How to Judge the Quality of a School District

How to Judge the Quality of a School District

If you have children and are looking for a new home, you will understandably be concerned about the quality of the new school district. In fact, this may be one of the driving forces in helping you decide which town or neighborhood to move to.

Buyers would be wise to choose a new home based on the school system. A better school system means higher property values and better educations for your kids. But how do you know what you’re looking at? Here are some tips on how to judge the quality of a school district.

Research Scores

First, do your research on the test score ratings of the school. There are publicly available profiles you can look at regarding your neighborhood’s school district as well as individual schools. GreatSchools, Public School Review, and Niche are all great resources to start with.

You’ll be able to see the test scores of students as compared with state averages, along with factors such as year-over-year academic improvement, student-teacher ratios, enrollment trends, and diversity metrics.

Beyond the Numbers

While numbers are good, don’t stop there. You want to look beyond the hard data to see the big picture of each school you’re considering. Check out individual school websites as well as school district websites to see where their educational priorities lay. Check out the PTO and other organizations to see how to get involved.

Read reviews from parents on social media and talk directly to any moms or dads you find yourself chatting with, such as at the local library or grocery store. The school may also share names of involved parents who could give you more insight.

Also, don’t forget to ask your real estate agent about their input regarding local schools. They live and work in these areas too and often have personal knowledge of the schools and neighborhoods.

Tour the School

Your best bet is to narrow down the schools to a few and take tours with each. You can only glean so much information online. Meet the principal and teachers and ask specific questions. Perhaps you want to know how technology is incorporated into classroom activities, and how the school handles disciplinary problems. Ask about after-school activities, enrichment opportunities, extra help, and more. Ask to visit classrooms if possible to see teachers in action.

Consider Your Child’s Needs

Just because a school gets very high scores and rankings doesn’t mean it will necessarily be a good fit for your child. A school can look very good on paper. But does it gel with your child and their personality, strengths, etc.? Consider their strong suits, and pair them with a school that will help them thrive. If your kid loves to act or sing, make sure the school has a good theater department, for instance.

In the end, it’s all about research, so don’t skip this step!

Contact Berkshire Hathaway Premier Properties for Home Buying Help

During your house search, our agents are constantly on the lookout for the best match for your needs. If you specify you want a stellar school system, we can narrow down your search according to those parameters. Get started on the hunt when you contact Berkshire Hathaway Premier Properties at 713-862-0000.

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