Seven different ways to choose a school

Start with the reasons for seeking out a new school for your child

Where’s the best place to start your school search? Our suggestion: your child.

"Before thinking about the features of any particular school, begin by looking at your child's needs, strengths, and overall personality," says Education Consultant Judy Winberg.

Seven ways to find the right school, based on your child's needs

We want to help you focus on your child. Each of our seven school-choice pathways represents a goal you may prioritize, and offers a vital starting point, in finding your child’s best-fit school.

Below, click on a pathway to access our in-depth discussion of key factors to think about in your school search based on your child’s most pressing needs. And, since they're not mutually exclusive, feel free to explore many or even all of the pathways. 


Just the best overall school

Like many parents, you may just be looking for the best overall school for your child. The question is, what does this mean to you? What are your school priorities? After giving this careful thought and reading our in-depth advice, proceed to one of the other six pathways below.


More academic challenge

While every child needs academic stimulation, this may be especially important for your child. If so, you’ll want to find a school that satisfies this need.


Social fit (due to social struggles)

Many kids encounter social struggles on occasion, whether it's peer conflicts, feeling left out, or acting out and other harmful behaviour. For some kids, though, this can become pernicious. If your child is like this, you’ll need a school with the right social environment, among other things.


Academic fit (due to academic struggles) 

Academic challenges differ in their severity: for instance, they can be subject-specific or across the curriculum, or short- or long-term. In either case, if your child is struggling academically, they’ll need a school that provides them with the right learning environment and ample support. 


Intensive learning interests

While almost all students enjoy certain subjects, some have a passion for them. These kids have “intensive learning interests”—interests that are specific, deep, and ongoing. If your child is like this, you’ll want a school that can meet their subject-specific appetite for learning. 


University preparation

Many teenagers have their sights set on getting into a good university and excelling when they get there. If you have a university-focused child, you’ll need a high school (or even middle school) that will improve their chances of admission and prepare them for post-secondary success.


Special needs support

Your child may have a learning, behavioural, developmental, or physical disability. If so, they’ll need a school that provides them with plenty of targeted support and guidance. 


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