Education & Academics In Montgomery County
Finding the right schools and educational opportunities for each family member is an important part of any move. This chapter outlines Montgomery 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 an Alabama 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 Alabama’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the Alabama State Department of Education’s website at www.alsde.edu. Check with the school for additional requirements.
In 2010, Alabama, 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 Alabama 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 list of charter schools in Alabama, visit the Alabama State Department of Education’s website at www.alsde.edu/ofc/cs.
For an introduction to home schooling in Alabama, visit the Alabama State Department of Education’s website at www.alsde.edu/ofc/osp/Pages/npsi-all.aspx. Here you will find information on home-school rules and regulations.
Christian Home Education Fellowship of Alabama
P.O. Box 204
Leeds, AL 35094
CHEF of Alabama provides a connection among home-schoolers. The organization has information on how to home-school in Alabama as well as information and resources on curricula and church schools in Alabama.
PEAK Homeschool Network
The PEAK Homeschool Network connects home schooling families through a network of inclusive local groups that encourage members to share resources, learn together and build a diverse community.
To search for local private schools in Alabama, 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.
Montgomery Public Schools
307 S. Decatur St.
Montgomery, AL 36104
Montgomery Public Schools’ academic programs and services meet the diverse needs and interests of its students. It offers traditional schools with a full range of curricula complemented by cultural arts, music, foreign languages, technology, career-technical education and athletic programs.
The district is among the largest school systems in the state, with more than 50 schools and an enrollment of nearly 30,000 students. The district’s schools are consistently ranked among the best schools in the America by national publications.