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The school visit

Most private and independent schools welcome the opportunity to provide you with a tour of their school. This step is one of the most important in choosing a school and should be conducted after you have visited private school expos, researched all possible schools and gone to open houses.

When arranging a school visit, it is best to ask for an individual tour on a typical school day. Group tours may keep you from getting all your questions answered and may not allow you the time to experience the school's atmosphere. You need to be able to envision your child at that school, interacting with the teachers and socializing with the other students.

It will be very helpful if you bring a list of questions to ask on your tour. We have included suggested questions on the next page to help you get started. Along with getting the facts like school amenities or a breakdown of what exactly tuition covers, it is important to observe the school in action. You will want to observe whether the school is diverse enough for you and your child. You'll also want to see children engaged in their school work or play and see how they respond to their teachers.

Later, arrange a chance for your child to interact with students at your top two or three schools. The school visits allows prospective students to feel more comfortable with possible future interviews or tests by having already met teachers, administrators and other students. After the tours, you and your child should record any impressions or thoughts of each school to review later when making a decision on the school or schools to apply to.

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