Seeing how a good education is the key to any child’s future success, it is understandable that all parents are greatly invested in finding good preschools and elementary schools for their children. A good school is one where the child can meet and get along with their peers, and be properly challenged by the coursework so they can learn and grow. Finding good schools will take some effort, but it can be done, and this is even true if the family moves to a new county or city that they’re not too familiar with yet. An online search is a great way to start looking for choosing a preschool, and even summer camp for kids, too. Now, what will good preschools offer, and how can parents find them? And what about K-12 schools?
Finding Local Preschools
While attending preschool is not mandatory for American children, this is a popular option all the same, and more parents than ever are sending their children aged three to five to pre-K programs across the nation. From 1990 to 2000 in particular, the rate of preschool attendance grew rapidly, and by now, over half of all children in that age range are enrolled in pre-K programs of all kinds. In 2015 in particular, 87% of all five-year-olds were enrolled in such schools. A good preschool isn’t just a daycare center; it is a dedicated academic setting where the young students will learn how to learn, get used to following teacher directions, and prepare for kindergarten in many ways. Good preschools have all kinds of extracurricular activities, including many opportunities for indoor and outdoor play.
To begin the search, the parents should enter some specific details into a web search, so they can narrow down the results quickly, especially in a larger city like Miami or Boston. Parents can enter “top rated” or “best” to find highly-rated schools, and they should also specify whether they want to find public or private preschools, or even both. A private preschool is privately funded and run, hence the name, and will charge tuition in exchange for offering expert teachers and well-funded educational programs. Excellent public preschools may be nearly as good in some cases, though parents may have to search carefully to find the best-funded public ones. Also, entering the local ZIP code can also help keep the results local.
Once a list of schools is found, the parents can strike out unsuitable preschools and compile a short list of promising candidates, and visit those schools one by one in person. While visiting, the parent can consult the staff there and review each teacher’s credentials and see what sort of programs and classes the school offers, and get a fair impression of the school overall. During repeat visits, the parents should bring their child along, so that youngster can form their own impression, and the parents can check whether their child feels comfortable there. Once a good school is found, the child may be enrolled.
Elementary School and Beyond
Attending K-12 schools is definitely mandatory, and parents can use a fairly similar process to find them, too. Such as entering “best public elementary schools coral gables” or “top rated private middle schools los angeles” online, and visiting local schools. In this case, the parents may also look for schools that offer particular programs their child may like, such as sports teams, arts programs, science and engineering clubs, a well-supplied computer lab, a theater/drama department, and the like. For older prospective students, such as middle or high school students, the child can take an active role in meeting the staff of a school, and ask questions to see what the school is like. This can be a helpful reference.
In addition, some students have special education needs, and every child deserves a full and high quality education. Therefore, parents of a physically or mentally handicapped child are urged to find schools with special programs or classes that can accommodate these special needs children. This may include children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who may be in a specially-designed class, or children with Down Syndrome who are ready and willing to learn in a special class. Visiting schools in person is the best way to evaluate a school’s special education programs.