As a parent, choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will face and can set the stage for the rest of their academic and professional future. The key to choosing the right school lies in understanding your child’s needs, but it also requires parents to learn about all the options available. While this can seem like a daunting task, attending an open house can help bring clarity to the decision-making process.
5 tips to navigating Open House season:
1. Make a date with your child
Find out the dates of Open Houses for prospective schools and explore if there are other events or opportunities for your child to experience life inside the classroom. The more opportunities you have to experience the school, the better informed you will be when making your decision. Be sure to register and attend all admission events if you are available.
2. Determine your child’s needs
Every child has different needs. While some children learn and work better in a structured learning environment, others thrive in classrooms that allow students to guide the process. Look at curriculum and program offerings.
At SMS our small-scale learning environment provides teachers with the flexibility to personalize learning for each student – building upon individual passions, and challenging each girl to improve her own performance, exceed her own expectations and realize her own potential.
3. Location and commute
Location, location, location. When it comes to real estate we all know that location is key and the same goes for choosing your child’s school. Independent schools provide the luxury of selecting a location that is right for you.
St. Margaret’s boasts a 22-acre campus located in a quiet, residential neighbourhood less than 15 minutes from downtown Victoria. With one of the most beautiful scenic campus' around, it’s an easy commute just minutes from a major highway. We provide day and boarding opportunities for students, making it the perfect place to live and learn.
4. Consider diversity
In today’s global marketplace intercultural understanding is extremely important. A diverse student community benefits all students, providing a range of life experiences, points of view and the opportunity to hear, learn from, and work with people from various backgrounds and with different outlooks on life.
SMS students gain a global perspective, both through their day-to-day classroom experience and through a variety of programs designed to explore and celebrate other cultures. They learn to be flexible and to adapt to different styles of working; they develop tolerance for differences, and friendships that span the globe.
5. Bigger is NOT better
Research shows that working in small groups fosters closer relationships between students and teachers, and that a smaller student-to-teacher ratio leads to greater success in post-secondary. While bigger schools may offer a greater cross-section of programming—small classes sizes mean more 1 on 1 guidance and greater risk taking.
Our small-scale learning environment offers big opportunities. Students don’t belong to just one club or team, they often contribute to our school community in several capacities. Our girls don’t just get equal opportunity but rather girls here get every opportunity to thrive, strive and find their passions.
So, when it comes time to make the critical decision about what school will be the best option for your child, consider the pros and cons and go with what feels right.
At St. Margaret’s School we offer a unique all-girls learning environment and we are focused entirely on the education, development and well-being of girls. We are uniquely positioned to provide them with opportunities and experiences they simply won’t have anywhere else. It is an environment where girls have no doubt that their ideas, opinions, talents, strengths, and perseverance are more important and more valuable than absolutely anything else.
To learn more about SMS admissions or our Autumn Open House, check us out here.