Finding the right schools and educational opportunities for each family member is an important part of any move. This chapter outlines Kings and Fresno counties’ public schools system, private schools, charter schools and home schooling criteria, as well as local libraries and higher education institutions. To be enrolled in a California 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 California’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, please visit the California Department of Education’s website at www.cde.ca.gov. Check with the school for additional requirements.
In 2010, California, 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 California has state standards across the full curriculum. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.
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 California, visit the California Department of Education’s website at www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cs.
For an introduction to home schooling in California, visit the California Department of Education’s website at www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/homeschool.asp. Here you will find information on home-school rules and regulations, curriculum frameworks and more.
California Homeschool Network
2166 W. Broadway, No. 266 Anaheim, CA 92804........................800-327-5339
The California Homeschool Network monitors and responds to legislation that may pose a threat to home schooling. The network also informs and empowers home schooling families, educates the public and fosters community among home educators in the state of California. Visit the network’s website for resources, support groups, events and more.
HomeSchool Association of California
P.O. Box 77873 Corona, CA 92877............................................888-472-4440
The HomeSchool Association of California helps those who are new to home schooling connect with parents who are experienced home-schoolers. The association has information about resources and support groups along with in-depth legal information.
To search for local private schools in California, 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.
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.
Kings and Fresno counties are home to 45 school districts. For a full listing of school districts in Kings County, visit the Kings County Office of Education website at www.kings.k12.ca.us and select “Kings County School Directory” from the “Kings County Office of Ed” drop-down menu. The website has links to each district, which can provide information on individual schools and enrollment. The website also has information on education services like after-school programs and the county’s preschool program. For a full listing of Fresno County school districts, visit the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools website at https://fcoe.org and select “Districts.”