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It is more important than ever to make sure your children receive an excellent education. A great school will set your child up for a successful academic and future career. However, some parents are a bit overwhelmed with all the school choices, from charter and magnet schools to private, online and alternative schools.

Set Your Goals

Your first step should be to identify the type of school you are looking for. Identify your academic expectations, teacher and staff credentials and desired curriculum. Identify your desired parental involvement level, including any PTA, and whether you are welcomed to sit in on your child’s classes.

Do Some Research

Then, do a bit of research. You could start with a search for local schools, such as “child education Parker CO.” Look into the schools’ mission, vision, values and teaching philosophy, and make sure they align with your own. Ask about the schools’ curricula and whether they teach anything outside regular academic coursework. The ideal school will focus on your child’s academic success rather than societal demands.

This is a good time to learn about the schools’ test scores and ratings. You may also evaluate the schools’ graduation rates and the percentage of the students that go to college.

Visit the School

Your next step may be visiting the schools. Speak with the administrators and sit in on a few classrooms. If you have the time available, you may even volunteer with the school for a few weeks to get an idea of all the teachers’ instruction processes and content. You may also speak with the guidance counselors

During your visit, ask how the schools are evaluated and trained, including how the schools choose what teachers to hire. Discuss the students’ homework requirements. You may also ask about the schools’ methods for handling behavioral problems. If your child has special needs, ask about school resources and any extra help that may be available.

Finally, while you are in the school, speak with the children. Ask what their favorite subjects are and who their favorite teachers are. Find out what they are learning and how they are taught. Consider working closely with several students as they complete their work. Keep your ears and eyes open as you observe the teachers. What do they say and how do they treat the students?

Interview Other Parents

If you don’t know anyone whose children attend the schools you are interested in, ask the schools’ office staff for references. Discuss their experiences with the school, both good and bad experiences. You may also discuss how responsive the school has been in different situations. Consider sitting in on a PTA meeting to speak with even more parents.

Make sure that your children receive the best available education by doing a little research.

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