Tag: featured

School Fairs During National School Choice Week 2024

Whether you are choosing your child’s first school, or whether you want to find a new or different school for your daughter or son, National School Choice Week is the time to start exploring public, charter, magnet, private, online, and home education environments!

National School Choice Week 2024 featured school fairs in cities across the country. Independently planned by local organizations, these events provided parents with the opportunity to meet with representatives from a variety of different schools—all in one place.

2024 School Fair Quick Facts

In Total:

34 School Fairs

Took Place in

26 States

Planned by

34 Nonprofits

Click on a photo to view the magic!

Journalists are welcome to use these images to complement their coverage of the Week. Photo credit should be attributed to the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.

Alaska

Anchorage School Choice Celebration

Mon, January 22, 2024

Anchorage

Alaska School Choice hosted an exciting school fair. Through educational booths and inspiring guest speakers, the fair aimed to empower families to navigate Alaska’s school landscape and advocate for the choices that work best for their child!

Arizona

Tucson School Fair

Fri, January 19, 2024

Tucson

Phoenix School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Phoenix

NavigateED and Families Empowered hosted a collaborative fair where families had the chance to meet with representatives from more than 20 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, and private schools. The Tucson fair was full of fun and educational activities including face painting, music, and more!

Hosted by Choose A School families had the chance to meet with representatives from more than 50 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, and private schools. The Phoenix school fair provided an array of family-fun activities catered to all ages, including music, face painting, and an exciting balloon drop!

Arkansas

Little Rock School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Little Rock

Hosted by The Reform Alliance, Little Rock families had the opportunity to meet representatives from more than 20 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, and private schools. The Little Rock school fair was bustling with family-friendly activities that made children of all ages smile from ear to ear.

California

Oakland Registration Day

Sat, January 27, 2024

Oakland

Anaheim Homeschool Information Afternoon

Thu, January 25, 2024

Anaheim

Orange County School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Anaheim

Los Angeles School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Los Angeles

Hosted by Oakland Enrolls, Oakland families had the opportunity to learn about your local charter school options and get your enrollment questions answered.

Los Angeles families had the opportunity to explore local independent schools, attend workshops, and enjoy family fun at the school fair hosted by the California Policy Center and La Union de Padres in Los Angeles. The fair featured family friendly activities including a student showcase and more!

Colorado

Denver School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Denver

Colorado Springs School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Colorado Springs

The Denver School Fair, hosted by Transform Education Now, was an exhilarating event that gave families in Colorado the chance to connect with over 30 schools! From informative conversations to interactive activities, the fair was an incredible opportunity for families to discover their perfect educational match.

The Colorado Springs School Fair was hosted by Parents Challenge, where more than 60 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, and private schools, had booths and tables for parents to explore!

Connecticut

New Haven School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

New Haven

The New Haven School Fair provided parents with an opportunity to learn more about K-12 education options. Hosted by Choose A School and New Haven Public Schools the fair had over 20 schools with booths and tables, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, and private schools!

Delaware

Wilmington School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Wilmington

The Wilmington School Fair was an exciting event hosted by DelawareCAN. Parents had the opportunity to explore more than 20 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, and private schools. The fair provided a great chance for parents to discover various options for their child’s K-12 education!

Florida

Tampa School Choice Safari

Sat, January 27, 2024

Tampa

The Tampa School Choice Safari, hosted by GuidED, featured over 30 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, and private schools, each with their own booths and tables. The fair was filled with family-friendly activities, live music, and more!

Georgia

Atlanta School Choice Expo

Sat, January 20, 2024

Atlanta

GeorgiaCAN hosted an Atlanta school fair, connecting families with representatives from over 60 schools. It was a fantastic chance for families to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions about their children’s education. The fair was jam packed with family-friendly activities, food, and more!

Hawaii

Honolulu School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Kaneohe

Hosted by HawaiiKidsCAN, families at the Honolulu school fair had the opportunity to meet representatives from over 20 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, and private schools. The fair was jam-packed with entertaining family fun including lively student performances.

Idaho

Idaho School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Meridian

The Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families hosted the Boise School Fair with over 20 schools available for families to explore and learn about their educational options. The Boise School Fair was bustling with various family fun festivities like face painting, music, and more!

Iowa

Des Moines School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Des Moines

The Des Moines School Fair was an exciting event hosted by Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education, where more than 20 schools, including private schools, homeschool groups, virtual schools, traditional public schools, and charter schools, had booths and tables.

Maryland

Prince George’s School Fair

Sun, January 28, 2024

Forestville

The Prince George’s County School Fair hosted by the Black Student Fund and Parents Alliance for Education Options, was an exciting event that highlighted a range of educational options and support organizations. Attendees had the chance to explore local traditional public schools, public charter schools, private schools, and homeschool options, and also participate in a panel discussion on school choice. The event also featured family-friendly entertainment like face painting, a DJ, and refreshments

Nevada

Las Vegas School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Las Vegas

Hosted by Nevada School Choice Coalition, families in Las Vegas got the chance to meet a representative from more than 80 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, and private schools at the Las Vegas school fair. The fair was full of family-friendly activities, student performances, face painting, and other entertainment that the whole family could enjoy!

New Hampshire

Manchester School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Manchester

The Manchester School Fair hosted by the Children’s Scholarship Fund was a thrilling event where over 20 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, and private schools, showcased their offerings through booths and tables!

New Mexico

Albuquerque School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Albuquerque

Hosted by Public Charter Schools of New Mexico, families at the Albuquerque school fair had the opportunity to meet representatives from over 20 schools, including public charter schools, traditional public schools, magnet schools, and private schools. The fair was jam packed with family fun activities like face painting, student performances, and more!

North Carolina

NC Charter School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Charlotte

The NC Charter School Fair was an exhilarating event that showcased over 20 public charter schools, offered free food and family activities, and was hosted by the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools.

Ohio

Northwest Ohio School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Toledo

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Oklahoma City

Tulsa School Fair

Thu, January 25, 2024

Tulsa

The Tulsa School Fair, hosted by Choice Matters, was an exhilarating event that showcased over 20 schools, ranging from traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, to private schools, all of which had exciting booths and tables that left attendees buzzing with excitement.

Oregon

Salem School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Salem

Education Freedom for Oregon hosted a dynamic fair, giving families the chance to meet with representatives from more than 20 schools. Students also had the opportunity to showcase their creativity and win prizes through a contest, expressing why they liked their school or how school choice positively impacted them academically.

Pennsylvania

Pittsburg School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh School Fair, hosted by PA Families for Education Choice, featured over 30 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, and private schools, with booths and tables for attendees to explore and discover the perfect fit for their families!

Rhode Island

Providence School Fair

Sun, January 21, 2024

Warwick

The Providence School Fair, hosted by Rhode Island Families for School Choice, was an electrifying event, where over 20 schools, ranging from traditional public schools to private schools, set up booths and tables, offering free food and family activities to the attendees.

Texas

Houston School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Houston

Austin School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Austin

San Antonio School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

San Antonio

The Houston School Fair was a thrilling event hosted by Families Empowered, where over 40 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, and private schools, had booths and tables, and attendees enjoyed free museum admission.

Families Empowered hosted a Texas-sized fair in Austin with representatives from over 40 schools—traditional public, charter, magnet, and private. Families explored, enjoyed, and discovered education options in a lively and entertaining atmosphere with free admission to the Bullock Museum.

The San Antonio School Fair, hosted by San Antonio Charter Moms, featured over 35 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, and private schools, with booths and tables, and the first 1,000 guests received FREE admission into the DoSeum as well as the opportunity to win a $100 gift card to Walmart by completing the school fair scavenger hunt.

Utah

Provo School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Lehi

The Provo School Fair was an exciting event hosted by Freedom Prep Academy, where over 20 schools, including public and private institutions, had booths and tables, providing free food and family activities for all attendees to enjoy.

Washington

Clallam County School Fair

Sat, January 20, 2024

Port Angeles

Hosted by Olympic Christian School, families had the chance to meet representatives from over 20 schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, and private schools. The Clallam school fair was jam-packed with tons of family-friendly activities, live music, and face painting! 

West Virginia

Morgantown School Fair

Sat, January 27, 2024

Morgantown

The Morgantown School Fair, hosted by the Cardinal Institute and Love Your School, was a thrilling event featuring over 30 schools, including public charters, private institutions, and traditional public schools. Attendees enjoyed browsing booths, as well as a student showcase featuring incredible musical and dance performances. The student art gallery and competition was also a hit, with attendees voting for their favorites and winners receiving prizes!

National School Choice Week (NSCW) informs, inspires, and empowers parents to discover the K-12 education options available for their children, including traditional public, charter, magnet, online, private, and homeschooling.

Every January, tens of thousands of schools, organizations, and individuals plan unique events and activities to shine a positive spotlight on effective education options in their communities.  The Week is a project of the nonpartisan, nonpolitical National School Choice Awareness Foundation.

Search for Schools Near Me

School Type
Traditional public schools do not charge tuition. They are managed by school districts and do not require students to pass tests to enroll.
Public charter schools do not charge tuition. They are usually managed by nonprofit organizations and do not require students to pass tests to enroll.
Public magnet schools do not charge tuition. They are managed by school districts and focus on themes, such as math, science, technology, and the arts.
Private schools charge tuition, but scholarships are often available via state programs or by individual schools. Private schools are privately managed and can be faith-based or secular.
Grade Levels
 
 

NSCW 2024 School Celebration Recap

During National School Choice Week 2024, the entire country is abuzz with excitement! Whether it’s school fairs, flagship events, or school celebrations, people from all over of all ages are coming together to celebrate the wonderful idea that every child should have the opportunity to learn, grow and excel. Thousands of students, representing traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, online learning, private schools, homeschools, and microschools, are thrilled to share what school choice means to them and why they love their schools.

Scroll through these uplifting photos, where the essence of School Choice Week captures the joy, possibilities, and freedom that educational choice brings to every child. 

Watch this heartwarming video of Mozart and Einsteins Preschool children showcasing their school celebration!

North Florida School of Special Education, Florida

Bright smiles and engaged little learners showcase love for their school.

Alexander Preschool, California 

These enthusiastic learners are beaming with joy for the love of their school.

Danville Christian Academy, Kentucky

These enthusiastic students celebrate school choice with illustrated placards.

The Academy for Young Achievers, Indiana

These eager faces are shining in support of their school.

Calvary Christian School, Ohio

Bright smiles and colorful signs mark School Choice Week.

Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins High School, Colorado

The energy of these engaged learners is contagious as they celebrate School Choice Week.

Saint John’s Day School, Mississippi

These engaged learners light up the room with their smiles, celebrating the power of school choice.

Dickens Sanomi Academy, Florida

Illustrated placards in hand, these kiddos shine a light on the love of learning.

Discover exciting events near you with our Ultimate Guide to NSCW 2024 and experience the magic of School Choice Week!

Are you covering National School Choice Week 2024? Check out our multimedia page, where you will find media resources and spokesperson contact information.

Capitol to Capitol: NSCW 2024 Capitol Celebration Recap

As School Choice Week unfolds across the nation, the spotlight is now on the vibrant Capitol celebrations that have taken center stage this Tuesday in various states. This weeklong celebration has been a dynamic exploration of the diverse and empowering educational opportunities available to students and families.

Throughout our country, state capitols have become centers of enthusiasm. State leaders, advocates, and educators come together to celebrate all forms of school choice, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online learning, homeschooling, and microschooling and mix-and-match learning. From engaging discussions to podium speeches emphasizing the importance of educational choice, the atmosphere is charged with excitement.

Join us as we delve into the heart of Capitol festivities that unfolded, revealing the shared commitment to educational opportunities.

Click on a photo to view the magic!

Journalists are welcome to use these images to complement their coverage of the Week. Photo credit should be attributed to the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.

Take a virtual journey with us through the recap of celebrations from capitol to capitol. Scroll through and click on any event that catches your eye to delve deeper into the details and even view photos from each event!

Denver, Colorado

In the heart of Denver, the state capitol turned into a vibrant celebration as hundreds gathered to cheer for school choice. With banners waving and excitement in the air, Colorado families showed that when it comes to education, the Mile-High City knows how to reach new heights!

Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah brought the party to the capitol, featuring nearly 40 charter schools and dazzling student performances. It was a spirited gathering full of energy, music, and a showcase of Utah’s fantastic educational options.

Des Moines, Iowa

In the heartland of Iowa, students from across the state gathered at the capitol to express why school choice matters.

Lansing, Michigan

In Lansing, Michigan, students, parents, and educators transformed the capitol into a lively celebration of educational choices. Students took a special tour, making it an experience beyond school choice – it was about exploring history with a joyful twist!

Topeka, Kansas

Topeka was an epicenter of excitement as the Kansas Capitol Celebration kicked off with speakers and student tours, raising awareness about K–12 education options.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania took center stage as Harrisburg’s capitol became a grand theater featuring student and parent speakers. The capitol echoed with inspiring stories, creating a symphony of voices advocating for the importance of school choice.

Didn’t get a chance to attend? Don’t worry! There are a variety of exciting family-friendly events happening across the country this week that you won’t want to miss!

Are you covering National School Choice Week 2024? Check out our multimedia page, where you will find media resources and spokesperson contact information.

A Glimpse into How Homeschoolers Celebrate National School Choice Week

National School Choice Week 2024 is on the horizon, and homeschoolers are gearing up to turn this annual celebration into an epic extravaganza of joy, creativity, and educational freedom. From sharing curriculum ideas to hosting community events, homeschoolers across the nation are coming together to make School Choice Week a vibrant and exciting time for all. Let’s dive deeper into how homeschoolers across the nation are transforming School Choice Week into a vibrant showcase of their unique educational journey.

A Reflective Celebration: United Homeschool Heroes

As the anticipation for School Choice Week builds, homeschoolers take a moment to do more than just skim the surface of their educational choices. It’s a time for deep reflection to appreciate the freedom homeschooling offers. The growth of homeschooling is not just seen in numbers but also in the vibrant communities that it promotes. Local homeschooling groups are not only organizing events but are multiplying in number and diversity. This growth signifies that more families are actively seeking the support of like-minded families, turning School Choice Week into a true spectacle of united homeschool heroes.

School Choice Week, for homeschoolers and homeschooling families, is important because sometimes we forget how powerful it is to build community. School Choice Week gives homeschoolers the chance to see their conscious choice in action.

Jae Carter, Homeschool Yo Kids

Community Engagement: Homeschoolers in the Limelight

During School Choice Week, local homeschooling groups come together to organize community events that go beyond the ordinary. Armed with passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge, homeschooling families seize the opportunity to educate others about the wonders of homeschooling. These events help build a supportive network of parents who connect not only as educators but as a community. To get a better sense of how homeschoolers celebrate, take a look at some examples:

Homeschooling Expo

Jae Carter, the organizer of the Homeschooling Expo, believes that creating a fun-filled event where families can come together is essential. At the Expo, parents can learn how to tailor their teaching. The Homeschooling Expo will offer an exciting and interactive experience where parents can explore various curriculum options and discover innovative teaching methods that are tailored to their children’s unique learning styles. The workshops and seminars provide valuable insights into the latest homeschooling trends and help parents make informed decisions about their children’s education. In addition to the academic aspect, the Homeschooling Expo also focuses on the social and emotional aspects of homeschooling. Parents can connect with other homeschooling families, build supportive networks, and find a sense of belonging. 

Homeschool Information Afternoon in Anaheim

Broadway Productions is hosting a homeschool information event where parents will get the chance to connect with the local homeschooling community and gain valuable insights into the homeschooling process. It will feature experienced homeschooling speakers who will share their insights on the homeschooling process, including tips and tricks to ensure success. Attendees will also have the opportunity to connect with local homeschooling families and learn about local resources available to support their homeschooling journey.

Flourish 2024: Homeschool Conference

The Georgia Black Home Educators Network is hosting a Black Family Homeschool Conference event where parents can learn more about educating their children at home. The conference will provide valuable information to parents on how they can support their children’s education and become better advocates for their kids. It will also provide opportunities for families to connect with other homeschooling families, share resources, and learn from each other. The conference will include a variety of workshops, panel discussions, and other activities that will help empower homeschooling families and inspire them to make a positive impact on society.

The goal is to empower other parents. It’s like a team effort, with homeschoolers joining forces to showcase that there are numerous ways to help kids learn and thrive.

Jae Carter, Homeschool Yo Kids

Gratitude Unleashed

More than just a celebration, School Choice Week is a way to showcase gratitude in educational choice. It’s an explosion of gratitude that adds a touch of warmth to the entire celebration, acknowledging the collaborative effort that makes homeschooling and school choice an enriching experience.

By reflecting on their choices, showcasing achievements, engaging with the community, participating in creative learning activities, advocating for educational freedom, and expressing gratitude, homeschoolers paint a vivid tapestry of the vibrant and diverse landscape of educational options available to families nationwide. So, grab your party hats because the homeschooling extravaganza during School Choice Week is where the spotlight shines on freedom, flexibility, and an abundance of fun in education! 

Tips for an Unforgettable School Choice Week

1. Engage the Community: Collaborate with local homeschooling groups and organizations to maximize the impact of your celebration. Shared experiences and pooled resources can lead to more extensive and diverse connections during School Choice Week.

2. Spread the Word: Be an advocate for homeschooling not just within the community but beyond. Use School Choice Week as a platform to share your positive experiences on social media, local news outlets, or through community newsletters. Education through storytelling can be a powerful tool.

3. Document the Fun: Capture the moments of joy, learning, and creativity during School Choice Week. Create a scrapbook, blog, or video montage to commemorate the experiences and share them with the homeschooling community, inspiring others to celebrate their unique journeys.

4. Reflect and Plan for the Future: Use School Choice Week as a reflective period not only on the past year but also on your future homeschooling goals. Set new objectives, explore innovative teaching methods, and continue refining your approach to create an even more enriching learning environment for your children.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling for more information on all that homeschooling has to offer.

Making the Moment Matter: National School Choice Week 2024 Key Information

Looking for event information? Head to our guide to NSCW 2024.

Events & Activities:

  • More than 27,000 schools are planning community events across the country to celebrate their staff, students, and families and welcome interested parents. This includes:

  • 9,541 Traditional or Magnet Public Schools
  • 5,097 Public Charter Schools
  • 7,871 Private Schools
  • 2,366 Pre-Schools or Learning Centers
  • 1,342 Online, Home, or Microschooling options

  • We’re anticipating more than 1 million families exploring their school choice options using NSCW resources online.
  • Activities include school fairs, movie nights, capitol rallies, field trips, parades, talent shows, and more. Across the country, dozens of iconic state landmarks will light up in School Choice Week’s official colors, red and yellow. 
  • More than 60 large-scale events with statewide impact are being planned for National School Choice Week 2024.

Dates:

  • National School Choice Week 2024 begins on Sunday, January 21, and ends on Saturday, January 27.
  • This will be the fourteenth annual celebration of National School Choice Week. The first celebration of National School Choice Week was in January 2011.

Goals:

  • The goal of National School Choice Week is to raise awareness about the K-12 education options available to families in communities across the country. During the Week, participants also shine a spotlight on the benefits of opportunity in education and providing parents with access to a variety of education environments for their children.
  • National School Choice Week does not prefer one type of education environment over another. Instead, we invite schools of all types – along with homeschooling groups and families – to use the Week to spotlight their achievements and accomplishments. National School Choice Week is nonpartisan, nonpolitical, and committed to including all school choice perspectives (traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, homeschooling, and microschooling) in the celebration.
  • The Week is held every January to empower parents to choose schools for their children during the best time of year to start the process of selecting a school. We also offer resources for parents that explain all the education options available in each type of school state-by-state. These can be found at schoolchoiceweek.com/mystate.
  • In 2023, the nation witnessed significant changes in education. National School Choice Week is dedicated to providing clarity for families in this evolving educational landscape. The event seeks to offer thorough responses to parents’ questions, helping them navigate and discover the most suitable school options for their children.
  • National School Choice Week is committed to assisting the entire U.S. population, and to that end, the Week features a project specifically designed for Hispanic families called “Conoce tus Opciones Escolares“. Getting information about the K-12 system has consistently been challenging for Spanish-speaking parents. This project was established in 2022 in direct response to the needs of bilingual families making educational decisions.

About School Choice:

  • School choice means giving parents access to the best K-12 education options for their children. These options include traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online learning, homeschooling, and microschools or mix-and-match learning. National School Choice Week is an annual effort that helps parents raise awareness of these options.
  • The Week is the best time for families to consider their education options for the next school year. Not only do great local schools in every community use the opportunity to connect with the community, but National School Choice Week provides parent-oriented resources that explain every type of school available in their state and provide the next steps to pursue any of them. 
  • The National School Choice Awareness Foundation‘s January 2–4, 2024, survey shows a growing acceptance of school choice in the post-pandemic era. Key findings include a 35% increase (72% in 2023 compared to 52% in 2022) in parents considering new schools for their children. Additionally, 64% of parents express a desire for more information about education options, and only 29% believe the same school type suits all their children.
  • School choice is important because every child deserves an effective, challenging, and motivating education that inspires them to be successful and achieve their dreams. However, children learn in different ways and have different talents, skills, and challenges. What might be a good school for one student might not be a good fit for another child. School choice allows parents to identify the best learning environments for their individual children. Across the country:
  • In 2023 states fully embraced school choice, expanding options across traditional public, charter, magnet, private, online, and home education options. The push for school choice gained momentum due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and parents want to keep making active choices about their children’s education.
  • The school choice movement has been gaining momentum for over 30 years, and today, nontraditional environments like homeschooling have become one of the fastest-growing forms of education. This trend underscores parents’ strong desire to find schools that best meet the needs of their children.
  • 46 states allow the creation of public charter schools. There are currently more than 7,600 charter schools in the U.S. serving about 3.5 million children. 
  • All 50 states allow for the creation of magnet schools, which are theme-based public schools focusing on subjects such as math, science, technology, or arts. More than 4,000 magnet schools serve children across the country.
  • All 50 states have private school options for families. In 32 states, parents can access state-sponsored private school scholarships or tax deduction programs. Combined, these programs benefit well over 1 million children.
  • 36 states offer full-time, free online learning options for grades K-12. 
  • All 50 states provide parents with the freedom to homeschool their children.

Solving the School Rating Puzzle: A Parent’s Guide to Evaluating School Information Online

Choosing the right school for your child is an important decision, and the internet is a goldmine of information. However, sometimes, what can seem like a tool in your school decision process can also hinder your search. To guide you in making savvy choices about your child’s education, it’s essential to know how to navigate through the sea of school information online.

We’ll be your guide in evaluating school information that you find online. We’ll also help you break down and better understand school ratings and reviews and equip you to spot any warning signs that a school might not be the best fit for your child.

By following the steps in this guide, you’ll be ready to make the right decision about your child’s education. We understand it can feel like an overwhelming task, but with the right information, you will be ready to pick the perfect school for your child’s school journey, whether you choose a traditional public school, public charter school, public magnet school, private school, online learning, homeschooling, or microschooling and mix-and-match learning.

Explore Accreditation, Ratings, and Reviews 

What is Accreditation?

One essential step to evaluating and deciphering school information is checking accreditation. This is a crucial step to consider when picking a school that is right for your child. Because a lot of schools go through a rigorous accreditation process, you can use it as a marker of commitment to meeting certain education standards. Accredited schools are periodically re-evaluated to ensure that they continue to meet the established standards.

By choosing an accredited school, you can:

  • Verify teaching methods and faculty qualifications
  • View offered student services
  • Be confident that your child is receiving a quality education that upholds recognized educational benchmarks. 

To verify a school’s accreditation status, you can visit the website of the accrediting agency or contact the school directly. It is important to note that accreditation is not the only factor to consider when selecting a school, but it is a significant indicator of a school’s commitment to providing a quality education to its students. Fewer than half of states require public schools to maintain accreditation.

Non-Public School Evaluation Resources

It’s important to note that accreditation and ratings work differently for private school and homeschooling options vs. public-sector schools. So, don’t be alarmed if there seems to be a lack of information in these categories. We often receive inquiries from families who are looking for accredited private or homeschooling options for their children. It’s important to note that accreditation is typically handled by private agencies, so there is no one-size-fits-all standard that parents should be aware of. Rather, accreditation should be viewed as a means to an end. For most families, their primary concern is ensuring that their child can demonstrate completion of high school and receive a high-quality education that will prepare them for college or employment opportunities.

Colleges and employers are used to evaluating students who have graduated from private or homeschooling options, and almost always are prepared to accept a non-public diploma provided it conforms to the private or homeschooling guidance in their state.

Finding evaluation information for non-public schools can be a bit challenging, as they are not as standardized as public schools. However, there are several resources and strategies you can utilize to gather valuable insights. For non-public school options it’s best to contact and consult educational associations that focus on non-public schools like the Council of American Private Education (CAPE) or the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Both associations provide other rating and evaluation resources that you can use to gain valuable insight. 

Ratings and Reviews

In the digital age, parents have an abundance of information right at their fingertips to help in the important decision of choosing the right school for their child. Websites like Niche, Great Schools, and state school rankings are valuable websites and tools that provide useful insight into the educational landscape, but while these websites may be great first steps, they should only serve as helpful tools/resources for evaluating school information. 

Read Between the Lines

When it comes to interpreting school ratings and reviews, it’s crucial to take a thorough approach. Although it may make sense to choose a school based on overall test scores, it’s important to note that such ratings aren’t always accurate markers of a school’s success. Instead of solely relying on scores, it’s important to delve deeper and read the reviews carefully, keeping in mind the context of the review and the source of the information.

Before making any decisions, consider 

  • Who wrote the review? If a review is written by a parent who has only had one child attend the school, their perspective may be limited. Similarly, if a review is written by a student who only attended the school for a short period of time, their perspective may not be as comprehensive as that of a student who attended the school for several years.
  • Specificity of the feedback. Reviews that provide detailed and specific feedback are more valuable than those that make vague statements without any supporting evidence. Specific feedback can highlight areas where the school is excelling, as well as areas where it may need improvement.
  • The tone of the reviews. Reviews that are overly negative or positive may not provide a well-rounded and accurate picture of the school. Instead, look for reviews that provide a balanced and thoughtful evaluation of the school.

Warning Signs to Look Out For

While positive reviews should always be noted, potential warning signs should also be monitored. One way to do this is to pay attention to recurring complaints or common issues that multiple reviewers bring up. 

For instance, if you notice that reviewers are consistently dissatisfied with the school’s management style or if you see a trend of teacher turnover, then these could be warning signs that something is amiss. Similarly, if you see that reviewers are frequently complaining about a lack of communication from the school or its staff, then this could also be a cause for concern. 

Ultimately, it’s important to trust your instincts and investigate further if you feel that something is not quite right. By doing so, you can help ensure that you make the most informed decisions possible when it comes to your child’s education.

Don’t Underestimate Social Media and Website Presence

To make an informed decision, you need to explore the school’s official website, study its social media presence, study other sources, and take advantage of any virtual tours offered. These resources provide valuable information about the school’s facilities, staff, faculty, curriculum, extracurricular activities, and overall environment.

  • When you visit the school’s website, you can find detailed information about its academic programs, admission requirements, school policies, and other essential aspects. You can also read about the school’s mission, vision, and values to gain insight into its culture and approach to education.
  • Use other sources to look up additional information. Look at any recent news involving the school to get a better sense of what their values are. Look at headlines, and search for anything interesting or concerning that might aid in your search
  • Check their social media accounts. Social media accounts can also be a valuable source of information about the school’s activities, events, and achievements. You can check the school’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages to see how it engages with its students and the community. You can also read comments, reviews, and feedback from current and former students, parents, and teachers.
  • Take a virtual tour of the school. Virtual tours are an excellent way to experience the school’s facilities and environment without physically being there. You can explore the campus, classrooms, labs, libraries, sports facilities, and other areas to see if they meet your expectations and needs. 

For more information on school tours, check out our video for helpful questions to ask during school tours.

Additional Tips

When navigating school information online, it may be easy to get lost on your journey. 

Asking questions during your search is a great way to make sure that you are staying on track and not overwhelming yourself. 

Some helpful questions to ask during your search may include questions like:

  • What is the school’s mission?
  • What is the school’s environment like?
  • What is the student-to-teacher ratio? 
  • Do I have to apply to the school? If so, what is the process?
  • What types of learning styles are provided?

Ensure that you are up-to-date on all policies and procedures of each school you find. It’s also good to ensure that each school you research has updated policies and procedures available for you to view. 

Find out if teachers provide one-on-one learning opportunities or tutoring for students. 

Choosing a school is a journey, not a destination. By doing your homework on insights from trustworthy websites, thorough personal research, and consideration of individual needs, you can piece together the puzzle and confidently make a well-educated decision about your child’s education. Remember, each child is unique, and the right school will be key to their individual growth and success.

Gifted and Talented Education Resources

As a parent, it’s natural to want your child to excel academically and reach their full potential. However, if your child is one of the 3.3 million students considered to be gifted, you may feel unsure about how to provide them with adequate stimulation and challenges. Rest assured, you’re not alone in this. Fortunately, numerous online resources are available to help you support your child. We’ve compiled a list of valuable resources that offer guidance, educational materials, and insights to help foster your child’s exceptional abilities.

How Do You Know If Your Child is Gifted?

Determining if you have a gifted child can be a difficult task. There is a lot of information to consider, such as definitions, traits, evaluations, and theories. It can be overwhelming to sift through all this information. Some children possess exceptional abilities that exceed the usual level for their age, which is referred to as giftedness. It can manifest in various areas, including intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or academic fields, such as language arts, mathematics, or science.

It’s important to remember that gifted children can come in all sorts of personalities and backgrounds, and they sometimes act differently. Parents need to be aware of this and work to identify aptitudes in these children so that they can provide the necessary support to help them reach their full potential.

If you want to understand the full range of your child’s abilities, you may consider having them tested or fully assessed. It is essential to note that there are no mandatory federal or national policies for gifted education, so it is crucial for parents to research gifted identification policies and procedures in their area before seeking any testing or assessment.

Testing and Assessments

Many parents seek evaluations of their children to determine their educational placement and access to talent development programs. If this is your goal, it is recommended to speak with a testing professional about administering an individualized test, such as an achievement or intelligence test, without a complete assessment or full report. However, this path may only provide your child’s scores with little additional information.

If you want to better understand your child’s abilities, strengths, challenges, and needs, experts recommend a full assessment. This will help you understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses and how they might impact their education and social life.

When deciding whether to pursue gifted testing or a full professional assessment, consider your goals and the questions you want to answer. You’ll find it helpful to write down the questions that led you to seek information about having your child assessed. Some ideas on what questions to ask could be:

  • What information are you hoping to uncover regarding your child’s abilities? 
  • Are you planning to use the results to qualify for a certain program? If that’s the case, which tests are accepted? 
  • Will you share the results with your child’s school? 
  • Which tests do they consider most helpful in determining a student’s learning profile? 
  • Are there any concerns you have about your child’s academic performance or behavior?

Tips for Families with Gifted Children

As a parent, raising a gifted child can be a challenging task. While it is a great joy to see their natural talents and abilities, it can also be overwhelming at times. Dealing with their struggles and helping them reach their highest potential can feel like an uphill battle. It is common for parents to feel a mix of emotions, including frustration and guilt. However, it is crucial to take that important step toward overcoming those emotions. Seeking help from experts can provide parents with the necessary support to navigate the challenges of raising a gifted child. With the right resources, parents can help their children thrive and succeed in their unique abilities.

It’s important to seek educators who use effective teaching methods that cater to your child’s unique abilities. One such approach is project-based learning, which encourages hands-on and collaborative activities that allow creative problem solving. Additionally, independent reading is a valuable tool that allows children to explore topics of interest at their own pace, further enhancing their intellectual growth. Lastly, open-ended assignments provide the opportunity to showcase critical thinking skills by allowing students to approach the task in a way that best suits their strengths and interests. By seeking out these types of teaching methods, you can ensure that your children’s education is truly tailored to their needs.

For parents of gifted children, it is important to recognize that their growth and development extend beyond the classroom. While they may excel academically, it is equally important for them to have opportunities to explore new friend groups and activities outside of school where they can find a mentor. A mentor can provide invaluable support for your child’s individual needs, talents, and interests. As much as parents may want to be everything for their children, it is not always possible. By establishing a relationship with a mentor or finding a supportive friend group, your child can receive the additional guidance and encouragement they need to thrive.

As a parent of a gifted child, you possess unique skills and strengths. However, there might be instances in which you require additional assistance in nurturing your child’s talents and needs. It is highly recommended that you explore various resources that focus on giftedness and parenting gifted children. This way, you can ensure that both you and your child are able to fully realize your potential. To assist you in this regard, we have created a comprehensive list of websites and resources to which you can refer. Be assured that you are not alone in this journey, and that there are numerous resources available to help you and your child thrive.

National Resources

The Open Education Database is a valuable resource that provides a comprehensive range of tools, information, and support to help parents of gifted children navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with raising a gifted child. From reading materials and advice on fostering creativity and critical thinking skills to practical tips on managing the social and emotional needs of gifted children, the Open Education Database is a “one-stop shop” for parents looking for resources to help their gifted child thrive.

The National Association for Gifted Children conducts research and training, advocates for education reform, communicates with stakeholders, and collaborates with other organizations to enhance the quality of education for all students.

CECTAG – Council for Exceptional Children: The Association for the Gifted is a group within the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) that helps kids with unique talents and abilities. TAG provides professional learning opportunities and resources to ensure that gifted and talented learners receive support and guidance to reach their full potential.

The Summer Institute for the Gifted has been a leader in providing summer academic enrichment opportunities and programs for students in grades K–12 who are gifted, academically talented, creative, or high-potential for over three decades. Being at the forefront of offering gifted children resources, SIG’s commitment to excellence is unwavering, and it continues to provide unparalleled support and resources to help students achieve their full potential.

The Davidson Institute provides programs, resources, scholarships, and opportunities for talented young learners, regardless of age, socioeconomic status, or location.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth brings together the brightest minds of the next generation and offers them unique, intellectually challenging, and socially rewarding experiences. We proudly welcome students from all communities, regardless of race, culture, gender identity and expression, twice-exceptionality, or income level.

The Acceleration Institute at the Belin-Blank Center focuses on researching the effectiveness of academic acceleration for gifted students. It aims to identify the cognitive and emotional traits that impact their success with various forms of acceleration. The institute also synthesizes existing research on acceleration and makes it accessible to educators, policymakers, and researchers. Additionally, it serves as a global hub for acceleration-related research and policy.

Organizations

The Gifted Child Society (TGCS) is an educational 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization that provides tailored enrichment to gifted children in pre-kindergarten through high school. Students four years and older must meet TGCS admissions requirements to participate in TGCS programs.

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted is a nonprofit organization that empowers families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually—additional articles in Spanish. 

Blogs

Exquisite Minds Gifted and Creative Children—Exquisite Minds believes in the importance of cultivating creativity in bright and gifted children. Exquisite Minds offers support to parents and educators who want to challenge children to find new and constructive ways to look at the world.

Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page provides information on gifted children and adults, with over 1,150 pages, including 650 pages from Hoagies’ Page collection and 500 pages from ERIC Clearinghouse for Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERICEC). 

Exceed Expectation Learning is a commendable not-for-profit organization and blog that is passionately dedicated to providing support and guidance to families of gifted and twice-exceptional children. 

Our Gifted Kids is a blog that welcomes parents and gifted children from all over the world. It’s a safe and inclusive community offering gifted children resources and support. They advocate for better educational resources, support, and understanding of gifted children.

State-Specific Resources

Alabama

The Alabama Association for Gifted Children (AAGC) is a not-for-profit organization composed of parents, educators, and community stakeholders. They work together to advocate for educational programs that meet the unique academic and effective needs of gifted children and youth in Alabama.

Alaska

To discover resources for your child’s giftedness and education, visit the Alaska Department of Education. Additionally, check with your local school or district and explore social media for more information. National resources may also be beneficial in your search.

Arizona

The Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented (AAGT) is a non-profit organization that unites educators, parents, and community members to enrich the education of gifted and talented students in Arizona. They offer a variety of resources for parents and educators.

The Arizona Department of Education has a helpful blog for parents of gifted children. It provides emotional support, community events, and meetups for gifted students. You can receive advice and connect with other families who share similar experiences to support your child’s growth and development.

Arkansas

The Arkansas Association for Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE) organization is committed to educating its members and the broader community in Arkansas about the distinct needs and traits of gifted and talented children and youth. AGATE has compiled a comprehensive list of linked resources and a spreadsheet for online learning resources specifically for gifted learners.

California

The California Association for the Gifted (CAG) offers resources to help identify gifted students from diverse backgrounds, including those who have been historically underrepresented or underserved. They also provide appropriate curriculum practices and responsive services to promote equity and access for these students.

The Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) offers personalized programs that are child-centered and have been helping gifted children grow. On their site, you will find numerous helpful services and resources for both parents and students.

Colorado

The Colorado Association for the Gifted and Talented (CAGT) helps families and educators understand how to support gifted learners. They offer helpful resources and articles in both English and Spanish to address the unique academic and emotional needs of gifted students.

The University of Northern Colorado provides a summer enrichment program that specifically focuses on the intellectual and emotional requirements of gifted, talented, and creative students. Additionally, they have a monthly Saturday program called Creativity Quest, designed for gifted and creative learners in grades 1–6.

Connecticut

The Connecticut Association for the Gifted (CAG) is dedicated to supporting the growth and development of gifted, high-potential, talented, and twice-exceptional students in Connecticut. CAG offers advocacy, enrichment, and resources to both educators and families. They provide helpful resource lists and connections to gifted enrichment programs within the state. Those interested in summer enrichment programs can also find options through CAG.

Delaware

To discover resources for your child’s giftedness and education, visit the Delaware Department of Education. Additionally, check with your local school or district and explore social media for more information. National resources may also be beneficial in your search.

Florida

The Florida Association for the Gifted (FLAG) aims to share information, conduct research, and support gifted education. They offer valuable resources for families with gifted children, providing them with the necessary tools and information to help their children thrive and reach their full potential.

The Florida Gifted Network (FGN) is an organization committed to empowering gifted students in the state of Florida. FGN offers a wide range of events, resources, and links to help parents, educators, and students alike explore the full potential of gifted learners.

Georgia

The Georgia Association for Gifted Children (CAGC) provides families in Georgia with gifted children access to numerous resources on their website, including links to various organizations, college programs, enrichment opportunities, competitions, and more.

Hawaii

The Hawaii Gifted Association offers support and resources for gifted learners, parents, and educators in the area. On their site, you can find information on gifted education programs, homeschooling resources, and strategies for nurturing giftedness.

Idaho

Idaho: The Association for the Gifted provides information, resources, connections, and advocacy pertaining to the education of high-achieving and gifted students throughout Idaho. On their site, you can find numerous community resources available to parents and educators of gifted students.

Illinois

The Illinois Association for Gifted Children offers valuable resources and events to support educators and parents of gifted children. Their website provides information on upcoming events and academic acceleration programs exclusively for residents of Illinois.

Indiana

The Indiana Association for the Gifted (IAG) aims to educate and support meeting the academic and emotional needs of Indiana’s gifted youths. On their site, you can find helpful family and educator resources and scholarship opportunities for gifted families.

Iowa

The Iowa Talented and Gifted Association (ITAG) is dedicated to equipping parents, educators, and administrators with the tools and resources they need to comprehend and address the exceptional requirements of their gifted children. Its website offers a range of resources and opportunities for Iowa residents, including resources for parents, educators, and advocacy.

Kansas

The Kansas Association for the Gifted, Talented, and Creative is a great resource for educators, students, and parents in Kansas. Their website offers tailored links and resources to support the academic growth, teaching skills, and personal development of gifted students.

Kentucky

The Kentucky Association of Gifted Education is a nonprofit organization made up of parents, educators, and administrators. Their mission is to promote suitable educational opportunities for gifted and talented students in Kentucky. The website offers resources for both educators and parents. Here, you can find enrichment opportunities and summer programs across the state.

Louisiana

The Association for Gifted and Talented Students in Louisiana (AGTSLA) is an organization that offers resources to parents and educators in Louisiana who are interested in identifying gifted or talented characteristics in children and meeting their unique needs. Their resources are designed to help educators facilitate learning for gifted students in the classroom and to provide parents with helpful information for raising and supporting their gifted and high-achieving children.

Maine

Maine Educators of Gifted and Talented (MEGAT) supports gifted students and their families in Maine by providing helpful resources and enrichment opportunities and advocating for their interests. They aim to create an inclusive and empowering community for gifted learners.

Maryland

The Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS) provide support and growth opportunities for educators of gifted students. Additionally, they provide GATE (Gifted and Talented) resources to parents of gifted children. On their site, you will find helpful resources and their yearly newsletter. 

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education (MAGE) provides a wealth of resources for educators and parents of gifted students in Massachusetts. You can access articles, a blog, and a link library that offers an abundance of resources specifically for Massachusetts.

Michigan

The Michigan Association for Gifted Children (MAGC) offers valuable resources and expertise to assist parents and educators in enhancing the lives of advanced and accelerated children in Michigan. It acts as a hub for information, education, support, and advocacy for this diverse group of learners and their caregivers.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Council for the Gifted & Talented (MCGT) believes in building community and empowering families of gifted & talented children from all backgrounds through resources, advocacy, and support. They offer multiple resources for parents, educators, and the gifted student community.

The Minnesota Educators of the Gifted and Talented (MNEGT) provide support to both current and prospective educators of gifted students in the state of Minnesota. On their site, you can find helpful resources and news on educating gifted students. 

Mississippi

The Mississippi Association for Gifted Children (MAGC) provides advocacy, community, and information to support gifted children, families, and educators. Their website also offers resources for parents, educators, and assessment/testing referrals.

Missouri

The Gifted Association of Missouri (GAM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting gifted children, families, and educators. They advocate for the unique needs of gifted individuals and offer a community of support with resources for parents, educators, and students throughout Missouri.

Montana

For educators, students, and parents in Montana, the Montana Association of Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE) is an excellent resource. Their website provides custom links and resources to aid in the academic growth, teaching skills, and personal development of gifted students.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Association for the Gifted (NEGifted) offers a wealth of information, resources, and connections for parents and educators of high-achieving and gifted students in Nebraska. Their website is a great source for finding community resources related to gifted education.

Nevada

To discover resources for your child’s giftedness and education, visit the Nevada Department of Education. Additionally, check with your local school or district and explore social media for more information. National resources may also be beneficial in your search.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Association for Gifted Education (NHAGE) provides families in New Hampshire with gifted children access to a range of resources on its website, such as links to different organizations, college programs, enrichment opportunities, and more.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Association for Gifted Children (NJAGC) provides valuable resources and expertise to aid parents and educators in improving the lives of advanced and accelerated children in New Jersey. They serve as a central source of information, education, support, and advocacy for this diverse group of learners.

New Mexico

The New Mexico Association for the Gifted (NMAG) is a nonprofit organization that unites educators, parents, and community members to enrich the education of gifted and talented students in New Mexico. They offer a variety of resources for parents and educators.

New York

Advocacy for Gifted and Talented Education in New York (AGATE) offers valuable resources and information for parents, teachers, administrators, and other professionals dedicated to meeting the needs of gifted and talented children. AGATE publishes a newsletter distributed nationwide, as well as additional resources.

Central New York Gifted Youth helps parents, guardians, and educators support gifted youth in the area by sharing local educational events and relevant articles.

North Carolina

The North Carolina Association for the Gifted and Talented (NCAGT) is a valuable source of information for educators and parents of gifted students in North Carolina. Its website provides access to articles, a blog, and a link library containing numerous resources specifically tailored to North Carolina.

North Dakota

The North Dakota Association for Gifted Children (NDAGC) is a non-profit group established by teachers, parents, academic institutions, and individuals who are dedicated to promoting the education, advocacy, community building, and research of gifted and talented children in North Dakota.

Ohio

The Ohio Association for Gifted Children (OAGC) promotes and supports gifted students’ development by sharing helpful information, advocacy, affiliate organization encouragement, and support for research and education.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Association for Gifted, Creative, and Talented (OAGCT) is a non-profit organization formed by passionate volunteers who aim to unite professionals and individuals interested in nurturing gifted, creative, and talented young people. Their website provides valuable resources, including books and journals.

Oregon

The Oregon Association for Talented and Gifted (OATG) advocates for gifted children’s needs, serving as a resource for families, educators, and communities, providing guidance for excellent gifted education.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE) is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide assistance to gifted children, families, and educators. Their primary goal is to advocate for the distinct requirements of gifted individuals and to offer a supportive community with resources for parents, educators, and students all over Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island

​​To discover resources for your child’s giftedness and education, visit the Rhode Island Department of Education. Additionally, check with your local school or district and explore social media for more information. National resources may also be beneficial in your search.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Consortium for Gifted Education provides professional development opportunities to educators of gifted children by sharing helpful tips, resources, and information across the state of South Carolina. On the site, you will find resources for parents, educators, and administrators. 

South Dakota

​​To discover resources for your child’s giftedness and education, visit the South Dakota Department of Education. Additionally, check with your local school or district and explore social media for more information. National resources may also be beneficial in your search.

Tennessee

The Tennessee Association for the Gifted (TAG) provides valuable information, resources, and connections for parents and educators of gifted students in Tennessee. Their website is an excellent source for finding community resources related to gifted education.

Texas

The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) is committed to providing parents, educators, and administrators with the necessary tools and resources to understand and meet the unique needs of their gifted children. Its website offers various resources and opportunities for Texas residents, such as resources for parents and educators.

Utah

The Utah Association for Gifted Children (UAGC) aims to provide educational and emotional support for gifted youth in Utah. Their website offers resources for families and educators and scholarships for gifted students.

Vermont

To discover resources for your child’s giftedness and education, visit the Vermont Agency of Education. Additionally, check with your local school or district and explore social media for more information. National resources may also be beneficial in your search.

Virginia

The Virginia Association for the Gifted (VA Gifted) is dedicated to sharing information, conducting research, and supporting gifted education. They provide valuable resources for families with gifted children, equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to help their children thrive and reach their full potential.

Washington

The Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted (WAETG) helps educators and communities support the educational and social-emotional development of talented and gifted students by sharing academic and professional development resources.

The Northwest Gifted Child Association (NWGCA) provides support and advocacy to parents of gifted children. Their main objectives are to keep parents informed about upcoming events, involve them in speaking up for gifted education with policymakers, and connect them with other parents and leaders in gifted education.

West Virginia

The West Virginia Association for Gifted and Talented (WVAGT) is a non-profit group of parents and educators in West Virginia who understand the importance of nurturing the growth and development of gifted and talented individuals. Its website offers valuable resources and links to state and national organizations.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted (WATG) offers parents and educators of gifted students in Wisconsin valuable information, resources, and connections. Their website is an excellent source for finding community resources related to gifted education.

Wyoming

The Wyoming City Schools site provides information and resources, such as assessment referrals, academic acceleration information, identification information, and more, to help families and educators of gifted youth in the state of Wyoming. 

Ohio expands public education funding, private school scholarships

Budgets don’t just matter for economists. Ohio’s freshly signed state budget (HB 33) will have a real, tangible impact on the lives of school-aged children and their families. If your child attends a public school, community school (known in other states as public charter schools), or private school, there are changes in store for you. The 6,000+ page bill includes a historic investment in K-12 education, expanding families’ choices across school types. Here are the highlights when it comes to your learning choices:

Private school scholarships now open to all 

The EdChoice Scholarship

Probably the biggest change for families is the budget’s expansion of private school scholarships. So if you think of private school as unaffordable, think again. 

Ohio’s Educational Choice (“EdChoice”) Scholarship program has been around since 2005 and currently serves about 65,000 students. The popular program provides vouchers to children across the state who wish to learn in a private school environment. Until now, the program has been open to students who attend specific low-performing schools or whose families are within 250% of the federal poverty level. But with the governor’s signature on Ohio’s new budget, any student in the state is eligible to apply! 

The scholarship will still prioritize low and middle-income families. Students from families up to 450% of the federal poverty level (about $135,000 for a family of four) can now apply and receive the full scholarship amount. That’s $6,165 for K-8 students and $8,407 for 9-12 students.

If your household income is above 450% of the federal poverty level, you can apply as well; you’ll just receive a partial scholarship adjusted based on income. You can view a chart of the sliding scale of scholarship amounts at the Ohio Department of Education to see what your family is eligible to receive. 

A few practical details: 

  • Where and how to apply: You can find details about how to apply for the EdChoice scholarship program at the Ohio Department of Education website. Generally, you must apply to a participating private school first. Then, once your child is accepted, the school can submit a scholarship application on your behalf. Questions about the program may be directed to edchoice@education.ohio.gov.
  • How to find which private schools participate in the EdChoice Program: You can find a list of participating private schools at the Ohio Department of Education website. More than 500 schools currently participate. 
  • When to apply by: The application window for the EdChoice Scholarship is currently open year-round. However, it is important to note that after October 15, the scholarship will be prorated.

While many school choice programs around the nation are tailored specifically to low-income children, children with special needs, or children in low-performing schools, a growing trend we’ve seen the past two years is that of universal eligibility — school scholarship programs opening up to all children. In addition to Ohio, other states that have passed programs with universal (or near universal) eligibility include Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia. 

The Autism Scholarship

Besides the EdChoice Scholarship, Ohio’s Autism Scholarship is expanding to allow more families to participate too. This long-running program gives Ohio students on the autism spectrum the opportunity to receive vouchers of up to $27,000 for education services, including private school tuition. 

In light of the new budget, the Autism Scholarship is being updated to be available to any child diagnosed with autism, regardless of whether they have an autism-related Individualized Education Plan (IEP). So, if your student has an autism diagnosis or their school district has identified them with autism, they are now eligible for this scholarship.

The Jon Peterson Scholarship

The budget also expands the amount available to students using Ohio’s Jon Peterson Scholarship. This scholarship is available to students with special needs who have an IEP from their public school district. The scholarship helps these students and their families pay for private therapies, private school tuition, and other services according to their IEP. 

Thanks to the new budget, the maximum award amount for the Jon Peterson Scholarship for students with IEPs is increasing from $27,000 to $32,445 in 2025.

The Cleveland Scholarship

As you can tell, Ohio is one of the few states in the country with several private school voucher programs! Another of these voucher programs — Ohio’s oldest publicly-funded school scholarship —  is the Cleveland Scholarship Program

HB 33 impacts this scholarship program too, increasing the scholarship amount to match the EdChoice Scholarships ($6,165 for K-8 students and $8,407 for 9-12 students) and eliminating the program’s geographical limits. 

Additional private school funding options

Keep in mind that, besides these voucher options, Ohio also has a tax-credit scholarship program to help offset private school costs. Plus, families enrolled in certain private schools (or homeschooling) can be eligible for a tax credit in Ohio. 

If you’re looking for more information about Ohio’s private school options, you may wish to check out the Ohio Department of Education for more details on state-run scholarships, or the Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund for information about privately-funded scholarships.

Accountability – state approved assessments at the end of the year required for renewal. State-certified teachers.

No curriculum requirements changing to.

Community schools receive strong support  

While the budget makes several changes that expand families’ private school options, that’s not all it does. It also takes steps to support public charter schools, or community schools, in the state. Ohio’s community schools have historically received just about 70-75% of district funding, but that number will rise thanks to the new budget. 

For instance, the budget provides an extra $650 per pupil in both 2024 and 2025 for brick-and-mortar community schools. 

It also doubles facilities funding (from $500 per student to $1000 per student) for brick-and-mortar community schools. This is funding, for example, that can be used by your community school to purchase a building or expand classrooms. 

Plus, HB 33 increases special funding for high-performing community schools. For example, community schools with strong report cards will now receive an additional $3,000 for each economically disadvantaged student they serve. 

How will these changes impact the daily lives of community school families? More equitable funding will allow these schools to better support students with updated classrooms and learning resources. 

Funding increases for public school students

Last but certainly not least, a key aspect of Ohio’s new budget is its investment in traditional public school districts. Just how much does the budget invest? It adds an extra $1.5 billion to the state’s allocations for public education in 2024 and 2025. Here are more details: 

Currently, Ohio spends an average of $14,613 per public school student per year. HB 33 updates the state’s school funding formula, which will increase funding for traditional public education over the next two fiscal years. Besides traditional public school districts, vocational school districts will also benefit from this update. 

The budget aims to support career learning for Ohio students by providing funding for expansions at career-tech public schools. The budget includes a $200 million investment in new facilities and $100 million for equipment purchases. 

Is your child in high school? Starting in 2025, high school students who graduate in the top 5% of their classes may be eligible for up to $5,000/year in-state college scholarships.

The budget may impact your child’s teacher, too. New teachers will earn more money since the budget increases the minimum salary for teachers by $5,000 (from $30,000 to $35,000). 

Parents, here are a few more budget highlights: 

  • The budget offers school safety training grants so that public (and private) schools can better train school resource officials and educate students and staff on safety. 

As you can see, Ohio’s budget is far more than just numbers and statistics. With expansions across public and private school sectors, the new bill is giving families more robust options for the upcoming school year. With more than 1.6 million students enrolled in Ohio’s K-12 schools, a lot of lives will be changed!

If you’d like to learn more about the various scholarships that Ohio has to offer, you can visit School Choice Ohio or reach out to 800-673-5876 for more information.