How to Write A Constructive Private School Review

With the end of the school upon us, we’re about to send our annual note to AdmissionsQuest schools reminding them to ask students and parents to contribute reviews of their private school experiences.

Writing a school review in public forum is not the same as submitting a rant or screed about a perceived wrong or shortcoming. I can’t count the number of inappropriate, unpublishable comments that I have to reject every year. Schools like the rest of us are imperfect and work to improve…so, I offer these suggestions to help write a constructive private school review:

Write from a calm state

Anger and agitation lead to unreliable voice and tone.

Think about what you want your review to do/say

Positive? Critically constructive? Both? What do you want the reader to understand by reading your review?

Do not make the review personal

Do not attack, or blame, the institution, or particular individuals at the school. Do not claim that you have been wronged or mistreated. A shrill voice about being wronged by a school is difficult to believe. Your review is only one side of a given experience.

Be constructive

Make suggestions. If a situation didn’t work out perfectly, suggest how the situation might have worked better for all involved.

Useful and helpful

Write a review that might help another family better understand the school or help the school better understand itself. Share your praise. Let people know about a great experience. Remember your goal is to be read. Keep your voice calm and your thoughts clear.

Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

More by Brian Fisher

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