Drug testing

THE NEW SCHOOL VISIT: 5 Things to Look For

Today the little red school house is not what it use to be, and along with changes in how our schools are funded, how they are governed, how teachers teach and how children learn, it's no surprise that many large urban school districts and smaller rural ones are undergoing major modifications. Parents are bombarded with advice from every media venue telling them to look at private education, consider a religious environment, and reminding them that "choice" or charter schools are the way to go. The only real way to know what educational institution is best for your child is to become a School Scene Investigator (SSI), because today education is serious business.

No amount of research can replace the most reliable evaluation known to parent kind. Parents are going to have to take time and participate in a good old fashion school visit, and look at the school visit the same way you would the purchase a car. Do investigative work to see who will give you the most for your investment, and remember your most precious possession will benefit from your in-depth analysis.

A school visit is an invaluable way to learn about whether a particular school is the right place for your child. Below is a step-by-step guide to planning a very effective school visit.

1.Do your homework before visiting the school. Obtain all the vital statistics:

- Name of School

- Name of Principal and other Administrators, Assistant Principal, School Secretary, School Counselor/Social Worker

- Does the school have a website? Visit it and if you can, locate the last time it was updated

- Perform a drive-by; visit the school several times without going into the building. Visit during the morning and observe how the children line up and enter the building. Is there adult supervision outside or volunteers keeping things orderly? Visit at lunch time, at recess and at the end of the school day. Make a note of anything that raises an eyebrow.

- Drive through the neighborhood. Even if you live in a beautiful suburban area, drive the neighborhood. You want to know where there are tall fences, dogs, wooded areas etc., particularly if your child will be walking to and from school.

2. Schedule your school visit. Call the school and ask to speak with the secretary, this will give you a feeling of how welcoming and accommodating school staff is toward a potential customer. Remember with your child comes the several thousand dollars that pays for his or her schooling.

3. Ask lots of questions and pay attention to everything. This is one time when it is alright to bring a note pad with questions and don't be shy or intimidated. Is the Principal so busy he or she does not have time to answer questions and give you a tour? Does the Principal delegate the responsibility to someone else? Are you allowed to visit classrooms? Will the Principal allow you to purchase a lunch from the cafeteria? What was the most recent Health Department Food Inspection Score for the Cafeteria? Does the Principal introduce you to any teachers or other administrators at the school? Does the Principal invite you to come and visit again? What materials are provided at the end of your tour?

4. Does the school have a particular educational philosophy? Ask the Principal about the following items:

- Student Code of Conduct ? What currently governs student behavior?

- How often to students receive report cards and/or progress reports?

- What kind of resources are available to students i.e. computers, library, sports activities, academic games or competitions.

- Ask to see a copy of the School Improvement Plan (a document that shows how the school is working to meet state requirements)

The Principal should be able to tell you if the school is receiving additional funding from special grants or if it is receiving Title 1 funding for improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged. If your school is a Title 1 school you will want to know the following:

- Amount of funds allocated for Title 1 service Number of Teachers and other staff funded by Title 1 funds

- View the school Parent Involvement Policy required for all schools receiving Title 1 Funding and asks if parents took part in drafting the document (by law they are required to do so)

- Ask the Principal about how the minimum 1% of Parent Involvement Funds is being spent and what programs are available promoting parent education. Request a copy of the school compact

- Ask the Principal about parent education workshops and Title 1 conferences parent may attend using Title 1 funding and ask who is President or Chair of the Title 1 Parent Organization at the school

- If you would like to learn more about Title 1 No Child Left requirements visit: www.ncela.gwu.edu

5. Parents who have children with academic, social or emotional difficulties should ask the Principal about the types of services provided to address those issues. Does the school have a Psychologist/Social Work team on staff or available on a rotating basis? Who at the school is responsible for giving a child medication?

It is the responsibility of the parent to ask the tough questions now so you won't have to deal with problematic issues later. Every parent wants their child's educational experience to be a positive one and it is your job as the parent to make sure that occurs. We all lead busy stressful lives but when it comes to the education of our children we must make an effort to leave no stone unturned in seeking the best educational opportunity possible for their academic achievement.

D. Davis is a writer with over 20 years of experience, and has produced a series of e-Books that support parents in creating a good life for their family. Dee may be reached at detra_davis@supportingourchildren.com, or by mail at J. Davis & Associates Publishing, P. O. Box 44782, Detroit, MI 48244-0782, Attention: D. Davis. To learn more visit: http://www.supportingourchildren.com

In The News:

Researchers have located the remains of the last known ship to bring slaves to the U.S. from West Africa, Alabama historical officials announced Wednesday.
Police in Australia have captured stunning footage of a meteor lighting up the night sky.
A black rat snake — estimated to be 7-feet in length — was spotted twisting and contorting its lengthy body up the side of Linda Bertolette’s home in Farmington, Conn., on Monday.
New York may be home to the iconic Statue of Liberty and dozens of other monuments, but the city would look very different if a number of epic building designs had actually been constructed.
Jupiter's magnetic field has changed since the 1970s, and physicists have proved it.
An extremely rare alligator is making his temporary home at an Illinois zoo.
Changing markets and confusion over what can be thrown in recycling bins has forced some communities to rethink or even suspend their recycling programs. But many more recycling programs are working well, experts say.
A doughnut-loving bear whose life was spared by New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu two years ago has made an incredible journey home after being relocated last June.
More than 100 giant stone jars, thought to have been used in burial rituals thousands of years ago, have been rediscovered at ancient sites in forests, on hillsides and along mountain ridges in remote central Laos.
A stunning video from NASA lets you experience what it would be like to fly inside the Orion Nebula that's 1,344 light years away from Earth.

Educational Toys - How Do Parents Choose The Best Toys For Their Child

The choices are mind numbing. Walk into any toy store... Read More

Guide to Choosing Plush Toys for Children

Many people consider plush toys great for children. They say... Read More

Are Public Schools A Menace To Your Kids? -- 11 Danger Signals

Parents, do you have children who do poorly in school,... Read More

The Child Chef

If you really want to get your children to eat... Read More

Ease Bug Bites with Easy Herbs

Summertime means insect bites and stings. Ouch! Take a leaf... Read More

Spend Time Not Money With The Kids This Winter

Spending quality time with your children doesn't need to cost... Read More

Home For The Holidays: Ask Yourself Some Questions

Annie easily slipped into becoming the sole caregiver of her... Read More

What Do You Teach Your Children About Money?

Whether we realize it or not we teach our children... Read More

Is it Attention Deficit Disorder or is it Tourettes Syndrome?

During the assessment process it is of great importance for... Read More

Weathering Colic for New Parents

A common problem many times facing parents is Colic. Estimates... Read More

Vehicle Safety - Following Simple Vehicle Safety Tips Can Reduce Auto Accidents and Injuries

Child Car Seat Safety:We know you love your children, but... Read More

Its OK to Say No

In the last 20 years we've all been introduced to... Read More

Imaginations Soar

Have you ever sat and watch a child struggle with... Read More

5 Great Tips For Choosing Safe Toys For Your Children

Every children in the world whishes to have toys and... Read More

Best Investment

Every week I write something about the stock market -... Read More

A Dads Thoughts On Dads day

21 Reasons I Love Being A DadWhat you will read... Read More

?Mommy, I Can?t Sleep!?: Sleep Disturbance in Children

Oh Please, Don't Say Maybe!!!!Are you often a participant in... Read More

Top 50 Father Quotations

"The greatest gift I ever had Came from God, and... Read More

What is Child Sexual Abuse?

What is child sexual abuse? Any sexual activity that is... Read More

Bird Flu Pandemic

What are the easiest things citizens can do to prevent... Read More

The Parent Teen Relationship: How Effective is Yours?

It was the homework that did it. Each night became... Read More

Summer Marks the Time to Remember Active Supervision Around Family Swimming Pools

LOS ANGELES (May 19, 2005) - With Memorial Day weekend,... Read More

When Your Childs Adoption Story Changes: Nothing But the Facts or is It Nothing are the Facts?

Elana, born in Russia, was told "We really don't know... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: 4 Dangerous Myths

MYTH: All teens have to rebel, and the teen years... Read More

Hiking with Children

There is nothing quite like hiking with small children. The... Read More

led area floodlight led street lighting retrofit Pete's produce ..