Um, is this normal?

Families consider guidance from a professional for lots of reasons. Sometimes philosophical differences arise, or families find schools are not meeting their children’s needs in one way or another.

Some families have questions about their children’s learning profiles, or seek a professional opinion about their children’s experiences in school — a nagging concern that’s sometimes presented as: We think she could be much more excited about learning! Or, bluntly, parents wonder: Um, is this normal?!

Many families simply want to investigate options. Having reached no conclusions, they wonder whether there are school settings that might align more closely with their children’s needs and family perspectives.

And some families have a long background in independent schools and a commitment to the “independent” part of independent education. Even in these cases, parents often find that the picture has changed quite a bit since they last attended school.

Families who consider independent schools face a complex landscape, with over 100 nonpublic schools in the Washington area — and even more if one counts various public options, such as magnet programs, that accept or deny students based on applications.

For any of these reasons, parents may seek professional expertise through the complex landscape of school choice.