What should I look for in a K/school? — The Bump
School-Aged Children

What should I look for in a K/school?

DS currently attends the public (neighborhood) preschool (his second year). He goes there in part because he has an IEP for speech. It's soon time to register him for K for next year (and the years after) and I'm starting the process of checking out a few schools. His neighborhood school is by most accounts fantastic and one of the higher rated ones in the district (which is also excellent). However, I've heard rumblings about class sizes, kids getting lost in the shuffle, etc. that concerns me. 

There are also several highly touted (although newer) charter schools in the area that friends have recommended. They are on a lottery system, so there is no guarantee of admittance. But they generally sound more rigorous (DS is pretty bright) with smaller class sizes and would be a good alternative to the public schools. 

I'm planning to visit the neighborhood school K classroom/s this week and have an appt to tour one of the charter schools on Friday. I'm hoping that I'll just get a positive or negative feeling in the rooms and just "know." But is there a more objective approach to deciding what might be a good fit?  Aside from statewide test scores and some parent reviews, some of which are biased and/or invalid, on the school ratings websites, I don't really know what to look for, ask, or expect. 

I know I really can't go wrong with a few solid options, so it's not a bad problem to have. But I definitely want to weigh all of the options and make the best choice for DS. 

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Re: What should I look for in a K/school?

  • Wow, great info! Thanks!

    Turns out that the information about visiting the K classroom today was incorrect, apparently. When I called the neighborhood school last week, I was told I could come in anytime as long as I called first. Got a totally different answer today. I'm waiting on a call back to determine if I'll be able to tour the school at all. It's frustrating that I'm now getting the runaround and they don't have their story straight over there.

    The charter schools all appear to offer tours and/or meetings once a month all year. So that is what I'm doing on Friday. As far as the IEP services, I didn't realize the quality might be compromised, especially since they are in the same school district as the local school. I know they do offer services because a friend's son receives them. But in all honesty, my DS is only receiving services for articulation at this point and it's probably not entirely necessary if we weren't able to continue. 

    AFAIK, the charter schools offer Spanish language teaching beginning in K. Some are STEM. They all require uniforms, which could be a good thing. 

    I'm generally all for traditional public schools and will likely keep him in the local school. But these few niggling doubts keep me from being 100% onboard until I get some more answers/info.  

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