Finding the right schools and educational opportunities for each family member is an important part of any move. This chapter outlines Houston County’s public schools system, private schools, charter schools and home schooling criteria, as well as local libraries and higher education institutions. To be enrolled in Georgia school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, and the child’s previous school records and immunization records. For more details on Georgia’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit Georgia Department of Education’s website at www.gadoe.org.
In 2010, Georgia, along with the majority of other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity, adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. At present, national Common Core State Standards exist only for English language arts and mathematics though Georgia has state standards across the full curriculum. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.
Choosing a School
Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source to learn about a school district’s statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.
If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.
Discuss the potential school with your child: what they liked and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.
Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a listing of charter schools in Georgia, visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website at www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Charter-Schools.
For an introduction to home schooling in Georgia, visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website at www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Pages/Home-Schools.aspx. Here you will find information on home-school rules and regulations, testing, registration and more.
Georgia Home Education Association
P.O. Box 229
Snellville, GA 30078 770-461-3657
The Georgia Home Education Association website has a number of resources for families who wish to home-school in Georgia.
To search for local private schools in Georgia, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.
Houston County School District
1100 Main St.
Perry, GA 31069 478-988-6200
The Houston County School District educates approximately 30,000 students on 38 campuses, including a career academy and a nontraditional educational center.