Tag: school selection

Choosing a School for Your Child

During National School Choice Week, tens of millions of Americans will celebrate the promise and benefits of educational opportunity.

For many parents, the Week will start a season of choosing – of visiting schools, researching options, attending school fairs, and trying to find the ideal learning environment for their children.

I’m often asked what types of schools parents should choose for their children – or how best to know a “good school” from a “bad school.”

The truth is that choosing a school for your child is an incredibly personal process, one that doesn’t lend itself to easy talking points.

A good school is a school that’s right for your child. It doesn’t matter whether you select a traditional public school, a magnet school, a charter school, a private or faith-based school, an online academy – or if you choose to homeschool your children. My best advice is to make a decision that is right for your child and your family.

When it comes to the selection process and where to begin choosing schools, here are seven steps to help guide your school search process:

Step 1: Think back to your own time in school. What did you like the most and the least?

Step 2: Identify your goals for your child. You know your child best. Think about your hopes, dreams and goals for them?

Step 3: Decide what you need and want from a school or learning environment. Are there specific things you know your child will need?

Step 4: Make a list and research schools and school choice policy in your state. The reality is: you do have choices, even if they may seem limited. Remember, school choice policies vary by state and locality, so start looking into all of the options available to you. You can learn more about school choice in your state by clicking here.

Step 5: Visit schools. After you’ve researched the different types of options you have, start making a list of schools in your area that you think might work. Schedule family visits to these schools. While you’re touring, take notes, ask lots of questions, for some ideas on what to ask click here.

Step 6: Evaluate schools. Review your notes, talk with your child, narrow your choices down to two or three that best meet your child’s needs.

Step 7: Choose the school or learning environment that meets your child’s needs and begin the application process.

It may seem daunting, but choosing a school for your child can be an exciting and liberating experience. Don’t worry if the process seems difficult or challenging. Education is important. You should spend as much time (or more) looking for a school as you would shopping for a new car! After all, you can trade in a car after a few years if it doesn’t meet your needs. It’s much harder to replace several years of lost learning.

Remember: you know your child best, and you are truly in the best position – better than anyone else – to decide what type of school your child should attend. I wish you all the best!

Learn more about National School Choice Week’s President, Andrew Campanella.