Checklist – Evaluate Your Kids’ School

Checklist – Evaluate Your Kids’ School

#Check PointExpectationYour Ranking
1Average class size Poor
2Quality Education Fair
3Teachers’ Credentials Good
4Attention to each student Fair
5home work Fair
6Discipline Poor
7Career Counselling  Good
8Bullying Control Poor
9Weekend Classes Good
10Hall of Fame Fair
11Award System Good
12Volunteering Activities Best
13Foreign Languages Best
14Both physical and mental games Fair
15Arts and Crafts Fair
16Interschool Competitions Best
17Events Best
18Ease of Fee Payment Fair
19Attendance System Fair
20Reports to Parents Best
21helpful staff Best
22Parents engagements Fair
23Conduct Polls and Review Fair
24Email notifications Best
25Classroom facilities Best
26Prayer room Best
27Games area Good
28Clinic / Emergency room Fair
29Washrooms quality Fair
30Food shop Best
31Library Fair
32School Trips Fair
33Safety and Security Best
34Transport System Fair
35Sibling Fee concession Fair
  * this article is under construction  

If you would like to recieve MS excel version of above check list, please send an email to –> hello @ allgoodschools .com

55 Signs of A Great School

55 Signs of A Great School

Based on a detailed research, author has compiled a list of 55 qualities of a great school.

This article is useful for parents, students, industry professionals and policy makers !

–        Parents:

o   To evaluate the current school their children go to

o   Filter the schools they would consider their children getting admission to.

–        School Business Owners:

o   To self-audit their schooling system and take necessary measures to improve

o   To become industry leader or trend setter and benefit for getting more students’ enrollment

–        Education Ministries:

o   To establish / modify educational polices

o   Set minimum acceptance criteria for the new schools registration

o   Establish school auditing system and generate annual reports for public 

–        Business Service Providers:

o   Approach different schools and offer their services (IT services, Printing Services, Infrastructure setup services, library setup, Electronic services, database and website setup and many others.

All schools must strive to bring excellence in the below domains.

1.      Education and Character Building

2.      Extracurricular Activities

3.      Compliance & Governance

4.      IT Services for Students, Parents and Staff

5.      Physical, Mental and Emotional Character Empowerment

6.      Professionalism and Competence of Staff

7.      Social Media Engagements

8.      Teaching Quality Standards

9.      Parents Networking, Assistance and Support

10.   Infrastructure and Facilities

11.   Transport System

All Good Schools

55 Characteristics Of a Great School

Below is the list of 55 features that makes a school great !

1.      Average class size around the world is 15-25 per class. Check this resource: class size around the world

2.      Quality Education

Observe existing students’ performance and satisfaction.

Employability of graduates / Qualifying rate for better higher universities

Mean students duration in school. (How many years typically a student continues his education in this school)

Quality of Faculty (For example: what is minimum education of teacher, what is the level of knowledge, skills and expertise the teachers possess.

3.      Attention to each student: Every single student is a gem. You never know your son would be the next Einstein, if given proper attention.

4.      No overload in terms of home work: Prime job of any school is to make sure the students learn at school. If parents at home have to play the role of teacher then the school is not doing the right job. 

5.      Discipline: If the child is getting disciplined over the weeks and month, the school is successfully instilling the discipline in your child. 

6.      Career Counselling and General Guidance: Schools should provide free counselling to students and parents on need-on basis.

7.      Bullying Control: A school must ensure that bullying is not taking place. Visit this survey page

8.      Weekend Classes: For weaker students school should arrange extra classes on weekend. This will ensure that some of the students are not left behind in studies.

9.      Hall of Fame: A room where pictures of high achievers are posted. This will encourage students as well as parents.

10.   Award System: School should have good award system not only for the kids producing good marks/grades but also for games, quizzes, social works and so on.  These awards should be posted on school’s social media page.

11.   Volunteering Activities: School should ensure to conduct volunteering activities such as plantation, hospital visit, orphan school visit, beach cleaning campaigns, charity works and so on.

12.   Foreign Languages: French, Chinese, Arabic and English languages are widely spoken across the world. It is believed that the more languages you know the better intellectual you become. Students should be taught at-least one foreign language.

13.   Games: Both physical and mental games should be promoted for all grades. Mental games increase cognitive skills of student at large and improve their thinking patterns. 

14.   Arts and Crafts: Creative students contribute better to the societies when grow up. Fair attention to be given by schools for conducting arts and crafts activities.

15.   Interschool Competitions: Such competitions enhance a child’s vision and help him/her understand on where he stands in terms of physical and mental competency.

16.   Events: Schools should arrange Food events, gaming event, cultural events and get-together activities. This improves the perception of the school and has many benefits for students and parents.

17.   Leadership Training: From higher secondary classes students should be involved in the leadership skills such as goals oriented approach , good listening skills, willing to help, taking initiatives, vision to resolve community problems and so on.

18.   Ethical Training: Listening and speaking skills add great value to children’s character. Schools should show documentaries on such subjects. Guest speakers can be invited once in a while

19.   Presentation Skills: Practical life is all about communication and presentation expertise. High schools should have dedicated periods for such skills. Students should be trained and encouraged to speak in such sessions.

20.   Quality Management System compliance: Good schools should work towards Education Quality compliance such as ISO 21001:2018

21.   International affiliation and membership of school systems, forums, groups, magazines and so o

22.   Corporate Social Responsibility:  Good schools allocate their budget and time for the Social Causes. Social causes may include allocating funds for community, comply with government rules and regulations, provide investments, create jobs and career opportunities.

23.   Ease of Fee Payment: Schools should provide convenient methods of paying the fee (online payment, via visiting bank, cheques and cash – all major payment options should be accepted by the school IT/Finance system). If parents are willing to pay the fee in advance, some sort of discount should be given. (If you are a businessman running a school, you know what I mean when you have the payment in advance)

24.   Attendance System: Attendance system should be digital preferably to avoid incorrect data management. Schools may issue an electronic card to each student which could be used for school entry/exit time tracking and for bus entry/exit. The attendance of each system should be made available on school website too. 

25.   Daily / Weekly Reports to Parents: either the assignments, weekly work should be available on the school website under parents’ log-in or it should be sent out to parents directly.

26.   Happy and helpful staff: Not only teachers, but every school employee should maintain good attitude towards students, parents and visitors. Satisfied parents will promote the school automatically as it is a win-win for parents and school.

27.   Active Facebook page: Facebook is father of social communication these days. An active Facebook page will ensure that parents are fully engaged with what school is doing.

28.   Parents engagements: School can use such pages to communicate all important notices, news, events and activities with parents. Imagine the happiness of a mother if his/her kids activities are posted on Facebook!

29.   Conduct Polls and Review: Good Schools should approach parents through social medial for conducting polls on important decisions school is considering to implement.

30.   Surveys for continuous improvements: Schools should send private emails to parents for getting feedback about its education standards, infrastructure, facilities, timings and overall services. Please participate on our Survey Page

31.   Teacher Hiring process: A school cannot succeed until all of its teachers perform their job with excellence. This means the school needs people with excellent communication and teaching skills. Hiring criteria/methodology should be established concretely so that only the best-in-class teachers are filtered and selected.   

32.   Training of teachers: Having best of the breed of teachers does not mean that no further training and skill enhancement is needed. Remember the law of Sharpen the Saw and always consider periodic train-the-trainer sessions for the teachers. School should invest some time for checking out best practices in the education niche and continuously strive to polish the skills of their teachers.  

33.   Attitude of teachers: A good school’s teacher will have good communication skills, good listening skills, empathic approach for understanding the quality of apprehension of his/her students to help them succeed.

34.   Teaching standards: A good school should ensure high teaching standards. They should establish mechanisms to measure the quality of teaching through student survey, teacher survey, peers’ feedback, response time to different queries, patience, deep knowledge of the subject they teach, the friendliness, approachability, strong work ethics, being prepared and organized, documented and structured.

35.   Parent Teacher meetings: A good school conducts frequent meetings with parents to discuss any concerns parents may have, to provide feedback about their children, to provide latest updates about school. A persistent bond with parents enhances parents trust on the school.

36.   Parent log-in: Parents should be provided dedicated portal where they can see the progress of their children, their grades, extracurricular activities, pictures and general updates of the school.

37.   Email notifications: Email communication channel must be maintained by the school. Although parents do not like a lot of emails from the school, yet important announcements and formal updates should be sent to the parents.

38.   Financial constraints support policy: Sometimes parents get delayed in paying the fee on time due to financial constraints. Although a school is primarily a business yet schools should show flexibility for such situations. After all it is a matter of children future. Under the social responsibility umbrella, a good school will provide concession on the fee or accept delayed payments.  

39.   Better furniture: Students desk, power sockets, cupboards, chairs should be properly designed to accommodate the day to day needs of the student. A nice and clean furniture improves the overall environment of the class. Schools should ensure annual / quarterly audits to check the quality of the furniture and take corrective and preventive measures. The cupboards should have enough space of students’ bags.

40.   Good Lighting: A bright classroom will help student maintain their healthy eyesight. Adequate lighting in the class will freshen up the class.

41.   Projectors and TV Screens: A good school will have projectors available where they can show documentaries, learning videos, arts and crafts videos from YouTube. Same projects / TV screens can be used for school announcements and notifications

42.   Separate room for lunch: To avoid strong odors in the class, a school may provide a separate hall to students for eating

43.   Prayer room: Students have to perform several prayers during school time. This is more important for the countries where Muslim population is dominant. Hence school should provide prayer rooms too. Same level of respect should be given to all religions without discrimination.

44.   Playground – / Football / Cricket / Basket Ball / Swimming: A dedicated physical instructor, play areas for major games and associated ancillaries will result in better ranking of the school in society.  In new age, parents are not only concerned about book based knowledge instead they want their kids to practice physical activities in the school

45.   Clinic / Emergency Room: Medical situations are inevitable hence a school should have an emergency room with dedicated nurse staff and first aid medicines/treatment services.

46.   Student Health Records: A database of student health should be maintained by school. This should include health history, allergies, medication and emergency contact details of parents.

47.   Food shop: Only healthy food should be provided in school tuck shops. Fizzy drinks, artificial juices, fried food should be prohibited.

48.   Adequate Washrooms:  Separate for boys and girls! Also frequent cleaning policy and governance should be ensured to achieve high hygiene standards.

49.   Library: Todays’ reader is tomorrow’s leader. Libraries (digital or physical) are a must these days.

50.   Weekly Campaigns: A good school should consider celebrating “Health Week”, “Cleaning Week” “Happy Week” where respective concepts and associated activities should be practiced.

51.   School Trips: In line with local authorities and service providers a good school should arrange camping trips to hilly area, zoo day, park day, library day, plantation day and so on.

52.   Advance Learning: A Good School not only teaches the course material but also establish courses, trainings, seminars, presentations about Digital Competence, Social Responsibilities, Sense of initiative and leadership, manners and ethics, being healthy and learning to learn techniques.  

53.   Safety and Security: A good school provides adequate security measure in terms of entry and exit procedures, in-class safety assurance, CCTV cameras installation, dedicated security department, IT security compliance, 

54.   Each community should establish local bodies to discuss challenges related to schools, brainstorm the improvement ideas, plan to present the problems / solutions to regional or federal government.

55.   Industry Visits: For the higher class students schools should arrange visits to factories, showrooms, large scale offices, colleges, manufacturing plants, hospitals and IT companies whichever applicable. This will provide exposure to the kids and inspire them to choose the right domain for their career.

References: Eurlex, SchoolEducationGateway, GreatSchoolsOrg, Google, AllGoodSchools, Springer,

18 Features Of A Great School Transport System

18 Features Of A Great School Transport System

1- Buses should be air-conditioned

2- Monitoring cameras should be installed in each bus

3- Bus locations should be monitored by the bus company.

4- A nanny should be available in each bus

5- Bus route should be changed without approval from supervisors

6- Basic first aid treatment equipment should be available

7- Bus should never stop for petrol filling while kids are inside

8- Boys and girls seats should be separate (whereas possible)

9- Bus colors should be standardized

10- Punctuality and consistency for the pick-up and drop of time should be practiced and monitored by supervisor.

11- Driver and nanny should be in uniform

12- Driver and nanny should be trained on how to speak to kids and with parents.

13- After drop-off bus must be thoroughly checked if any kids has been left unattended

14- Bus company should have redundant/backup buses available, in case of emergency needs

15- Each bus should have attendance system to record child’s entry and leaving time.

16- The kids should not be handed over to other than parents. Strict compliance to be ensured.

17- Drinking water should be available in the bus.

18- Bus monthly audit should be performed by certified mechanic.

33 Qualities of a Great Teacher

33 Qualities of a Great Teacher

Whether you are a teacher, a parent or a human resource professional, this article will help you know about the best professional and personality traits of great teachers.

Knowledge

1- Deep knowledge of the domain

2- Stays up to date and believes in continuous learning

Communication

  1. Excellent Communication Skills
  2. Good Empathic Skills
  3. Establish relationship with the student


Teaching

  1. Makes the subject interesting while teaching
  2. Encourages students to explore further
  3. Does not limit his teaching to books only
  4. Triggers curiosity so that students can investigate further
  5. Provides real-life examples to help students understand easily
  6. Recommends books and website references to students for further reading
  7. Pays attention to each student specially the ‘back-benchers’
  8. Makes the teaching an interactive session (not one-way lecture)
  9. Sets high expectation- provider print outs
  10. Uses right tool at the right moment (white board explanation, shows YouTube video, asks a student to re-explain, pictures, illustrations, prints handouts, info graphics, slides )
  11. Reduce overload
  12. Reduce distractions
  13. Takes frequent breaks
  14. Use educational games
  15. Practices Think-Pair-Share approach
  16. Promotes contradiction that lead to learning
  17. Encourages reading

Professionalism:

  1. Member of respective journals and forums
  2. Disciplined
  3. Classroom management skills
  4. Forward thinking mindset
  5. Record management

Personality

  1. Engaging personality
  2. Interesting (not boring)
  3. Kind, patient, caring
  4. Practices different methods of teaching and learning
  5. Adaptive learning
  6. Question based learning
  7. Experimental learning
  8. Knows how to handle different types of students (bullying student, dull student, over smart student, naughty students etc)

References:Prodigygame, Pearsoned, snhu

How to Choose The Right School For Your Child

How to Choose The Right School For Your Child

Author has prepared these 17 checks for parents to help finalize the school for their kids.

One of the major responsibilities of being parent is the finalization of school for your kids. These days, its an uphill task; reason being, there are plenty of options available to choose from. Many parents, including you, are confused on how to choose a good school. With below check list your school selection criteria will be easier.

1- Fee structure

Tuition fee is off course the foremost criteria for your as parent. Remember, not all schools charging hefty fees are good. Be considerate. Choose a school which you can afford in long term. Selecting a high-fee school and taking the kids off from school after a year will disturb the continuation of their studies.

2- Transportation

It is better to avail transportation service from school instead of private arrangement. These days many schools offer good services including a nanny, having a camera in the bus, attendance system (bus entry and exit). There is nothing better if you would like to drop your schools yourself as you can utilize this time for having casual, candid chats with kids, teaching them something new, listen to their stories and so on.

3- Distance from home

If you are kids are taking more than 30 minutes reaching to school (either with you or with private conveyance) its not fair with them. Choose a school near to your home.

4- Reality check

While a school brags about being the best, don’t simply trust them. Use internet and perform a sanity check. Check school’s Facebook page, read views of parents on alternate channels/websites, post your questions and seek answers for. Once satisfied, shortlist this school for final selection.

5- Curriculum

For initial grades, you may not prefer whether your kid is going to American curriculum, British, American, Indian or Pakistani however for higher grades the curriculum becomes important because many universities as acceptance (or priority) for specific curriculum. Speak to parents, shoot a question on quora and visit school website to check how this curriculum fits in good universities for higher studies.

6- Subjects

Some schools offer Arabic, French or Chinese languages. Science proves that the more languages you apprehend the more intelligent you become. Hence, it is important for your kids to learn a new language.

7- Word of Mouth

Ask people whose kids study in the school you have short listed for your kids. Ask what they like and what they do not like in this school. These parents will definitely give you insightful advise which you may not find on internet.

8- Co Education

This selection criteria is to be considered if you prefer to send your kid to a school where boys and girls have separate classes. Many Arab and South East Asian countries have such schools.

9- Affiliation

Check if the school is affiliate with international educational bodies. Such schools usually have continuous learning and improvement due to on-going enhancements in the field of education.

10- extra curriculum classes

Education and knowledge are not the only thing you send your kids to school for. You want your kids to be physically healthy, mentally strong, socially active and practically creative. Such skills and benefits can only be achieved if schools are offering extra curriculum activities such as swimming, basketball, arts and crafts, memorization, presentation skills and so on. Such classes are offered either after school times or on weekends.

11- Teachers’ review

Ask school what is their teacher selection criteria? What nationality are they from? What minimum qualification is required to posses? What certifications do they have? Remember, you can choose the best school but shortage of good teachers is going to impact the quality of education your kids are going to get.

12- School ranking websites

These days many country-specific school ranking websites are available. Some countries have dedicated ministries performing annual school ranking. Check how Dubai is doing this.

13- Parent Teacher Meeting

A good school should offer frequent Parent-Teacher Meetings. This will ensure you as parent are aware of your child’s progress at school and what factors need improvement at school or at home.

14- Home work

A good school is supposed to teach most of things at work and do not give high home-work. While fair amount of home work is good, a child is not supposed to be placed under burden of too much work.

15- Games and physical activities period

Preferably your kids school should have physical activities period twice a week. Physical activities are not only good for body but improve the overall personality by instilling tolerance, increasing confidence and enhancing social activities in kids.

16- Religious education

Some people rightly consider religious education as one of the critical criterion. Check if the school you are going to short list offers religious education?

17- School Age

Since when the school started its operation will help you accept or reject the school. For old school it is easy for you to take opinion from existing parents, check their repute on internet or other social networks.


What other aspects would you consider for finalizing the school for your kids? Share your thoughts please.