Today's Lesson

In our experience we have met 2 types of parents; parents looking for the best school (‘best’ based on a set of criteria predetermined well before they speak to us). And - the other type of parent.  Parents who are determined to find the best school for their child.


If you are the first type of parent, best of luck to you on your search. We are confident you will find an amazing school (as many do exist) and your child may (or may not) bask in their glow of excellence. Unfortunately, excellence does not breed through osmosis. We believe that one rather, should approach selecting their child’s school with a grain of realism. 


Which brings me to the most important question you can ask yourself to launch your search: “What is the best school for my child?”


At Wolff Educational Services we conduct needs assessments that breaks this criteria into 3 selection houses. They are the Social, Emotional and Academic Houses of your child’s success and achievement at school. We have broken these houses into realistic criteria based on actual achievement data (the learning skills) and are written in academic language (reflective of curriculum expectations). Once the assessment is completed, it is simply a matter of matching the results (your child's area of strength and need) with the schools that offer programming in these areas. The equation breeds student success and achievement. Its flawless in its design.


Parents, education today is comprised of these 3 houses working together in unity and harmony. Students must demonstrate learning in all 3 of these areas in order to be successful. The way the curriculum is taught and learned is not inherent of 20th century practices anymore. 21st century classrooms are much more layered in there design and learning platforms are reflective of differentiated instruction, individualized for your child to demonstrate learning and skills. 


Before you begin your school search, know what it is your are looking for. Know what your child's strengths and areas of need are in each area (house) of the learning platforms and how they relate to both the classroom and school. Understand what the classroom does and can do, map the landscape as you would any foreign environment. 


And if you feel like you need an education in all things education before you try and map out a route for your child - call us! We can help - however, we will only find the best school for your child….not necessarily what you think is the best school.


Until Our Next Lesson……


Public School - Will things get worse before they get better? What are you going to do?

Teacher unrest and contract negotiations have led to the likelihood of no extra curricular activities when the kids return to school. Could it get worse before it gets better? Absolutely. This has kept us very busy as of late fielding questions from concerned parents about private vs. public education.

There are many factors to consider when making the transition from public to private school. The greatest benefit that private schools can offer to parents today is choice - choice of school culture, environment, curriculum and cohorts. When parents make the switch they are generally looking for a higher quality of education, devoted teachers and elements of social and emotional development that include increased self esteem and consistent encouragement. Parents look for schools where teachers are engaged with their students academic, social and emotional development inside and outside of the classroom - before and after school hours. 

What was interesting to us was the increased number of phone calls we received about students in high school looking to transition into the private system now. These parents spoke very highly of the public system and their children were quite successful in it - but now that university and college are on the horizon - they are looking for something to help their children ‘stand out from the pack’. This is not easy to accomplish when virtually all clubs and teams may cease to exist this fall. Many private schools offer AP (advanced placement) programs where students can earn university credits prior to attending post secondary while still in high school, Duke of Edinburgh and IB (International Baccalaureate) programs that are accessible despite your address. Contact us if you want more information about what these programs are and how to access them for your child.

So what then is the advantage to staying in public school? As a public school teacher, I can assure you there are many.  And, if you have children in the public system you already weighed the pros and cons and came up with your decision for public education. But, if you are on the fence, consider this: your child will develop compassion, empathy and a tolerance for others when sitting in a classroom with 25-30 other children who are all learning together. There is of course the cost factor - it’s free. 

 Something else to consider is that a private school can pick and choose who attends their school - your child may not fit into their school culture, or the one they are trying to create. 

The long and the short of it is - Do your research! Visit schools. Ask the right questions and decide what you are looking for in your child’s whole educational portfolio. Is private school better? Not always. Is public school worse? Not really. Can you base this decision on vague criteria that generalizes the experience of education - definitely not.  As parents what do you think - do you get what you pay for in regards to education - or should you avoid looking a gift horse in the mouth?

Contact us directly for more information.

Until Our Next Lesson….