For families with children, moving to a new city also means finding new schools. You can find out about your son’s preschool and kindergarten, your daughter’s high school and college, well before you make the move.
Fortunately, the family relocating to another city has many resources to draw on.
Here are some hints for researching schools in a new city before your relocation.
Researching Schools Before Moving
So, when you research the schools your child might attend when you relocate, what should you look for??
1. Community Statistics
Several websites allow you to search by city or zip code to get an idea of crime rates, poverty rates, and the outlook for the local economy before relocating. Knowing the community will give you a better idea of the quality of the schools.
Is the area urban? Suburban? Rural? Is it white collar or blue collar? How many new businesses have moved into the area in the last three years?
2. School District
Schools districts usually have their own websites. Before you move, check to see if minutes from the most recent meetings are posted online—this will give you an idea of the issues facing the district, as well as how it spends its money.
Does the district spend money mostly on maintenance of older buildings? On teachers’ salaries?
3. School’s Website
Visit the school’s website; it will give you some idea about faculty, teacher to student ratios, programs available for students, and extracurricular activities. Check to see if the school has an active chapter of the PTA and make contact with the president or vice-president.
Are emergency procedures available online? What kind of help is available for struggling students?
You can get raw data on school performance online at the National Center for Education Statistics. There you will find everything from the number of seventh graders placed in pre-algebra, to the highest reading courses offered at the area high school.
How many children are in the gifted program, or test out of rudimentary classes? How many go to college after high school?
While you’re at the NCES website, be sure to check out other school statistics. What is the economic status of the majority of families? What is the racial and ethnic makeup of the student body? How many students drop out before graduation?
These numbers will give you some insight into where the school is using its energy.
Have you ever relocated to a new city? Have some tips or advice to offer?