Tips for Evaluating a Kindergarten Program

1. Go further than teacher/student ratios. Assess faculty and staff resources. Are teachers valued, mentored and given ample support to meet the needs of each student? Are class sizes protected, or do schools overbook classes in grades with higher demand?

2. Visit during the school day. Notice the interactions, the noise level, the movement on campus and, more importantly, whether students and teachers are engaged in the lesson and with each other.

3. Ask about safety and security. Make sure your school has not only a practiced protocol but also a strategic plan to keep up with the ever-changing world. Also, make sure it is a safe place for students to take risks and experience growth-promoting opportunities.

4. Look for both planned physical activity and unstructured play.

5. If choosing an independent school, ask about the school’s sustainability and enrollment rate. Does the school meet budget year after year? Are target numbers met? Does the school align with National Association of Independent School (NAIS) guidelines and best practices and regularly participate in the accreditation process?

6. Ask about technology use and digital citizenship. Are students trained to understand the “power” in their hands? Is there an Acceptable Use Policy in place along with ongoing training and education?

7. Do teachers embrace multiple teaching strategies in the classroom?

Mary Yorke Oates
Director of Admissions