How do I choose a school?
Choosing the right school for children is a priority for military families. Whether you are assigned living quarters or have a choice of where to live, it is important to explore all educational options to discover the proper match for each child. All parents want the best possible education for their children. Students have different learning styles and needs. Children within the same family may not learn in the same way or at the same rate. Finding the right educational setting for each child requires a careful examination of various options that are available to students and their families.
"Choosing a School for your Child", a publication of the U.S. Department of Education offers a series of checklists and pertinent questions to assist parents in making the right choices.
What schools are in my area (or in the area where I may move)?
Several high quality commercial tools are available to assist in making decisions about which school to choose for your child.
GreatSchools offers listings of 200,000 public and private schools serving students from preschool through high school and more than 800,000 parent ratings and reviews. GreatSchools also has a new program called College Bound, an online approach to helping parents raise college-ready high school graduates.
Designed for military students, their families and the caring professionals who support them, SchoolQuest is an educational resource tool from the Military Child Education Coalition. It is meant to facilitate the search for new schools and centralize resources.
It's also a secure storage site for students' educational, extra-curricular, award, volunteer and work information. Please note, though, that is NOT a replacement for a school transcript. It can be viewed as a safe, centralized virtual "file drawer" where a student (or parent) can keep track of all the details that are so difficult to organize, but so necessary when students move or apply for college, jobs or military service.
In addition, SchoolQuest guests are granted access to research and time-tested information about successful educational transitions.
Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense to service members and their families to help with a broad range of concerns including money management, spouse employment and education, parenting and child care, relocation, deployment, reunion, and the particular concerns of families with special-needs members.
How can I help plan for a successful transition in this new school and for my child's school career?
Parents often want to know about the availability of extracurricular activities and sports, or the availability of advanced classes. For these questions, it is best to contact the schools directly. It is important to ask the right questions. The following resources can help with these questions and others.
Military Child Education Coalition
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