School Selection

As we enter the twenty-first century, it is clear that education is, indeed, the best investment that we can make, for an information economy depends upon a knowledgeable, skilled, educated workforce.

In the foundation stone ceremony of the Aga Khan Academy, His Highness the Aga Khan said, "Education that prepares children for life must go beyond fundamental skills to stimulate creativity, intellectual curiosity and honest inquiry... For all these reasons, there is no better investment that individuals, parents and the nation can make than an investment in education of the highest possible quality. Such investments are reflected and endure, in the formation of the kind of social conscience that our world so desperately needs".

There are many things to consider for your child's needs and your family's as well. It is imperative when selecting a school for your child you think of the following questions:

  • Which of my child's features will help them learn and feel better in school - with their teachers, peers, materials, and methodologies of learning?
  • Which strengths and weaknesses can be addressed at school and what can be developed at home?

Below is a check list that will help you identify a school:

  • Call your prospective school and talk with the guidance counselors to arrange a time for you to tour the school.
  • Speak with the guidance counselors about the educational environment in the school. These counselors are your best resource for evaluating a school. Address all your concerns about the school with these counselors; they will be more than willing to help.
  • Try to attend a few classes of your choice to observe student-teacher interactions. The students should be comfortable interacting with the teacher and be eager to learn from him/her. Mutual respect between teachers and students is an indicator of a good learning environment. During your visit note the quality of the work displayed.
  • Ask the counselors if the school adequately offers the necessary basic classes that feed into advanced classes.
  • Almost all good schools have an active Parent-Teachers Association (PTA). Ask a current member about the role of the PTA and the level of parental involvement in the school.
  • Ensure that the school can provide for your child's special needs, if any. Gifted children and children having learning disabilities or physical impairments often require special attention. Ask the guidance counselors if the school can provide the necessary assistance for these students.
  • Make sure your child has no major concerns about the school, curriculum, or teachers. Both you and your child should feel comfortable with the environment the school provides.

While there are many factors associated to your child's needs consider the following four -Visit Site

  • What your child learns: These are aspects of your child that affect what subjects and what level of difficulty your child should be taught at school. These include your child's basic learning capability, other capabilities, and interests.
  • How your child learns: These are aspects of your child that affect how a school should teach and interact with your child both in and outside of the classroom. These include your child's learning styles, motivation, physical and mental health challenges, behavior challenges, learning disabilities and disorders, and self-understanding.
  • Social Issues: This includes the need for social contact with particular friends from the child's perspective.
  • Practical Matters: This includes essential extracurricular activities that may be compelling choice factors for some children.

When considering elementary school, take the time to look at the following information for each school:

  • Average Test Score (look at the STAAR and TAKS scores)
  • Feeder Middle School
  • Residents with college education
  • Student teacher ratio
  • Median household income

When considering middle school, take the time to look at the following information for each school:

  • Average Test Score (look at the STAAR and TAKS scores)
  • Feeder High School
  • Residents with college education
  • Student teacher ratio
  • Median household income

When considering high schools, take the time to look at the following information for each school:

  • Percent going to 4-year college
  • Percent going to 2-year college
  • Average SAT scores
  • Percent taking SAT
  • Number of AP (Advanced Placement) classes
  • Number of extra-curricular activities
  • Median household income
  • Residents with college education

You can view individual school information by visiting the following site: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/tapr/2013/srch.html