Published 08/12 2003 12:11AM

Updated 08/12 2003 12:11AM

The issue of discipline will doubtless be an important one in your selection of a school. You'll be concerned, and rightly so, that your child has a safe and ordered environment in which to learn. The school's rules and regulations should be spelled out in their printed material; look them over carefully. But just as vital, you'll need to investigate how well these rules are actually enforced by the administration. What type of punishment do they carry out for various actions? Do you agree with these steps? Another area to evaluate is the type of peer pressure your children are likely to encounter at a given school. With today's problems such as alcohol, drugs, sex and gang violence, you'll want to know what your child might be up against. Also, how does school policy respond to these situations? You might also ask if discipline is enforced off the school grounds; can students be expelled for certain behaviors that take place away from school? Some parents prefer strict disciplinary action, with no exceptions made; others favor a more lenient approach. Obviously, you'll want to find a school whose philosophy is more or less consistent with your own.

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