Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Choosing School Districts in Maryland

Choosing School Districts and Schools
Compass Home Group of Keller Williams American Premier Realty
The neighborhoods you consider while house hunting may be determined, in part, by school districts and educational choices. If you'll be sending your children to public school, ratings and other assessment tools can help you judge the merit of the schools near you. If you're considering a private school, you may have to sort through programs with a wide range of philosophical backgrounds. Read on to learn about school ratings, types of schools and other factors to consider.

Finding Information About School Districts

School ratings and test score data can be found through your State Department of Education website. According to Project Appleseed, the National Campaign for Public School Improvement, "The [federal] No Child Left Behind legislation requires an annual school report card for all schools. School report cards describe characteristics of the school, including the number of children, various test scores, ratios of teachers to students, ethnic ratios, poverty levels, and more. Report cards can usually be obtained by contacting the department of education in the state or the school district office where the school is located." If you're considering several regions at once, you can get State Education Data Profiles by accessing the National Center for Education Statistics website. To compare school districts in another way, visit GreatSchools.org to conduct a school search. GreatSchools, which is based in San Francisco, offers free information for parents all over the nation. For local information make sure to visit Harford County Public Schools site at HCPS.org, Baltimore County Schools at BCPS.org, and Cecil County Schools at CCPS.org.

What to Consider when Choosing a School

When you look for information about a school district, you have a lot to consider. Not only should you look at test scores and class sizes, but you should also consider the particular needs of your child. Project Appleseed suggests that you should assess schools with these things in mind:
  • Your child's personality and learning style
  • Your family's values, budget, and needs
  • School philosophy and style of instruction
  • School facilities and personnel
  • School policies and schedules
  • The school's reputation in the community
  • Core curriculum and additional courses
  • The school's approach to safety
  • Family and community involvement
If your dream house turns up in a school district with poor school ratings, don't give up hope. It may be possible to get a geographic exception to send your child to a different school. While this may rule out traveling by school bus, it could be a good compromise if you need to be close to work or have other reasons for choosing a home in a less-than-ideal school district.
Continue reading about choosing school districts and schools when purchasing a new home by clicking here...

Compass Home Group of Keller Williams American Premier Realty Tim Langhauser & Michele McCartin Call or Text 443-360-0086 for information