"My son will be 4, in January and I appreciate the information on your
website. I am from Trinidad where great emphasis is placed on academics.
At home, we are entitiled to see the curriculum but here I am told that
parents are not allowed to see it. Is that so and should it be a concern
for a parent, moreso,since if I was not teaching my child's things at home
he would be very behind if I were to return home soon.
"I finally came across an article that broke down my worries and made them
a common and logical concern! The step method is definately a plus for the
parent who has moved before and knows how hard it is for both child and
parent! I wish there was something like this for neighborhoods close
enough for work and school!
"this article is good it remembers my school days."
We would like to know how to compare test scores from three different states (WA, MN and SC). It appears that each state has different tests they used so how do you find out if they test equally and have similar results?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Kristie and Lane Strandberg"
"Hello. We are looking to relocate from the UK to Kissimmee Orlando. My daughter is 3 years old and at the moment she attends a nursery. I have no idea which way to turn to find out which school is best i.e. public, private, local or what nor do I understand the grading system etc. I would like a recommendation and when we come over in November this year to possibly make a visit. I would so appreciate someone to give me some advice on the area with schools etc. I am really really worried. Many thanks x"
"Wonderful information! Thanks so much!"
"I am in MA, we are looking for a school for our 2 boys in grades, 5 and 7.They intelligent boys who love sports. We would like them to have a good exposure to both sciences and Arts before they choose their career paths. Can anyone out there help?"
"I find this website the best thing... I got this from Phoinex School website. I was going to send my 2 yr. old.. But I have a 12 yrs old going to middle school. Don't like the ones around my house and this website opened my eyes. There are so many out there I didn't even know about that was near the house. I even forwarded this website address to all my friends.
Thank You so much for the help."
"I SINCERELY THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR INFORMATION!!! AS A FIRST TIME MOM I'LL BE SENDING OFF MY SON TO PRE-K AND HAD NO IDEA WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK AND THANKS TO YOU I KNOW IN WHICH DIRECTION I'M HEADING! FL."
"This site is the best I've found so far! After searching fo the last 2 years for the right school to send my son to next year, I foundthisone in the '11th hour!' He'll be in 1st grade next year, and both my husband and I were lost as to what schools were close by, and what their ratings were, as well as class sizes, etc, etc. Now it's easy to pick from as many as pique my interest adn then narrown them down to a field of 1/2 dozen to research further. Let me just say, I'll be telling my son's daycare school about this site!"
"This is a great article and very necessary in choosing the correct school (or as close as possible0 for your child's needs. My oldest children were enrolled in a charter school with an Arts emphasis. I chose he school from word of mouth but after a year I decided that the administrative and faculty staffing issudes, political corruption and poor attention to academics were not for my children. The disorganization was a disater that I could no longer deal with. My children loved the school but realized that it wasn't the best for their overall life goals. Major funding from the former mayor was removed when he was votede out of office and the school ended up in turmoil scrambling for funds to accomodate the doubled enrollment cost for each student. The once large vocal ensemble dwendled down to almost nothing and several memebers of the faculty and administration were dismissed for 'misconduct.' During an 'exit interview' for my youngest child the principal, after pouring out her personal frustrations over he recent happenings commented that it took a certain kind of family to attend a charter school and deal with the up and downs of organizing and reconstructing.' Without missing a beat I said, ' And we are not that family. Dealing with up and downs at the detrement of my children's education, is not for us.' I don't feel that my family is any less significant for leaving the school, in fact I feel as though taking them out was a bold move that others may be too intimidated to recognize as a benefit until my children have graduated from top colleges and are on their way to graduate school while pursuing their musical interests. Like I tell my children, there's nothing wrong with being a surgeon with an album on Billboard's top ten or a Grammy winner that discovered the cure for cancer.'"
I am the parent[dad] of a 14 year old girl. She started Olympic Heights H.S. and is not in the right element as far as I am concerned. I need help in finding her a 'Better' school environment that is more structured. "
"First I would like to say that this is a FABULOUS site and very useful. I have read every posted comment here. I was impressed that there were very few (if any) spelling errors which reinforces my belief that we are all products of our invironments. Educated people produce educated children, and ignorance promotes ignorance. As a society we should ATTEMPT to enlighten everyone.
I have 10 developmentally disabled people in my immediate family, spanning 3 generations. IF YOU HAVE a child with disabilities or learning disorders PLEASE read the post from Virginia on 1/4/2005 and from Kansas 8/15/2006! These children need SPECIAL care, SPECIAL training and SPECIAL attention. Furthermore, one of the LARGEST DISSERVICES we do to them and to society in general, as a whole, is push them through school then give them diplomas that look JUST LIKE the valedictorians that might be our next president or a brain surgeon someday. That is not FAIR to the special needs individual nor society in general that is led to believe they can read and write and think rationally for themselves, when they cannot...even after 12 years of school. It is also not right nor accurate to lump these children's standardized testing scores with the rest of the student body, which ultimately LOWERS the appearance of the schools overall performance. I think that the SYSTEM overall n!
ationwide needs to take a serious look at the way the numbers are configured.
Thanks for taking the time to read my voice of experience. I have lived in FL, CA, MO and IL and have been dealing with this for over 40 years. I am now legal guardian for 3 adult siblings in their 40's that THIS system did not help a bit. The system needs examined!"
"Although my child is only 14 months, I belive it is never too early to begin looking at educationalopportunities..
This is a great article and great start to a long decision making adventure."
"I thought this article was very helpful. Excellent! Thank you."
">From Chesterfield Mo.
If you have a child with special needs don't even think about moving to the Mo.
schools. They don't keep up with the IDEA or the FAPE and are way behind."
"This is a great article and a parent of anonly child who has not had any prior experience, I thought this was an informative article-it had a few extra things I did not think of for my 1st grader.
Thank you for helping me make an informed decision.
Mom of a 1st grader."
"Quick and easy guideline suggestions are great!"
"I am currently living in St. Louis, MO and my family is moving to Dekalb County, Ga.
My children attend a charter school in St. Louis. Can anyone give me some recommendations for Atlanta schools? My email address is email@example.com. Thank you in advance."
"WOW THESE ARE GREAT TOOLS! IN A SOCIETY THAT FOCUSES GREATLY ON TEST SCORES YOU TEND TO FORGET HOW IMPORTANT ALL THE OTHER ELEMENTS ARE LIKE WILL YOUR CHILD FEEL COMFORTABLE IN A PATICULAR ENVIRONMENT AND WILL HE/SHE BE ABLE TO PROSPER ACDEMICALLY AS WELL AS A GOOD HUMAN BEING. YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO GET A GREAT EDUCATION IN EVERY SENSE.THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT. IT MEANS ALOT!"
"I was clueless on what I wanted out of a school for my daughter. This excercise really helped. Thanks!"
"We lived in Mi and attended a private christian school. Then we got transfered to Reading Pa. Its different! But they have a virtual school for grades K-12. They provide all the materials, computer, printer, books, certified teacher, everything you need. Its publicly funded, and the child studies at home. Its a win-win situation, and the child gets a better education. "
"We're in the process of moving and i'm finding this site useful. However, I want to warn people that we (my family) made a horrendous mistake during our last move by looking only at standardized test scores as an indicator of which schools were good. The scores are only part of the story.
Also, I think that many of us naively assume in looking at schools that of course our own children will be stellar students with no learning difficulties, and so we tend to ask 'How is the gifted program?' rather than looking at all aspects. Our child ended up being diagnosed with serious learning disabilities LATER in his elementary school career, and the school we chose may have been great for 'regular' kids but was a terrible fit for our family. Consider ALL aspects of the picture, and the possibility that your child might fall outside the curve.
ALSO, we found that our current school was getting great academic results at the expense of the children! There was no concept of what is developmentally appropriate. Sure, it sounds great to say that your child goes to a school where ALL the kindergarteners can read -- but do you know what price we're paying for that bit of fiction? Does your kindergartener have to take spelling tests? Does your kindergartener melt down and cry and refuse to go to school?
Please, when you go to a school,look to see if the children seem happy. Look to see if the work displayed in the hallways appears to have been done by the children, or by their pushy, overcompetitive parents. Look to see if the work displayed is developmentally appropriate. (Are the first graders writing essays about Sandra Day O'Connor? Run screaming in the other direction!)Try to determine if the teachers/administrators in the school seem overly focussed on one group of kids (i.e. high achieving math whizzes)or if they speak favorably (and at length) about all kinds of kids, even those who struggle.
Don't repeat our mistakes, please. It's not a factory you're looking for which produces high-functioning achievers, it's a home away from home for your children, your most precious possession. "
"my dream school envolves choice and freedom.I think we should be able to make our own choices.Example choosing to sit out side to eat lunch.I think this would give us fresh air and stimulate us to want to learn. I also think we should be able to sit with our same grade at lunch because that is our only time to talk about school issues and other things. If the lunch room is to small or crowded than that is a sign to expand the school not spli up groups of friends or peers. I know I am only a 7th grader but please consider our thoughts. Thank You.
"I agree that it doesn't matter if the school is good or not if the parents aren't involved in their childrens lives or school. Parents shouldn't complain unless they are trying to help the kids and the school. My family is a military family so we have encountered a number of different school systems. Some good and some bad. The main problem I have encountered is that alot of teachers talk down to parents or act like the parents don't know what they don't know what they are talking about. Also my other complaint is that teachers usually have about 25 students in their class which is too many but they can act like a parent only has that one child to care for. Well I have 4 to care for and one is in middle school so I don't have alot of free time. I keep in touch with the teachers but they also need to contact me if there is a problem. To me a great school is one that has good communication between teachers, parents and children.
"I think that schools should be classified from K-4 and 5-8. Schools in urban areas that have these grades combined in the same school show more discipline problems than schools that separate these grades. K-3 are very important grades. Students are being introduced to reading which is crucial to learn by the time a child enters the third grade the student should allready be very fluent. Many people who are in jail today left the third grade without knowing how to read. Therefore, grades k-3 should be top priority.
"If you have a positive and supportive home environment, it
matters less whether or not the school your child goes to is fabulous. My
brother and I grew up in a decent but not stellar school system, and we had
great teachers and less than great teachers. The difference between us and
our underachieving peers was our parents. Our parents taught us how to
behave, how to treat others, and how to strive for academic betterment.
These are traits that are not taught at school and should not have to be.
Parents shouldn't drop a rambunctuous troglodyte off at school and expect a
polished genius to come home. That's not the job of the public school. If
the child has good parenting and a sound background of manners and morals,
he or she will excel in almost any school, provided the parents continue to
involve themselves in the child's daily life.
"The key to successfully educating a child are family memebers
at home that give her/him the needed support for homework, class
assignments, reviewing test scores and reportcards. There are many teachers
in the Los Angeles Unified School District that have chosen to be a positive
influence in the lives of our kids. But, we can't do it alone.
"Public schools don't need any more money. The just need to
manage what they have.
"Having been both a teacher and a parent (before I was a
teacher), I believe that the determining factor in a child's success is how
well qualified the teacher is and how experienced the teacher is. It
doesn't matter how well a teacher can teach if they can't keep discipline
and they don't respect the students.
"I am faced with the dilemma of sending my children to a school
over 15 miles away from home or to a private/Christian school, which, by the
way, they have been attending for the past two years. I am sorely
disappointed in the quality of schools in my local district (Los Angeles
Unified), especially the ones that are located within 10 miles of my home.
I am grateful to GreatSchools.org for providing me with the information I
need to make the best choice for my children. I don't want to make the
mistake of sending my children to schools just because they happen to be in
the neighborhood, as my parents did.
"I believe that parents should get more involved in school
related activities.So they will know the progress their children are making.
The past year at my school has been dealing with alot of drugs. One thing is
that our teachers don't care enough, their just there to get their paycheck.
I believe principals should also greet their students, show kids love
because that is what makes a great school. With a good positive enviroment.