Visit A School

The Best Way to Learn about a School is to See it For Yourself

There is no better way to see if a school is a good fit for you and your child then to visit and see it for yourself. An in-person visit allows you to do a ‘gut check’ on what the data is showing you and confirm if the school is the right fit for your child.

There are several different ways to visit schools. First, we will talk about the various options you have. Please note, every school will have different methods of conductingvisits. It is critical for you to reach out directly to the school to learn about how that particular school conducts visits and to schedule your visit. Contact info for each school is available on the school profile pages.

Types Of School Visits

  • Tour: These are typically between you and a staff member and involve walking around the school, seeing the building, and having programs explained in an informal way. A tour may include observing a class in session and seeing different spaces around the building.
  • Classroom Observation: These are sometimes part of a school tour and involve you sitting in on a class that is currently being taught. You can ask to observe a class reflecting the age of your child or a particular subject area you are interested in seeing to ensure the observation is a productive use of your time.
  • Open House: These are typically open to the general public and a variety of staff will be present to answer questions about the school and talk about their experiences. Every school will hold its open house on a different day. Figuring out when open houses are scheduled will be important to learn through the school’s website or by calling or emailing the school directly. These are typically only offered once a year.
  • Shadow Day: These are typically for older students (primarily high school and sometimes middle school students) and involve your child spending a half or a whole day at the school. A current student serves as their host and your child will attend classes with them. Your child should be ready with questions and know what they are looking for in this visit to maximize this opportunity as these are typically done without the parent present. It is important to consider your child’s current school attendance policy when scheduling a shadow day. If there is a particular subject your child wants to observe, let the school know that ahead of time so they can include that in the day’s schedule.

Visit the school’s website, call, or email to find out what’s available for the schools you are interested in visiting. Please feel free to ask what you need in a school visit. And, be sure to capture and organize information as you refine your list of schools to visit and what type of visits they offer.

Select A Great School For Your Child

What is a “great” school?

We are often asked which school is the best school. Our answer? It’s complicated, you are the expert on your child! We recognize are many school options for families in Rochester and every family and child is unique. A great-fit school can look differently for every family—and can even look differently for each child within the same family.

READY School Finder understands the school selection, registration, and enrollment processes can be overwhelming for families. This guide is designed to help you think about what a great-fit school means for your family and how to choose a great-fit school for your child. By thinking through your family’s priorities for your child’s education, this guide can make it easier to help you choose a school that is the best fit for your needs and priorities.

Research shows that parent involvement in school has a positive impact on student attendance and academic performance, so let’s get started!

  • Download this guide as a PDF in English here. To download this information in your native language, use your browser to print this page.

Step 1: Create your list of priorities.

  • ACADEMICS: What are my priorities for my child’s learning experience? 
  • SAFETY: What makes my child feel physically and emotionally safe at school?
  • STUDENT DIVERSITY: How important to you is the racial and/or socioeconomic diversity of students and their families?
  • STAFF DIVERSITY: How important to you is the diversity of the school staff (e.g., teachers, administrators, specialists, etc.)? 
  • LEARNING SPACES: What facilities must the school have?
  • PROGRAMS: What programs must be available at the school?  
  • LOGISTICS: What practical needs must be met for my family?
  • COMMUNICATION: How should the school to communicate with my family?

Step 2: Make a list of schools you are interested in and review all available data for each school.

Step 3: Get more information from sources you trust if you still have questions about each school.

Step 4: Schedule your school visit(s).

Step 5: Visit each school.

School Readiness And Early Childhood Education Resources

There are over 50 convenient locations at schools and in our community to choose from. Information on how to apply for FREE pre-kindergarten programs are available on the RCSD website at:

Community Resources and Partners:

  • Pre-Kindergarten Program Locations
  • RCSD Pre-K Registration
  • The Children’s Institute
  • Monroe County Local Early Intervention Coordinating Council (LEICC)

Special Education Support And Resources

Whether you are new to the special education process or already have a child with an Individual Education Plan (IEP), you’ll find information and resources from one our many community partners. They can help families understand their rights, navigate the evaluation process, prepare for and advocate for their child during meetings, and ensure students get the support they need to thrive.

Community Resources and Partners:

  • Starbridge
  • AutismUp
  • Mental Health Association
  • Special Education Parent Advisory Council

Bilingual And Multilingual Education Support And Resources

According to the U.S. Department of Education, multilingualism provides educational, cognitive, sociocultural, and economic benefits for those students who attain fluency in more than one language.

Programs & Services

  • Bilingual Education –Dual Language Models & Transitional Bilingual Education Models  
  • English as a New Language 
  • World Languages 
  • Home Language Support 
  • Latino Studies 
  • Interpretation & Translation Services 
  • Parent & Family Engagement  
  • Commissioners’ Regulation (CR) Part 154 Compliance Systems, Auditing, & Reporting