What Does The School Want? – Creating A Music Student’s School Schedule, Part 2

School building depicted in the evening for article about what schools want in a student schedule

Part Two: What Does The School Want?

BY MEGHAN VANCE • July 8, 2024

Once you’ve determined your educational goals for your student, consider the school’s goals. They may not always align with your own. Part of the U.S. Department Of Education’s mission is to promote ”global competitiveness.” You may come into conflict with a school promoting competition if your goal is for your perfectionistic student to learn contentment. Knowing your school’s goals can help you understand their requirements, weigh the advice of counselors, and, if necessary, persuade them your requests align with their goals.


Whatever a school’s stated goals, its actual environment can promote something entirely different. Below, the over-simplified descriptions of their environments can create a grim picture, but don’t despair! Remember that you have options, and that as a part of your educational environment, you can help tip the scale toward good.

Schools, as depicted in this empty school hallway, are often uncaring towards students as they work towards their goals measured by statistics.
The Ugly Schools
  • Usually not concerned about students, but statistics; they need to look good on paper
  • Teachers are expected to work miracles with limited resources. Unsupported by students, parents, peers, and administrators, teachers burn out and fail to care for students
The Bad Schools
  • Limited in their resources and unable or unwilling to help students achieve their personal goals
  • Teachers are overworked. They don’t have the time or resources to help, even if they want to
  • Indifferent students and teachers create an environment where education is not prized, creativity is unrewarded, and pride in one’s work is relegated only to an elite group
An exhausted teacher feeling overwhelmed at their desk in the schools
A passionate teacher shown working with students in the schools, who can make all the difference in a student's education
Finally: The Good Schools
  • Teachers are passionate, great communicators and motivators, well-educated, and supportive of students
  • Students and teachers spur one another on, forming a learning environment that fosters continuous educational growth, creativity, and pride in one’s work
  • They help students become good and productive citizens, working to help each student realize and achieve their personal potential

    Schools exist to help students, but it’s important to realize they also want these 4 things:

    1. Students and families who are easy to work with. There’s a time to be the squeaky wheel, but don’t be unreasonable or unkind. Respect the staff and thank them for their time, even if they don’t accommodate all of your requests.
    2. Students who enter prepared. Educators want to help your student get ready for the next level, not catch them up to their current one. Does your student know how to take notes, study for a test, and write a paper? Do what you can to make sure your student is prepared academically, socially, and emotionally.
    3. Current students who bring in money. There’s no way around it: money is needed for good education systems to function. If you want your band to go to out of state for a competition, are you willing to make a donation? Lead or participate in fundraisers? Promote the school and its programs around town?
    4. Students who will bring in money in the future. Money given by donors and alumni is especially crucial for colleges and private education. If your student’s test scores, GPA, sports scores, and other achievements are impressive, your student is a case study or statistic they can point to as a reason why others should donate. Your student may even grow up to be a donating alum.

    Forbes Magazine writes, colleges “want to know how you’ll contribute to the school while you’re there, and how likely you are to continue to contribute once you’ve left.”

    A young girl entering a classroom prepared to succeed in the schools.

    Your student’s current and future schools want students who are successful, both in education and in life. Ask these questions to create a schedule that proves your student is succeeding and will continue to succeed.

    • What classes will show that my student has the necessary skills to succeed in college?
    • Which classes will show my student is pursuing his or her passion?
    • Which classes will show my student is exploring, growing, and adapting to new things?
    • What class schedule will allow my student to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better?
    • What class schedule will allow my student to have regular adequate study time for tests, such as the ACT, the SAT, or AP tests?
    • WWhich class schedule will allow my student to lead a successful healthy life, balancing academics, passions, time with family and friends, mental health, exercise, and rest?

    Children’s Day School in San Francisco advises parents that “High schools want students and families who support the school’s mission and for whom the student will be a good fit, academically and socially.”