Checklist: What to look for on a high school visit

By The Understood Team

High school should prepare students for success after graduation, whether the students plan to attend college or vocational school or get a job. Here are some factors to consider as you decide which high school is right for your child.

Looking for a school that’ll be just right for your child? Check out, where you can search for schools in your area and find out which ones will serve your child best.

How is the school environment?

  • The student-teacher ratio is reasonable.
  • The school works to prevent problems and help every child succeed.
  • I know and agree with the school’s policy on handling behavior problems.
  • The school actively works to prevent and deal with bullying.
  • The school is safe and clean.
  • Few students are expelled or suspended, and violence is rare.
  • Afterschool sports, clubs, and activities are available and encouraged.

What is the staff like?

  • The school has a psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, and case worker to support my child.
  • Teachers and specialists are trained to recognize and work well with children who have learning and thinking differences.
  • They know how to deal with discipline and behavior issues and have a written policy.
  • Teachers seem knowledgeable and are qualified to teach their subjects.

Does it feel right for my child?

  • My child likes the school and would fit in.
  • The school is supportive and has the proper resources for my child.
  • The school can serve my child’s unique learning needs.
  • The method of teaching at the school supports my child’s learning needs.
  • General education and special education teachers work together.

Does it work for me?

  • The school is near my home or convenient for my child to get to.
  • I like the policy for watching my child’s progress and keeping me informed.
  • There are parent-teacher conferences as needed.

What are the academics like?

  • There is a balanced amount of quality homework.
  • The school emphasizes academics and does a good job of teaching.
  • The school does well on standardized tests.
  • The school has a modern library, wireless and internet access, assistive technology, and a computer lab.
  • Students do well after they graduate.

    Tell us what interests you


    About the author

    About the author

    The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Jenn Osen-Foss, MAT is an instructional coach, supporting teachers in using differentiated instruction, interventions, and co-planning.