The Parent’s Guide to Select the Ideal International School


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The Parent’s Guide to Select the Ideal International School

By: Dr. Joseph Kashiwagi

In today’s interconnected world, the demand for international education is on the rise. Parents are increasingly seeking opportunities for their children to receive a global education that prepares them for a rapidly changing landscape. However, with the plethora of international schools available, finding the perfect fit can be a daunting task. There are some important things to consider when looking for a school that fits your child. We have to understand that each child will succeed in different environments depending on who they are. There is never a one “right” school for a child but each has its own benefits and downsides. Things to consider will be your child’s needs, school philosophy, teaching staff, extracurriculars, diversity, resources, location and the community. In the end, the choice should be simple after reviewing the different options and taking into consideration these major points.

1) Child’s Needs: #1 Priority

Before diving into the sea of options, it’s crucial to understand your child’s unique needs and preferences. Consider factors such as their learning style, interests, language proficiency, and extracurricular activities they enjoy. Identifying these aspects will help narrow down your search and focus on schools that align with your child’s requirements. The child has to like the school and want to be a part of it. A great technique that I have seen is getting the child to tour the new school and see which one they prefer best. Parents some times think they know best but for a child to be successful they have to make the choice in order to take control of their own education.

2) School Philosophy

One of the primary considerations when selecting an international school is the curriculum offered. International schools often follow different educational frameworks such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge International Examination (CIE), or a national curriculum from another country. Research each curriculum to understand its philosophy, approach to teaching, and suitability for your child’s academic goals. We have to understand that the traditional way of being educated is obsolete. With technology and other resources, there is much more efficient ways to learn. The philosophy behind what the school is doing will help you gauge if it will be helpful for your child’s future or a place just trying to keep the status quo.

3) Teacher Qualifications and Experience

The expertise and qualifications of faculty members are instrumental in delivering quality education. Explore the credentials of teachers, their experience in teaching international students, and professional development opportunities offered by the school. Furthermore, inquire about support services available for students, including language support, counseling, and special educational needs provisions, ensuring that your child receives comprehensive assistance when necessary. The school is only as good as its teachers. It is nice to have teachers with industry experience or have a proven track record in working with students. The students will know quickly whether they like the teachers so getting them to meet them is important!

4) Extracurricular Opportunities

Education extends beyond the classroom, and extracurricular activities play a vital role in holistic development. Evaluate the range of extracurricular programs offered by the school, such as sports, arts, music, and community service. These activities not only enrich your child’s learning experience but also foster social skills, leadership qualities, and cultural awareness. Different school can provide different options so this is a big thing to consider for a child to be happy. It is also important to understand that extracurricular options can be found outside of school as well but it is more convenient to have them at school.

5) Environment of School

International schools attract students from diverse cultural backgrounds, creating a rich multicultural environment. Embrace this diversity as an opportunity for your child to learn and appreciate different perspectives, languages, and traditions. Additionally, assess the school’s commitment to inclusivity and equity, ensuring that all students feel valued and respected regardless of their backgrounds. Each environment is different and may not be what you are looking for. This is important to check it out and see what type of people are at the school.

6) Assessing Facilities and Resources

The physical environment of a school impacts the learning experience. Visit the campus to assess the facilities and resources available, including classrooms, libraries, laboratories, sports facilities, and technology infrastructure. A well-equipped campus with modern amenities enhances learning opportunities and ensures that your child receives a conducive educational environment. It can be a nice addition for a school to have but doesn’t have to be over the top. If it provides everything your child needs, then this is like a check box that qualifies a school to be considered.

7) Considering Location and Parent Limits

The location of the school is another crucial factor to consider, taking into account factors such as proximity to your home or workplace, transportation options, and safety considerations. Evaluate the accessibility of the school and the surrounding neighborhood to ensure convenience and peace of mind for both you and your child. It has to be feasible for you as a parent. You don’t want to commit to something that you will end up hating or dropping out because of you as a parent. This is a major consideration that your student has to understand as well. There needs realistic expectations of how much you as a parent are willing to do.

8) School Community

Lastly, engage with the school community to gain insights into its culture, values, and ethos. Attend open houses, parent-teacher meetings, and school events to interact with teachers, staff, and other parents. Building a rapport with the school community not only provides valuable information but also fosters a sense of belonging and collaboration for you and your child. This is harder to distinguish but can be felt as you review and shadow the school. You should feel excited about being a part of it. In conclusion, selecting the ideal international school for your child requires thorough research, assessment, and consideration of various factors. To be clear, this shouldn’t be a very hard decision. If you are a parent, you don’t want to make a decision because that puts you at risk. Your child should be able to choose which school would fit best for them. By understanding your child’s needs, school philosophy, teaching staff, extracurriculars, diversity, resources, location, and the community, you can help guide your child to the right school for them. It will lay the foundation for your child’s academic success and personal growth in an increasingly globalized world.

Unique Education In Arizona

Arizona is leading the charge for educational choice. As one of the first states to open the door for innovative charter schools, Arizona offers a wide variety of schools to choose from. In the summer of 2023, Arizona passed a law that allows more state funding to be used for private schools as well as charter schools. Because of this change, Leadership Society of Arizona was able to support the grand opening of an innovative private school in August 2023. LeadAZ Private School has created a unique blended approach to homeschooling and in-person education. Students can set the pace of their education but they also get one-on-one access to a team of highly-qualified instructors. Every student creates their own customized education experience. To make this possible, LeadAZ maintains a ratio of only 4 to students to every 1 instructor.

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