When looking for a new apartment community with school-age children in the family, one of the most crucial decisions to make is where they will go to school after you move.[find-an-apartment]
You can choose the area your kids will love to learn in, but how can you research schools to find the best one for your child? This is especially challenging when you want to select the right school in an area with which you are unfamiliar.
We share some tips to help get you started on your school search.
Hit the Web
There are a number of independent websites that rate schools on important criteria. Check out sites such as SchoolMatch.com and GreatSchools.com to get more background information on the schools in your area.
Start with the school district
Nearly every public school is required to publish its annual performance report online. When you visit a school district’s website, you are likely to find links to performance reports for individual schools in the area. You might also check with your state department of education for rankings of local schools which are published for current and potential residents.
Check in with apartment community management
Apartment community managers are likely to know about the schools in their district. They should be able to connect prospective residents with local school system contacts, locations and information. They might also be able to provide information about specialized options, such as magnet schools or local private schools.
Visit the schools
When you have narrowed your choices down to a few schools, arrange visits to see those schools in person. When you visit, you'll get a first-hand feel for the facilities, class sizes and other important factors which might affect your child’s ability to learn. Come prepared with your list of questions to ask school professionals.
Get the skinny on private schools
If you cannot find a public school that you prefer, a private school might be the right alternative for your child. A great place to start when looking for the right private school is the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). This organization will give background information on private schools in your area. States typically have their own independent school associations, as well.
One thing you will want to look for regarding private schools is the proper accreditation. For instance, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits southern schools, including those in Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, to strict standards. When a school is accredited, you know that it has risen to a certain level of quality.
The right school is not hard to find when you do a little research. It might take a little bit of extra time and effort, but your child’s education is well worth it!
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Kiselev Andrey Valerevich