accomplish with the interview and tour. You want a school that is going to be a good match for your child. Yes, you are interviewing with the school, but they are also interviewing with you. Both parties are interested in finding the right match.