Today more and more homebuyers with kids are factoring in the importance of the school district as part of their decision to purchase a home. But what makes a quality school district (and what doesn’t) is based on many considerations. So whether a new home is in your future or you hope to eventually own one, you’ll want to check out these 9 questions to ask yourself when choosing a school district.
What Kind of School is Right for My Kids?
This is more than just about kindergarten, elementary school, and high school or even private vs. public education. Today there are a variety of schools to choose from, including charter schools, magnet schools, homeschools, online public schools and alternative schools. Selecting the right school for your child may come down to how the school fosters their interests, learning style, interaction with peers, as well as other factors such as scheduling and extracurricular activities.
How are the Teachers?
Of course, every parent expects their child’s teachers to be knowledgeable, qualified, and supportive. It’s good to ask if teachers are accredited, trained, supported, and monitored. Beyond that, it’s important to know how much individualized attention your child will receive and how much time teachers devote to lecturing and encouraging student participation.
How’s the Technology?
In today’s world, technology is a must, especially to facilitate learning and prepare students for the future. That’s why wireless internet, a modern library, and a computer lab are now becoming essentials on campus. While having computers is important, how the schools use them (i.e. integrate them effectively into the curriculum) is even more important.
Is the School Successful?
A little research can go a long way. So visit the local school and talk to the principal and teachers. Find out how the school ranks on standardized testing and how they’re performing academically. If it’s a high school, find out how the students fair after they graduate. Talk to parents and students and listen to their experiences and possible concerns.
Is the Environment Safe?
Safety extends beyond the classroom. It needs to be dealt with on the playground and in the parking lot as well. In addition, the school should have an effective plan for dealing with bullying and violence. If you’re thinking of sending your kids to an older school, it may be worth inquiring about levels of lead in the water, radon in the building, and asbestos in the ceilings and walls.
What’s the Class Size?
If class size is important to you, knowing the ratio of students to the teacher is invaluable information. If the classroom is impacted by overcrowding, an aide in the classroom is a helpful resource and worth asking about.
How Important of a Role Does Nutrition Play?
Good nutrition starts in the classroom with a proper understanding of diet being presented in textbooks, lessons and activities. From there, pay attention to how the school integrates nutrition into an ample selection of healthy cafeteria foods for proper development.
Are There Adequate Resources for Students with Special Needs?
In compliance with federal law, the teaching staff should be adequately trained to work with students with learning and attention issues. Regular education and special education teachers should also work together to create a welcoming environment for students with different emotional, cognitive and physical needs.
What Does Your Gut Tell You?
Trust your instincts. More than just tests, the environment, or prestige, the right school should provide you and your child with a special connection that inspires confidence and peace of mind. After you’ve done all your “homework,” your intuition will go a long way in helping to determine what school is right for your child.
When it comes to buying a home in the right school district for your family, New American Funding can help you find the right mortgage loan option for you. Let’s take the first step together today!