5 Important Things To Consider When Choosing A High School For Your 8th Grader

If your child is entering the 8th grade, then it's an important time to think about where they will be going to high school. There are many things to consider, ranging from academics and sports, to location and student body. You will want to research the schools, and discuss these issues with your child. Here are five important areas to help you get started.


You should decide how your child is going to get to school. If you live in an area without mass transit, and the schools don't have contracts with a private bus service, then you will have to drive them, or arrange with other parents for a car pool. If you have a tight work schedule and can't drive them to school, then you might want a high school that is close by that they can walk or bike to school.

If you live in a city that has good mass transit, then you will need to decide how far your child is comfortable traveling. Do they mind taking two buses, or taking the subway and transferring to a bus? If so, you will want a school located close by that is only a few stops on the bus or train. Remember, the added commute might have them getting up an extra hour early in the morning.

College Acceptance Rate

If your child is interested in going to college, then you should get the schools college acceptance rate. You will want to know what percentage of the senior class attends college. It is also a good idea to get a breakdown on what colleges. Certain schools are going to be more geared towards elite colleges than other high schools. So, look at the breakdown on what colleges the senior class ended up attending. There is a difference between the majority of the senior class attending a local community college or state school, and a wide variety of universities (Ivy, State, and large private universities)

Student to Teacher Ratio

Ideally you should look for a low student to teacher ratio. This will make for more personalized attention. Typically in large public schools you will find a higher number of students to teachers than you will in smaller private high schools.

Co-ed Or Single Sex

Another thing to think about is whether or not you should choose a coeducation high school. If your family is Catholic or Jewish, and looking to send your child to a religious school, you need to discuss your options. Both Catholic and Jewish high schools offer co-educational as well as single sex schooling.

Private or Public

A big question is whether or not you should consider a private high school or a public one. If you prefer smaller class sizes, and rigorous college prep, then private schools are a great choice. Many cities have public high schools that are specialized, but these can be very difficult to get into because they are free and there is huge competition to get into them. Additionally, your child might like the smaller class sizes that are possible in private high schools. Finally, if you do live in a big city, then there is the issue of safety. While public schools around the country are often safe, that is unfortunately not the case in certain cities. Some of these schools have even earned the label of "persistently dangerous." Some parents try and find a place in a charter school for their child, but a popular alternative to the public system is the private school system. Students are able to learn without being terrified of being attacked or robbed at their place of study.