Questions to Ask of Schools
When touring schools and/or speaking with staff as a prospective parent, here are some questions to ask of all schools… Answers to these questions (or, indeed, non-answers) can give you information to aid your decision-making, but the questions themselves let administrators know what parents care about. Ask these of all the schools you tour.
- What is the socioeconomic, racial, and home-language demographics of the students at this school? What about the staff? Are these demographics reflective of our community, our city, our greater metropolitan areas?
- How do test scores break down by race/socio-economics?
- How does the school recognize all cultures?
- What supports does the school offer students of color, English Language Learners, students with disabilities, students whose families experience financial insecurity, LGBTQ students?
- How are students grouped at school – gifted programs, language tracks, special education, etc? What are the socioeconomic and racial demographics of these programs — Are they representative of the school population, the city/community populations?
- How inclusive is the school of global-majority students and families? What structures or systems does the school have in place to ensure equal and equitable access to opportunity, decision-making power and “voice”?
- Does this school actively recruit families and students from across the racial and socioeconomic spectrum? How?
- How culturally responsive is the curriculum and instruction?
- In what ways does the school support power sharing within parent communities?
- How does the school address issues of implicit bias?
- How does the school deal with bullying – and race/class based bullying in particular?
- What are the rates of expulsion/suspension/behavioral intervention at this school? Are these rates representative of the school population?