For many families with children, a vital part of choosing a new home is which school district the home is in. Families want to choose a school district that will provide everything their children need for a well-rounded education. However, you also want to live in a good, safe neighborhood where people also live a lifestyle that is compatible to your own.
Whether you are moving across a local town or across the state or somewhere clear across the country, a good school district provides children with many things that they need to get a good start in life. The following are a list of things that you want to look for in a good school district to help your children receive the best education possible after moving to your new home.
- Highly-Rated School District: Consider the school district's overall rating and the ratings of the individual schools your children would attend (based on what part of the district in which you live). You want highly-rated schools for your children to ensure that they are receiving a quality education and ensuring that they are scoring well on their exams. This is important to help your child academically, however, school district ratings are not the only thing you should look at when you are deciding which school district is a good fit for your family.
- Quality of Teachers: Almost equally important to the quality of the academics at a school are the quality of teachers that will be working with your children on a daily basis. You want to ensure the school hires well-qualified teachers that can work with all students (including those with special needs). Quality teachers who have the proper certifications, background checks, and other qualifications to teach your student ensure that not only the quality of academics at their new school are high but that the quality of teachers is also high as well.
- "Special" School Classes Offered: Parents want to consider what variety of special "enrichment" classes are offered in the school as well. In a pressured environment where many different school districts are throwing away "specials" classes in schools like library, computer, gym, art, music, etc. consider looking for schools who value is as part of a whole, well-rounded education for your child. Sure, the academics and standardized tests require teachers to devote a lot of time and effort to prepare students for standardized tests, but the benefits of other classes that provide a well rounded education shouldn't be overlooked or underestimated. Look for schools that offer these "specials" on a weekly or several-time-per-week basis to ensure your child is getting a well-rounded education rather than just an academic one.
- Consider Special Education Offerings: This is especially important if parents have a child that needs any sort of special learning support. As of 2015, about 34% of all students in public schools have some sort of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that requires them to have some sort of special assistance in school. Consider the options the school offers for special education and ensure that they are willing to and able to meet your child's needs if that applies.
- School Safety/Security: In light of all the recent tragedies happening at schools, you want to choose a school that is sure to have a good security system in place. Schools need to be able to know who is on the premises and what risks face that students at all times and work to minimize these risks. Keeping your child safe while they are learning should be a priority that you ask about and look at when visiting potential schools your children might attend.
- Consider Extra-Curricular Activities: Extra-curricular activities is another great way to get your kids involved in something they love while allowing them to meet other friends. This includes anything from something like the Spanish club to robotics to soccer or football or baseball and back again. Find a district that offers activities and sports your children will want to be a part of. Helping them meet friends that share similar interests and passions outside of school can help them feel more comfortable in their new homes sooner and will help them thrive both academically and socially.
These are just a few things that you want to consider when you are choosing a school for your children to attend. You want to ensure that they are getting a great academic and social experience in a safe, protected environment. These kinds of factors will play a big role in your child's readiness for life after school whether that includes college, trade school, or entering the workforce or even the military.