We all know it can sometimes seem like a daunting task to choose you’re the right school for your child. Whether they are attending school for the first time or transitioning to high school, you probably have a lot of questions. Like and concerned parent, you want to know what are your options and how much choice do you really have. Where should you start?
In recent years, the choices of schools that parents have for their children have dramatically increased. Across the nation, there is a growing awareness that competition within the public education system may encourage to improve their performance and they parents, who are active in their child’s education, will continued to participle throughout their children’s educational career.
Where Do I start?
The first thing consideration is to think about the needs of your child and family. Consider what type of environment you child would excel. A shy and quiet child may progress better in a smaller school or schools with small classrooms. Your child is an outgoing musician or has a particularly keen interest in science; you’ll want to look for schools that have strong programs in these areas. You’d you may also consider if it’s important to find a school that close to your home or to your work place.
What Are My Options?
My Local Neighborhood School
This is often the first option, if not the most obvious option for parents. Your neighborhood schools are usually designated by your school district. The school district sets up the boundary and rules for your entry into that particular school. You can check with your local school district to see which school your child is assign to go and what are the rules and requirements associated with attending charter, magnet other schools outside your local district.
Charter School Option
One of the most substantial changes made in public education has been the growth in chart schools. Chart schools are public schools but varying amount freedom in respects to tradition schools rules and regulation regarding curriculums, teachers, etc. These schools are normally under chart agreement granted form the local school district. In many cases these charters have clear specifications that must be met or the charter school will be shut down. Chart school enrollment is completely voluntary and there are no limitations to neighborhood boundaries. Charter schools are usually able to receive children from anywhere within the district as long as there space available. Charter schools can sometime have a very demand from parents, who want to get their child into the school ; in these cases schools usually conduct a lottery to determine who is eligible to attend the charter school
Transferring to another School
School districts usually set their own policies regarding in-district transfers. This is when a student transfer to another school within the same district. Intra-district transfers, between two districts are set by both school districts, so it’s important to know the policies of the accepting school district. The Preferences normally goes to the children that are near a particular school or the parents who work in those districts. Many school districts have appeals processes that can accept your child if he/she was denied based on these factors. Limitations in space can make it difficult to make transfers specifically if the accepting district is smaller or have a reputation for great schools.
Magnet schools are schools that generally focus on a particular subject or them, such as technology, science, engineering or art. They can even follow a particular type structural design or learning philosophy. It could be missing different grades in one class, a year –long schedule, longer days or teaching styles. These schools normally draw students from around the district and are open to any child as long as they meet certain academic requirements.
These schools usually are born out of a certain philosophy that is different from a traditional district school. Alternative schools usually have small classes and focus on the social and emotional development of the student. These schools can include self-pace academic curriculums to help students learn better. The term alternative can be used for a wide variety of schools, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of the schools methodology and beliefs.
Private schools are schools that receive no state funding. These schools have the largest amount of freedom to set up their admissions requirements. Families pay for the student to attend through tuition, although some schools offer scholarships to attend as well. At these schools, the board of directors, principal, teachers and sometimes parents and teachers decide what the curriculum, teaching methodology, and requirements for enrollments should be. Private schools may not require the same teaching credentials as public schools.
This option provides the most freedom. In this case the parents or caretaker decides to teach their children rather than send them to public or private school. Many communities have organizations and institutions that assist families who are homeschooling their children as well as meet other students in home school.
How Much Choice Do I Have?
The amount of choice depends on a variety of factors. One, is the school district, this will vary state to state. IN most cases it depends on the supply and demand for certain schools or even districts. It can be difficult to transfer to a popular school or school district. It’s always a good idea to check your district rules and see how what you can expect when applying for a transfer. You should keep up with district or school availability to make sure there is a spot for your child.
Narrowing your choice
Once you selected the type of school you check your that school profile through district tools. You can even check reviews. Try to ask around, Find parents who children go to the school and ask them what they think of it.
Visit the school
Once you have your final choice, no amount of research will replace going to see the school for yourself. You should visit the school and ask questions of parents, teachers, administrators’, even students to get an idea of the school environment. It may be ac good idea to bring your child along to see if he/she likes the school as well.
Applying for Enrollment
After you decided on the choice of school, the next step is to apply and enroll. Many schools require proof of address and your child’s health and immunization shot records. Check with the school to ensure that you have all required paperwork before the application deadlines.
Like in most things the earlier you start the better chances you have a getting your child into the school you want for them.
Last but not least, Stay Involved!
Stay involved ad and be a strong advocate for your childes education once they are in the school you want. You role is just starting and you should be there for your child because they will need all the help you can offer.