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Do people visit public schools? Would I just stop in or should I call first? We are considering a move to Santa Monica - my husband is actually already there. I have three kids going into 1st, 4th and my eldest will be going into middle school (6th grade) next year. We are currently at a private school in Denver, CO but considering public school- most of the SM elementary schools seem to be highly rated but the middle schools seem to drop off a bit. Is there a reason for this? I've been impressed by what I see on the Lincoln Middle School website - I'm actually flying out tomorrow and was thinking I'd like to stop in while I'm in town.... is that done? Should I call first? Also, what type of community for families is this neighborhood? Thanks for answering my millions of questions! Fiona
You'd want to call ahead to tour the school. Most highly regarded schools are used to parents wanting to see the schools, and they'll encourage you to visit at specific times to avoid disrupting the classroom. The odds of just dropping by and the school having someone to walk around with you are pretty slim since everyone has a job to do. They might even encourage you to come during a scheduled tour--where they actually plan ahead for these things. Even during a kindergarten orientation you'll see much more of the classes--even more than kinder. But call and ask what your options are.
Make sure you check out the parent reviews and ratings here: http://www.greatschools.org/find-schools/
Middle school test scores drop off, everywhere. It's likely a combination of going from a small inclusive environment to a more chaotic one of class changes and hormones. That happens in sixth grade for districts where sixth grade goes to middle school and in seventh when that's the cut off. It's a universal phenomenon.
You'll find Santa Monica is a beautiful, albeit pricey area to live in. Much of it is walkable, and you're always only a short trip from the ocean.
Good luck with your trip and let us know what happens.76920
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