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How to Choose the Right School

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One of the most important decisions every parent makes is choosing the best school for their children. This can be a tough as many factors contribute to the decision process.
  • What is the curriculum?
  • What are SAT scores?
  • How many children sit in a classroom?
  • What grade does computer education start?
While no one person can tell you what the best school is for your children, a good place to start is by checking out The School ReportŪ , which is designed to give you detailed information from over 89,000 public and private schools in the United States, from kindergarten through twelfth grade.. You will receive a detailed overview of the school size, student to teacher ratio, the overall educational climate, and much more! You can also view information for over 15,000 school districts and sub districts.
The School ReportŪ combined with your research using the suggestions below, should enable you to narrow your choices down to just a few possibilities.
Using the report will help you work through the complicated question, "which are the best schools for my children?"

Some tips you can use when you begin to narrow down your choices are:

  • If the district has a magnet program that you are interested in, ask the Magnet Director how long the waiting list is and if your child will get in.
  • Contact the Director of Computer Education to find out the student/computer ratio and if the district's teachers have participated in a computer training program.
  • Contact the Parent/Teacher Organization and find out how active it is in each school. Studies have shown that children's academic success increases when parents are actively involved in their education.
  • Make an appointment with the principal for you and your children to visit the school. Arrange to go when school is in session so you can observe a normal school day. This is your chance to learn the personality of the school.

Evaluate if your kids would feel comfortable.

  • Check classrooms for interested and smiling faces.
  • Look at the projects and student artwork on the walls.
  • Do the students dress like your kids and do they look friendly?
  • Make sure to note the style of dress for the first day of school. (see "Help Your Children Adapt to a New School")
Most importantly, be sure to talk to your kids during and after the tour. They will probably notice things you don't and it will help them adapt if you choose the school.
There are many things that can be used as indicators of a good school. But the very best indicator you have to identify a really good school for your children is your intuition and good common sense.
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