No pressure, but education is a big decision! After all, it has a huge impact on your child’s future. Fortunately, Nevada families have access to several K-12 options. Navigating these options can help you find a school where your child thrives. This post will breakdown the six main types of schools and provide some extra education resources.
First off, you can choose traditional public schools, the most common school choice. These schools are operated by school districts, free to attend, open to all students, and funded by federal, state, and local government. Did you know that Nevada spends an average of $9,185 per public school student each year?
Each state has its own open enrollment policies. Open enrollment refers to whether parents can send their children to any public school, regardless of where it is located. In Nevada, each district sets its own open enrollment policies. So, Nevada parents should check with their local district if they would like to transfer their child. Open enrollment is an important form of public school choice, widening parents’ options and ensuring that their zip code isn’t the sole determiner of their education.
Families in Nevada can also choose public charter schools. Like traditional public schools, charter schools are public, free, and usually, have no requirements for entry. What distinguishes charter schools is they have extra freedom to innovate with learning methods and are accountable to authorizing bodies for results.
Nya Berry, a mom and executive director at one Nevada charter school we interviewed, called the her school “the best kept secret in Nevada.” Read more here.
Nevada has many public charter schools families can choose from. Each school has a charter which explains the school’s purpose and what specific community need it serves. That could be providing a STEAM program or offering a rigorous, literacy-based curriculum. If there are more families seeking admittance to a charter school than there are seats, a lottery system (like drawing random names out of a hat!) is often used to determine admittance.
You can also choose magnet schools! Magnet schools are free public schools that allow kids to focus on specific themes, like STEM, health sciences, or the arts. A few years ago, a Las Vegas Sun article described magnet schools as “schools within schools.” In other words, they offer speciality tracks within the public school system. Nevada has several magnet schools throughout the state. So, these can be a valuable option for children who learn best when diving deeply into a particular course of study.
Nevada’s private schools take many forms, from Catholic parish schools to non-sectarian Montessori schools. All private schools are nonpublic schools that charge tuition. In 2015, Nevada launched a school choice program that enables families below a certain income level to apply for scholarships for private education. If you think a private school could be the best fit for your child, you can also reach out to the school about whether any privately funded scholarships are available.
Don’t overlook online learning. It offers a uniquely flexible learning environment that meets a variety of family needs. Whether your child wants to accelerate his or her learning or needs a quieter, stress-free environment in which to focus, you wish to try virtual school. Nevada offers several free, full-time online learning options, such as Nevada Connections Academy, Nevada Learning Academy, and Nevada Virtual Academy.
Homeschooling is another school option for Nevada families. This choice is especially suited to those looking for a hands-on, highly customizable learning experience. Homeschooling is the process of parents educating students at home and is permitted in all 50 states. Check here for resources about homeschooling specific to Nevada.
For additional information about school choices in Nevada, visit these resources:
National School Choice Week 2020 will take place January 26 – February 1, 2020. We encourage all families and schools to sign up for a free box of NSCW supplies for 2020 celebrations. Click here for more information.
Nevada celebrated National School Choice Week 2019 with a record-breaking 314 events and activities across the state.
"Shining a spotlight on effective educational options for every child"