b'FIT ter and experiencing the adulation that hadA checklist of educational needs is the An excellent fit is achieved when the needsfollowed. Self-esteem had reached a newstarting point for assessing needs. Develop-of parents and those of a child align withlevel. Life would never be the same. Sooning and reviewing a comprehensive list en-the needs of a school. The operative wordsI was immersed in rigorous academics in asures that all needs are identified and then are needs and align. And to underscore orspiritually supportive environment amongstsubsequently ranked in terms of priority. emphasize the importance of alignment,a diverse group of students from differentThe checklist on page 96, although not in-here are some helpful synonyms: matchingcultures. I flourished. Throughout my life,tended to be exhaustive, is a useful guide-needs, blending needs, supporting needs,one door after another had opened becauseline for getting started.harmonizing needs, merging needs, meldingof this decision and choice. My parents and needs, and unifying needs. I were ready to compromise and settle for aTRENDS There are degrees or levels of a positivegood fit. We did not. We elected an ex- In addition to fully identifying specific ed-fit: excellent, very good, and good. In mycellent fit, one requiring financial sacrificesucational needs, understanding trends in opinion, the fit must be either an excellentand a daily, 20-mile commute. The return oreducation is a critical factor for consider-match or at least a very good match, andpayback achieved? Undeniably priceless. ation in the education planning and school not just an exercise of settling for a good fitselection process. How schools stay abreastour children deserve much more. PLAN of trends will make all the difference in the My own experience is an excellentIn this writers opinion, finding an excel- world for a childs education and future.illustration. Family members had presumedlent fit requires planning; it needs to be aWhole Person: A number of schools that I would attend the very fine local highplanned effort. Here is a recommended ap- continue to emphasize a broad educational school in our community. During my finalproach: mission: develop the whole child. Educa-year of elementary school, I had noticed that Carefully identify all educational needs,tors no longer view their classes as a col-some students were preparing for entranceevaluate these needs, and then prioritize.lective, but as different individuals with exams to selective private schools in the re-Develop clear objectives for achievingunique needs and aspirations. A focus on gion. Some of these students were my closereach prioritized need. a childs complete development will accel-friends, and I desired to follow their pursuit. Develop and implement a strategy (theerate given the emphasis on STEM educa-I competed successfully, and will never for- how to) for achieving objectives and sat- tion; the explosion of technology, Internet, get the thrill of reading the acceptance let- isfying educational needs. and social media on the way educators FREEDOMExploreTOWhen the world changed, Montgomery School students continued toWhen the world changed, Montgomery School learn and grow. Through live lessons and daily students continued to learn and grow. Through live lessons and interactions with their teachers, students areinspired to embrace new ways of learningdaily interactions with their teachers, students are inspired to as they explore who they are and cultivateembrace new ways of learning as they explore who they are and who they want to become. cultivate who they want to become.I have always appreciated Montgomery SchoolsI have always appreciated Montgomery Schools amazing educators and amazing educators and community. Now I am just awedcommunity. Now I am just awed by them. I am so grateful that my daughter by them. I am so grateful that my daughter gets to see her teachers andfriends every day. The schedule gets to see her teachers and friends every day. The schedule provided by her provided by her teacher provides balance while keeping teacher provides balance while keeping her focused.Lower School Parenther focused. Lower School Parent1141 Kimberton Road, Chester Springs, PA | montgomeryschool .org1141 Kimberton Road, Chester Springs, PA| montgomeryschool.orgCHESTERCOUNTY-LIFE.COM/ July/August 202093'