Finding Good Schools For Your Child

Since a good education is the key to any child’s future success, it is natural that parents are greatly invested in finding good schools for their children when they are ready to be enrolled. Finding good schools often begins with an internet search to find a list of options, especially if the parents do not already have a personal reference to rely on. Moving to a new city or county is a good time to look online for the best day schools, and parents can look for elementary schools or the best preschools around when their child becomes old enough. There are many different types of schools, and local private schools may offer some advantages that many public schools cannot. Local private schools will charge tuition, but for parents who can afford that, it is an attractive option, especially if their child is going to attend college later. What are the advantages of private schools? And how can parents find public schools that are nearly as good as their private counterparts?

Finding Good Preschools

American children aged three to five often attend preschool and similar pre-K programs, even though this is not actually mandatory. Studies show that American youths are attending preschool more than ever, and much of that growth rate took place from 1990 to 2000. A preschool is not just a day care; it is an academic setting where children learn how to learn, get used to following teacher directions, and take part in extracurricular activities. This can give a child a major head start for elementary school, and children aged four and five, in particular, are often enrolled at preschools. Private preschools are privately funded and run, hence the name, and offer excellent teachers and robust funding for many educational programs. This is highly appealing for parents who can afford the tuition, and other parents can look for highly rated public schools for a roughly similar experience.

Parents can start by entering a relevant search phrase online, such as “local private schools pre-K” or “best private preschools in Miami” and see what they find. Or, they can look for the top rated public schools, or in some cases, even search for both public and private ones to maximize their options. A long list of options may appear, particularly in large cities such as Miami or Boston or Los Angeles, and the parents can strike out low-rated schools or those that aren’t accepting new students anyway. A shorter list of candidate schools can be compiled, and the family can tour local preschools on that list.

Visiting local private schools and public ones alike is important, so the parents and child alike can get a fair impression of what each school has to offer and meet the staff. There, the parents can consult the staff and review each teacher’s credentials, and look into any special programs or features that the school offers. During return visits, the parents can and should bring along their child, who will take this chance to form his or her own impressions of the premises and staff. This is a very helpful reference, since parents will want to send their child to a school where they feel comfortable. This process can be done any number of times, and the parents may also get references from the parents of current students.

Elementary School and Beyond

A fairly similar process can be used to find local private schools or top rated public schools in the K-12 range, from a specific online search to in-person tours of promising schools. This time, the child is old enough to have particular interests or preferences in a school, such as wanting access to specialized math, science, or art or literature classes or programs, or certain sports teams or a marching band (in the case of high schools). Adolescents can interview the staff along with their parents, and this can be a helpful reference for the family. Children with special needs, such as those with physical disabilities or those with mental conditions such as high-functioning autism, may need a school that is prepared to accommodate them and provide any special education services necessary. All children, after all, need a quality education, regardless of physical or mental ability.