SELECTING A SCHOOL
The objective in school selection is to find the best possible match between the needs of the student and the education provided by the school. Each student has a unique set of learning abilities, interests and social needs, and each school offers a unique combination of curriculum, teaching philosophy, size, tuition, and student body composition. Because of the number of factors to be considered, and the difficulty in measuring these factors, the selection process is both personal and demanding.
Bennett has developed a checklist that many parents find helpful in evaluating schools. The following are examples of the types of questions that should be asked of any potential new school. Please contact us for the full checklist.
How do students seem to feel about their school—Engaged? Loyal? Enthusiastic?
How diverse is the student body in terms of social, ethnic, religious, or national status? How important is this to you?
What kind of roles do parents play in school affairs?
What is the background of the Head of the School?
Who are the teachers and what are their credentials?
In grades Pre-K through 12, what percentage of teachers have advanced degrees?
What is the school’s Mission Statement?
Is there an identifiable philosophy of education?
What are the education goals of the school and how well does the school community reach those goals?
QUALITY & ASSURANCE
How is the school accredited?
How frequently is the school inspected and by what agencies, to ensure that proper academic standards are maintained?
Does the school undergo periodic peer review?
What is the enrollment of the school?
Is the school in a convenient location?
Does the school provide transportation and food service?
& OTHER COSTS
What is the school’s tuition?
Is financial assistance available?
Are tuition insurance plans available?
The following list provides websites that can be helpful resources. Bennett International does not vouch for the accuracy of information or content on these websites.
The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)
Private School Admission Testing
Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)
List of Accrediting Organizations
National Network for Immunization Information (NNII)
Immunization Action Coalition
Bennett International recommends that all mobile families maintain an “Education Passport” for each of their school-age children. While requirements vary, schools often request the following materials. The below list of items is comprehensive, and not all of the suggested documentation may be necessary or obtainable for a given child. Well-documented education files will greatly facilitate enrollment and class placement procedures, however, so we recommend the creation of as complete a file as possible:
Names and addresses of schools attended and dates of attendance.
Transcripts: copies of course lists, grades, evaluations, and translations, if necessary.
Description of the most recent curriculum: both an official version and teachers’ outlines of the program are useful, as are copies of the most recent math and English textbooks.
Letters from teachers or others who can speak to the child’s achievements, abilities and character. Private schools often require recommendations from former teachers. These may be difficult to obtain during the summer holidays or after a family has relocated.
Summer contact information for teachers and school personnel a family is leaving.
Standardized testing results and evaluations.
Examples of the child’s work: completed assignments from the most recent academic period, writing samples or special projects.
Medical records: an immunization history, information on specific conditions that might affect the child’s participation in any part of a school program, and results of a full physical examination.
Birth certification, a passport and visa.
In addition to regular contributions to relocation industry journals, Bennett has published two resource books for families moving to or within the United States:
The Bennett Guide to International Education in The United States
We’re always thinking of ways to educate our clients—corporations, relocation management companies and families-about different types of education options and where to find them. One of our hallmark achievements is the Bennett Guide to International Schools in the United States. Because a guide like this didn’t exist, we decided to research and write it ourselves.
For nearly two decades, The Bennett Guide has been a valuable industry resource for Global Mobility and Human Resources professionals at a wide range of Fortune 500 companies. When relocating employees with children into the US, they must be able to answer the inevitable questions pertaining to international education options; the Bennett Guide is their starting point.
Likewise, as the only resource of its kind, the Guide provides relocation management professionals with immediate, indispensable, international school information for client companies considering the relocation of an employee with children.
It’s just one more reason why Bennett is the trusted leader in education advisement.
To order a copy, please contact us directly.
Understanding American Schools: The Answers to Newcomers’ Most Frequently Asked Questions
Co-authored by Georgia Bennett and Anne P. Copeland, PhD.
To order a copy, please contact us directly.
Interview: NYC School Admissions, Part 2: Identifying the Best-Fit School for Your Child
In the second part of a series of virtual conversations between Heather Gatto and Cecily Lynett – seasoned Bennett education consultants who specialize in assisting families with school placement in New York City--they share their perspective and advice on how to identify best-fit schools for your child in a landscape of many options; they emphasize, above all else, the importance of keeping your child's unique strengths and characteristics in mind as you explore all the different possibilities.
Interview: NYC School Admissions, Part 1: Preparing For Your School Search
In the first of an ongoing series of virtual chats with Heather Gatto and Cecily Lynett – a pair of highly successful education consultants and experts in assisting families with school placement in New York City schools (some of the most competitive in the country) – we get some very practical advice for families that are in the first stages of preparing for their school search, as well as insight into what school admissions departments are looking for in prospective students.
Porch Talks: How to Approach the US College Essay
In another installment of our "Porch Talk" series, in which we conduct socially distanced interviews with different Bennett specialists, we welcome US College placement counselor Emma Hoffman, who brings many years of teaching and consulting experience to the table and speaks with us about how to best approach the college essay.
Interview: Minding the Gap
Corinne Guidi is an independent education consultant specializing in gap year planning. Corinne has explored the gap year adventure and the effects it has on the lives of those who take “time off” before starting college/university. We sat down with Corinne for an insightful and inspiring session, as we asked for her answers to some of the most common questions students have about gap years.
Porch Talks: Coming to the US for College? 13 Things You Should Know
We return to our CEO Elizabeth Sawyer’s porch for another socially distanced interview with Senior College Admissions Counselor Grant Calder, who brings almost 30 years of experience with US college counseling to the table and presents us with a wealth of insight. He sits with us to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about US colleges that we hear from international students considering traveling to the states to further their higher education.
Webinar: How Bennett's Services Have Adjusted Amid The Pandemic
Erin Brady, a senior education consultant for Bennett, who serves the New York area, joined a conversation with leading educational and relocation experts exploring the return to school in September 2020.