Research all NYC schools

Research Now

How Can You Make The Most of Your Virtual School Tours

December 15, 2020 Halina de Jong-Lambert

It’s understandable to want to get a feel of the high schools you’re thinking about applying to, which you can usually do by going to tours, walking around the school, listening to students and faculty about the school, and asking questions. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this aspect of the high school application process is being converted to online video meetings and video format, but you can still get the same amount out of a virtual tour with a little more effort.

We have learned as a student body through online classes that it is much harder to absorb information from Zoom meetings, so on the virtual Q&As and information sessions, you will want to take thorough notes to stay engaged and have details to look back on for when you’re making your high school list. Taking notes on what you like and may not like about the school will help define each one in your mind, and after looking at so many schools, especially of one type, you’ll need that help. It’s also beneficial for you to get the most out of Q&A sessions by coming to them with questions, and that means doing research on the school, looking around the website at the classes and clubs they offer. If the school also has student testimonies you can watch, be sure to do so; this can be a good way to get a feel of the student body.

360° tours are the virtual replacement for walking around a high school this year, and they can either be a collection of photos of around the school or a video production, complete with 360° visibility that allows you to click and drag around the screen to explore a classroom or a gym. It may sound tedious, but you also want to take a few notes on these, flipping through/watching once to absorb and the second time for note-taking, again because it helps define these schools for you, and this is crucial when you aren’t getting the full experience of being inside the school.

It is also helpful to supplement the resources these schools give you with research of your own. Websites like Niche and GreatSchools give you detailed overviews of every aspect of a school, and you can look in the comment sections to see some common questions and comments about the school. Also, try getting in contact with students of a school you really like and want to put high on your list, either through contacting the school or asking around your own community and ask them about their experience.

A virtual school tour does not have to be a negative thing. It can even be a less stressful experience than in-person tours. Try to enjoy what you do get from a school, make the most of the resources you get, and don’t panic if a school doesn’t offer a virtual tour (it is currently not required that they do); this is when the outside research comes in handy!

Halina de Jong-Lambert is a sophomore at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music, Art, and Performing Arts in New York City. She is an acting major at the school, enjoys Stephen King Novels, and is a fan of Oscar Wilde.

Join to

Join today and have a high school mentor guide your child through their middle school years

Join Now

Other articles

  • img

    How to Join a Sports Team! Updated for 2021

    • May 19, 2021
    • Oliwia Caes

    One of the best ways to stay active and get more involved in the school setting is to join a sports team! Being on a sports team has numerous benefits. It gives you extracurricular activities to build your profile, the ability to create friendships through spending time with a group, and a chance to simply relax and unwind after a full day in the classroom.

    Read More

  • img

    How to be a Leader in a Club or Extracurricular Activity Updated for 2021

    • May 12, 2021
    • Halina de Jong-Lambert

    So, you want to have a leadership role in a club or extracurricular activity. There are many reasons to take up one: to share your interests, take charge in bringing about change, or simply have more control within one. Whatever your reason, there are a few surefire ways to do so!

    Read More

  • img

    Interview with Mentors from NYC (2020-2021)

    • May 05, 2021
    • Paris William Polatidis

    During these challenging and trying times, the high school admissions process can seem daunting to many middle school students. The high school admissions process can be confusing under normal circumstances, let alone during a pandemic! When delving into the unknowns of this challenging admissions year, it can be important for middle schoolers to have an older, experienced person to guide them through this process. That’s where being a mentor comes in!

    Read More

  • img

    What benefits do Charter Schools offer?

    • April 28, 2021
    • Oliwia Caes

    Charter schools are unique alternative options to fully public or fully private schools in NYC. Charter schools are, in fact, free public schools, however, they are run independently and therefore, with more freedom than typical public schools. Because of this greater independence, a charter school can come with many benefits such as a higher-quality education, individualized attention, specialization in certain subjects, and access to a more thorough curriculum.

    Read More