Should I attend a School Fair?

I attend a number of school fairs every year in Canada and around the world. They serve a very important purpose but you must take in what you learn and afterward evaluate all that you have been told. Yesterday, in Mexico, a woman arrived at my table and said "every school I have visited so far has told me they are the best, are you the best too?" My reply was, "that depends on what you are looking for." Was it an ESL program? No, we offer ESL support instead of full classes. Was it the best boarding program? Maybe, tell me more about your child... Remember, it is all about finding the right fit and the 'best' program for your child. At this fair, there were public school home stay programs for $20,000, private for profit boarding schools with almost entirely international student populations for $36,000, then there were…

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A matter of size – “the right size” school for every student

School size can be a key factor in school selection. It can also be a defining characteristic of a school, so much so that in LCS's case, the Trustees have decreed that the school shall not have a student body of more than 365. Sometimes we end up at 366 when the dust settles at the end of our offer period, but to end up with 367 we have to get Board Chair approval. We don't bother asking about 368 as we know that is out of the question. Why is size so closely guarded? It can matter in so many ways when choosing the right school. Overall School Size Overall school size limits what classes can be offered. It is great to have a high school of over 400 or 500 when offering the IB as you need more students to ideally and affordably offer everything at the higher…

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To IB or not to IB? That is a question…

Having headed up the recruitment and enrolment mission at one of Canada's best International Baccalaureate (IB) schools for three and a half years, where all students have no choice but to take the IB Diploma Programme (DP), I know the challenge faced in recruiting boarding students in particular. The worst thing you want to do as an Admission Director is place a student in a position where they are not successful. As often as I was encouraging a family to apply for the IB, I was discouraging another when a student did not fit the experience of the school in delivering the Programme. Likewise, I would meet students so suited to the IB that simply were far too happy and successful where they were to undertake it (and good for them for knowing their best fit.) The IB DP is growing in popularity and the number of schools offering the…

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