With the first day of school right around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some tips about picking the right school district for your family. This decision is one many parents face when they decide to move and can be one of the biggest factors when buying a home. And rightfully so because the schooling and education of your children should be a top priority. Here are some tips to consider that might help you make a decision.
Talk to other parents
This might be obvious but ask around! Other parents can be the best source of information and offer insight with personal experiences as examples. Regardless of stats and figures, a personal testimonial can make all the difference. Other parents will be able to understand your desires or hesitations and offer realistic insight.
Visit different schools
Actually take the time to visit different schools. Get a lay of the land and take a tour of the building. How is the facility maintained? Are teachers and staff friendly and welcoming to potential new families? Are you able to meet with the principal and ask questions? Bring your kids along if you want so they can picture what it would be like to go to school there. Seeing a school in person can paint a much different picture than some facts and figures online.
Ask your kids
Of course your decision will directly affect your kids first and foremost. School is where they will spend so much of their time. Why not include them into the decision making process. Ask them what their first choice is. Allow them to share their desires or concerns. It can even be a fun learning experience for them to be included.
Academics are a top priority but so are extracurricular activities, after-school programs, sports and clubs. Does your top choice include great programs for your child’s interests? Are there options for them to explore their interests? Is there room for them to make a sports team? How much do non-academic programs factor into your decision? It might help to make a pro and con list for each school listing out the top pros and cons for each.
Of course you can look at test scores, class size and other data driven stats, but these tips are some additional and practical things to keep in mind. Overall, trust your gut and show your kids that you truly believe this is the best decision for them! The more confident you are, the more confidence they will have.