I had to find the answer to this question when my oldest was in middle school. The elementary school had done a great job educating my kids, but when they reached middle school, things changed. I no longer felt like the school was meeting the needs of my family.
I didn’t know where to look for answers, so I asked friends and searched on the Internet. Eventually, my husband and I decided to put our oldest kids in a rigorous online school. They spent three years in online school. I worked with my kids on a regular basis. We solved problems, discussed goals and reviewed grades. It was very challenging for both my children and me.
Ultimately, we decided that online school was not a good fit, either. Once again, I looked for other options. I was able to find a nearby public school that fit the needs of our kids. Because the school was in an affluent neighborhood, I presumed it would be above average, but I had no evidence to prove that. Idaho does not rank schools or provide a school accountability system for parents. I figured it would be better than the online school we had been using. It took a while to adjust to the new school, but we were happy with the decision.
How do you choose which school is the best fit for your child and your family? Where do you find information to help you make the best decision?
A resource I recently discovered is IdahoEdTrends.org, a school data center sponsored by Idaho Education News. The site has data on every public school in Idaho and you can compare schools by their test scores, expenditures, graduation rates and certified staff to pupil ratios. This information may help you choose a school that can meet your family’s needs.
What other resources are available to parents?