It is that time of year when students are packing up their bags and heading out to their respective prep schools. Some are returning upper classmen and others are showing up for the first time. To avoid any surprises and have a smooth transition on arrival for both the family and the school, it is vital that parents get answers to the following questions:
–Fees: You agreed with the school to pay a tuition of $X amount of dollars. You need to figure out exactly what that includes: Books, transportation, athletic fees, uniform fees, SAT/ACT tests, ESL, field trips, etc., can cost extra. Most schools will include these charges in their contract. If you have any concerns about or don’t have the ability to afford these extra fees then you should first reach out to your program’s coach for guidance. These fees can sometimes be negotiated.
–Housing: For kids that live in dorms or team houses, find out the room setup and who will be the adult in charge. Ask about the food provided. Does someone prepare it every night? Is there a cafeteria? How good is the food? What if you are under/over weight? If you are going to a host family get the contact information ahead of time so you can start building the relationship between families. Ask them about the basics such as meals, activities, and rooming. Will the student be required to go to church? Will there need to be any additional funding provided to the host family?
-Academics: This will depend on which year the student will be starting at a school. Does your student have a class schedule before he shows up? Are the school’s classes NCAA certified? Do they offer AP or college courses? Are there tutors? Does the school offer ACT/SAT prep? Does that cost extra? Does the website have teacher bios?
-Location: If you had the opportunity to visit the school you know the lay of the land. But if you didn’t it is good to ask about the specifics of the location. How close are the host families, dorms, or guest houses to the school/gym? Is there cell service? If so what is the best network for the area? What is transportation to and from closest town/WalMart/Big City/airport? Is it in a cold or warm weather environment?
-Dress Code: Some schools have a dress code. Find out what is and isn’t allowed so your student can show up with the right outfits. Make sure they have a winter coat if they will be in New Hampshire and a swimsuit if they attend a school in Florida.
-Basketball: When can the athlete get into the gym? What is the open gym schedule? When does practice officially start? Does school have a strength and conditioning program? What is the schedule? Who are the assistant coaches? How will you help in my recruitment? What is the history of the program with winning and player placement?
If there are any other questions you feel are important for parent’s to ask before showing up at school please feel free to let me know.