Determining the best private schools is a lot like determining the best people to fall in love with and consider for marriage. While ultimately there is just one person that is the best fit for you (maybe even a perfect fit) there are probably many people out there with whom who you could be happy. The same is true of schools and the fit that they could have with your child.
When you consider that both a marriage and a school relationship can be short if things aren’t working well, and long if they are, I will look at factors that will lead parents to helping them find a good fit for a long-term relationship with a school. As in finding a mate, everyone’s specific needs are as individual as they are, but there are certain common factors to determining the best schools, just as there are common factors to finding a life-long love.
Factor #1 – REPUTATION
Just as a person’s reputation precedes him or her, so too does the reputation of a school. You wouldn’t want to consider a serious relationship with someone who treats others poorly and is only interested in their money, so why would you consider a school for your children where the students are not treated well and where students are little more than dollar signs to the administration? The best private schools in Mississauga understand that reputation is just as important for a school as it is for an individual. They will do everything within their power to ensure that students and parents alike feel valued and appreciated.
Factor #2 – HIGH MAINTENANCE vs. LOW MAINTENANCE
Some people are simply never satisfied. No matter how much you give they continue to want more from you. Such people are high-maintenance and they will ultimately drain the joy from your life. A long-term relationship with a high-maintenance person is extremely difficult. Such people are characterized by taking more than they give. Low-maintenance people, on the other hand, tend to be easy to please and are happy to give back as much as they take. They understand that give and take is crucial to a long-term relationship. In Mississauga, private school fees are part of the “maintenance” of the relationship. If the school is constantly appealing to you for more money, even though you are faithfully paying the tuition and posted fees, you may be in a high-maintenance relationship. The best schools know what the costs are to run their program and they budget accordingly. There will always be some extra-curricular events that the school gets involved in that require parents to pay a little extra for their child to participate, but when the school is asking you to pay extra for things that should have been included as part of the tuition, or worse, they expect you to donate to their fundraising efforts in addition to paying tuition, you might want to reconsider the relationship.
Factor #3 – CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT
Nobody wants to spend their life with a slob. And just like with people, some schools are blessed with a beautiful campus and facilities, while others have to make the best with less beautiful surroundings. But just as a wise man or woman who wasn’t born beautiful can make themselves look attractive by accentuating their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses, the best elementary schools in Mississauga (and high schools as well) work with the facilities they’ve been given to make the school experience the best it can be. If a beautiful woman presents herself in a sloppy, uncaring way, it reflects on her character which may have serious issues. Similarly, a school with a beautiful campus that allows their buildings and programs to deteriorate may have a similar character flaw. The best schools work hard to show that they are constantly working to improve themselves, just like successful people do. Look for a school that can boast about their latest innovation or success story. A school that can’t remember the last really great improvement probably isn’t going to be a good long-term fit.