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Michael
 
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The process of choosing a high school for our son

20 May 2014, 13:33
Our son is now in grade 7 and now has to chose a high school to attend. There were SO MANY things to consider, I was wondering how other parents out there do it. So, here's our story: Our boy, pretty much a "top 5er" consistently from it could be assessed... his achievements reads like a book, now has to choose a school. He wrote the Maths competitions for Star College (which could qualify him for a partial scholarship), he also wrote the Scholarship exam for Glenwood Boys (of which we didn't even complete the admissions form). We (my wife and I) were discussing with him what the choices were. We looked at the schools on the following basis. Maybe best not to mention the names.

1) A very decent school in the Glenwood area (expensive {in terms of our budget} - but we could have made a plan)

2) A recognised "trade school" in Durban Central

3) 2 schools in Chatsworth (both produce very highly academically)

4) A "boys School" now co-ed in our area... which has its issues

5) A co-ed school not too far from us (it looks decent, but we encountered some issues from the beginning) After much to-ing and fro-ing, and negotiating/ arguing/ stating our cases, we saw it this way (base on how we saw OUR CHILD)

1) is the best school offering all of the best facilities and possibly the best in terms of quality of educators, but with it, what is the type of engagement will our child have with those around him... is it going to be too competitive, what are the attitude of the learners, what is the ethos of the school?

2) Awesome trade school, but does he see himself working with tools?

3) Even though he would produce quite well academically, interacting at this stage with so much of one race group... would that be healthy for him... besides, these schools generally only emphasize academics and not on teamwork, arts or sport

4) this school has been in a "transformation phase" but for a bit too long now... my view is the principal cannot get things right

5) here, we see the school is quite transformed, yet, the principal (and front office staff) seem to have quite an attitude (possibly quite racist) We had to ask ourselves... we understand which is the "best school" but which is the best school for THIS INDIVIDUAL?

We all went to different schools... not all of us went to the "best schools" yet not all of us turned out half bad. We had to consider how we see this young boy as an adult in 10 years and beyond, what is he going to engage in, how will he relate to people, and what processes (route) does he have to take to get there. We ALL chose 5.

Even though the first impression with this school was not the best, we felt in terms of the demographic mix of educators and learners was quite balanced. the school is not too recognised (less chance of the boy developing and "air" about himself. Based on how we see him, it will make it easier for him to work with the average person out there.

So then, Why did I write this.... and better yet, why did you read till so far? I wanted to share our process in our choice of school... it was not a case of just get what you can offer, or send him to the closest school. I also thought you cold maybe share how you went about it, or even if your child is not yet there, how would you go about this process.

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