Finding the Right Fit: A Catholic Education Guide Part 1: Getting Started

Choosing a school for your child is a very important decision for you and your family. Sometimes the process can seem scary and overwhelming. We are here to help. At our Big Shoulders Fund Catholic schools, we have streamlined the enrollment process to three easy steps.

Step one: Search for and call the schools.

When you are ready to being your search, a great place to start is to create a list of potential schools.  You can develop your list by talking to other parents, visiting school websites and researching schools online. You can use our school locator to find the schools closest to your home or work.

After you create a list of possible schools, you should call each school to set up an appointment to visit.

Step two: Take a tour or bring your child in for a shadow day.

Walking through a school and interacting with the administrators, teachers and students is the best way to get to know a school’s culture. Some schools will allow you to visit at any time; other schools will have set dates and times for their Open Houses.

Some of our schools also offer “shadow days” where you can have your child join a classroom for a day and experience firsthand what it’s like to be a student. Parents at our schools tell us that it’s one of the best ways to really test drive a school. And sometimes your child can come home with a few new friends in the process!

When you visit the school, be prepared to ask questions and take notes. After the visit, you should always feel comfortable to follow up with the school and ask any additional questions. You can also ask to connect with a current parent who can answer questions for you. The great thing is that all of our schools have financial aid and scholarships available—asking about these options when you visit is completely fine.

Stay tuned for Part two, when we share the best questions to ask on a school tour and a checklist to help you stay organized.

Step three: Enroll!

Ready to visit one of your neighborhood Catholic schools? Visit us at: www.chicagocatholicschools.org  to #DiscoverTheDifference today!

-Written by Big Shoulders Fund Staff Writer