Tour It, Don’t Ignore It!

One of the best things I did when we was applying for kindergarten was to tour 10 schools. That may seem like a lot of schools, but I started two years before my daughter entered kindergarten (families apply one year before the child will enter school).

Here are 5 really good reasons to tour as many schools as possible:

  • Cast a wide net! If you don’t see the school, you’ll never know if it’s a place you might like.
  • You’d be surprised at how wrong your pre-conceived notions about a school can be, good or bad.
  • Anything can happen on a tour. At one school, a kid leading the tour told us that half the 5th grade class had flunked math and the teacher had been fired. OMG!
  • There’s lots of comic relief. My co-author, Porcha Dodson, was leading a tour where a dad went rifling through the teacher’s drawers in the classroom, to the horror of everyone else. He called the next day to say he hadn’t seen enough of the school.
  • While you ask questions that are polite and relevant, you can let other parents ask the questions you may want to ask, but you know aren’t appropriate. Trust me, they will!


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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at

2 thoughts to “Tour It, Don’t Ignore It!”

  1. I totally agree with this advice, Christina. I started touring two years ahead as well because I knew both my husband & I would go bonkers if I tried to squeeze in 10 tours the Fall we were applying! It allowed me to weed out schools that weren’t appropriate for us and gave me time to tour again the tours I really liked – this gave us the chance to try to meet families from the schools we were very interested in so I could gather more “inside” information. I think we toured 8 schools and ended up applying to 4…and we’re very excited to be starting at our first choice school in just 2 weeks (many thanks to you & your book)!

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