Moving isn’t always easy, especially since there’s a lot to consider when you uproot your family. One of the most important decisions you’ll make during your move is the school district you select for your children. It’s important to learn all you can about the new city or area you’re moving to so you can find a school district that offers the academic opportunities you desire for your kids. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Talk to Your Real Estate Agent
If you’re working with a realtor for your move, ask him/her about school districts in the area(s) you’re considering. For instance, if you’re looking at Edmonton and have been searching for Edmonton homes for sale, ask your agent about the schools in the area. Realtors know this is a huge selling point for families, and your real estate agent can point you in the right direction when you want to be close to great schools.
Take a School Tour
If you can, it’s a good idea to take a tour of the school(s) you’re considering for your child before the move. If it’s not possible to take the tour before you move, you can schedule it a few days after you arrive in the area. A tour allows you to see how the faculty and staff interact with each other and gives you a chance to see what your child’s potential classroom looks like.
During the tour, ask the principal or your child’s potential teacher about a typical schooldays, the curriculum used in the school, and social and creative activities that are available to students. Once you visit the school in person, you can get a feel for whether or not your child would thrive in that environment.
Take Advantage of Online Resources
Once you and your family decide to move, you should visit websites like GreatSchools.org to find out about schools in your new city. You can filter the schools according to community and grade level. The site also allows you to search for school based on whether the educational facility prepares students for standardized testing and practices fair and unbiased treatment toward all students. Even if your children aren’t old enough to attend school yet, the website will allow you to check the academic progress of schools so you can see whether the school will benefit your son or daughter in the coming years. Parents also leave reviews on the site to give you insight into whether the school offers a rigorous assignment schedule and allows students to express themselves creatively.
Use Google Maps
The technology available in Google Maps allows you to zoom in on a specific area and get information about the schools in that neighborhood. You can even read reviews about the school and get an accurate idea of how close the school is to your new home or job. When you use Google Streetview, you’ll get a ground view of the school so you can see the size of the school and get a good look at it from the outside.
Get Personal Referrals
If you already have friends and family who live in the area where you’re moving, ask them for school recommendations. Getting suggestions from people you trust will help you narrow down your choices if you’re not sure which school(s) would be ideal for your children. It’s also helpful to talk to the children of your loved ones to get a first-hand review of the school. Depending on the age of the children, they are likely to be very honest with you about what they like and don’t like about the school. If your children are close to these younger family members, they can tell whether or not they think or son or daughter would enjoy going to school in your new city.
These are just a few of the suggestions you should keep in mind when you want to find the right school for your kids. Keep in mind that no school will be perfect, but when you have a few choices to compare, you’ll likely feel more confident knowing that you can select the school with the most benefits for your children.