High school is one of the best phases of a student’s life and you want to make sure your teens thrive. It is important to determine the right fit for your children. Consider some important factors in choosing the best schooling option possible.
Here’s a list to help you find out what you should look for before you make a final decision.
Start with the Academic Programs
A huge part of your decision will need to factor in the school’s academic programs. If you want one that offers International Baccalaureate programs, take a look at the many international schools in Tokyo to get an idea of how many options fit the bill. If you are coming in from outside of Japan and relocating to the country, it’s ideal to look at schools that offer English-taught programs. That provides your kids with an easy transition.
Determine Standing and Reputation
What kind of academic reputation does the school have? Is it known for providing a well-rounded education? What do other parents say about the school? What about the students? Going over feedback gives you deeper insight into the school, the people behind it, its programs, extracurricular activities and more. Use all that information to make a decision.
Ask About the Extras
Are your teens interested in pursuing a particular subject or interest? Maybe your little girl likes the theater, or your little boy wants to write. Take a good, long look at schools that offer extracurricular activities in these areas. They can receive more training in these subjects, hone their skills, and discover more of what they can do in the same field, or in others.
Look for Language Learning
Some of the schools also offer language learning programs. That comes with plenty of practical benefits. If your kids learn how to speak Japanese, for instance, that will help them adapt to the culture and society much easier. If they plan to pursue college in the country, they won’t have to worry about having limited options since they can go beyond schools that use English as the medium of instruction. Knowing the local language makes it easier for them to go around, make friends, build relationships, communicate, and more.
Consider the Diversity
A high school with teachers and an administration that are sensitive to cultural issues will also help. Your children will not only grow up respectful of different values and belief systems, they will also know how to relate to people from different backgrounds. That skill will help them later when they finally join the workforce.
Check the Class Sizes
Is the class too big? If there are too many students in one class, that means the teachers might not have enough time to look after all the kids. They might not be able to provide one-on-one guidance. Many international schools, though, have small to average-sized classes along with teaching assistants. That means the students won’t have to worry about not getting enough attention from the teachers.
Find out more about the culture of the school. Do you think your kids will have fun there? Will they develop and grow in that school academically, socially, and emotionally? Is the school known for its supportive learning environment? What about innovative teaching styles that help the kids develop well-rounded personalities? What kind of credentials do the teachers have?
Find out how the teachers and students interact. Comments and feedback from students and parents can shed some light on this, though. Asking around and reaching out to contacts in your circle who’ve visited the school or send their kids there will also be helpful.