The schools in the area I live are not so great. Is open enrollment a good idea and how does it work? And if the kid gets into a school through open enrollment do they stay there until the 5th grade? Thanks
Open enrollment can mean different things in different districts. You'll want to contact your district on whether it lasts for a year or must be renewed.
In districts with open enrollment, what typically happens is the district identifies schools with extra space--more seats available than students who wish to attend. They then open an application period, and hold a lottery. Students are awarded a place at the school, or placed on a waiting list.
The ratings reflect the API of the school. A 10 means the school is doing quite well, but there are things that make up the API that may lower the score that might not affect your child.
For instance, some schools welcome more special ed students--some with more severe learning disabilities. They may thrive in the school, but they may not be doing well on the standardized tests. Even bright students do well to have an environment that includes these students, but the school's API will suffer.
Secondly, schools might struggle with more English language learners. Again the API will suffer, but it doesn't mean that other children don't have a great experience at this school.
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