Choose the Right School

Choose the Right School

For parents of older children, a child’s interests can go a long way in selecting the right school. Do you have an elite athlete? Look for an athletic program that has a high number of college signings. Is your child meant for the stage? You’ll want to look for a strong theater arts program. For those with younger children — or who are hoping to have children — you don’t have the luxury of knowing if you have a natural athlete or a future scientist. You’re going to have to dig deeper.

District and School Websites

A school district’s website is a natural place to begin. There, you’ll not only find useful, how-to information, but you can learn about the district’s vision, bond programs and points of pride. From there, move to the school’s website where you can see types of classes offered, clubs and organizations, links to parent organization websites and staff emails if you have a question.

Social Media

Most school districts and schools have active social media pages, with two of the most popular being Facebook and Twitter. See what they post and read the comments — this will help you measure the school’s or district’s “personality.”

More Online Research

The Texas Education Agency website is a treasure trove of information. But don’t become too attached to an overall score. Dig deeper to see how grades performed on various state-mandated tests. Great is another website chock full of ratings and insights and you can check local news sites, as well.

Visit the School

Ask to tour the school you’re considering. Ask about the school’s approach to learning as well as technology and students’ access to it. Also ask about how parent-teacher organizations support teachers and students.

Ask Around

If you have friends in the area with school-aged children, they will probably have information regarding a school’s reputation. Don’t know anyone? If you’re working with a real estate agent, you’re in luck — they are typically well-schooled in the strengths and weaknesses of area schools.

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