It was requested that we start a tour thread so here it is.
- tours can absolutely make or break a school if there is any doubt in parents' minds. Crabby or indifferent office staff, snotty tour guides, lack of energy in the building, no family activities that say "this school is fun and welcoming". Worse of all ( to me) a lackluster principal.
- Having said that, I've been a tour guide in every school my kids attended. I loathe parents who come in and don't realize that the guides are volunteers and can't possibly know every answer. The answer to a question you don't know the answer to is "I don't know the answer to that but I'll find someone who does." (But tour guides should know basic school layout, clubs/after school activities available and whatever special programs are in the building.) I don't like parents who come in with their friends and proceed to whisper and act like they are at a coffee hour instead of a tour looking for information. Other parents ARE there for that purpose and it sure makes it hard to hear. Also, it's a little disrespectful to the tour guides who give their time and effort.
- at the high school and middle school level, parents often bring their students. Great! It's a good way to allow them to get a feel for the school and its student body. However, it is a district rule that students have to have an adult with them. The rule should also remind parents, "Adults, supervise the kids." I can't believe how many parents walk with friends and allow their charges to giggle and talk through the tour. Again, hard for others to hear and disrespectful to the tour guides.
- also, keep in mind that the tour guides generally don't make decisions on handouts or what rooms they get to visit or what time the tours are or how long they are
-tell the principal if you feel the tour was poor. They need the feedback to do better.
- most schools will not let you sit in on classes during the tours. However, some do so you can ask but if not on the tour day, most will let you come in during a set time and sit in on a couple of classes.
If you tour Roosevelt, look for me and say hi. (Don't worry, you'll find me. I'm always the shortest woman in the room and I'll be wearing a green nametag.) We want to do a good job so let me know if something wasn't good ( but keep in mind - our tours can sometimes be huge and we have a limited number of guides so we do the best we can). Ask to see Mr.Ruff (CAD and computer science) - he's one of the most enthusiastic teachers ever and takes pleasure in talking about his classes to parents and students (especially girls as he would like to encourage more of them to take engineering).