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Choosing the right school

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Updated: 8/12/2003 12:11 am
When choosing a school, keep in mind that there's no 'best school,' but simply what school is best for your child. Start by identifying your child's specific needs: educational, social and emotional. Take into account factors like the school's size and location. Always check to see that the school is accredited by the proper regional or state accreditation association; many public elementary schools are not. Be aware that certification is not the same thing as accreditation; all schools must be certified to operate, so that designation means little in the way of quality. For each school, examine its teaching methods; its student support, such as tutoring and study halls; the type of curriculum it offers; and its resources for learning, like computers, libraries, or labs. Also, what kind of educational results does the school produce? How do its students score on national tests? Those looking at private schools will probably have more choices than those shopping within the public system. Public school systems often restrict which schools your child may attend, based on where you live. Small communities will only have one school; in that case, you'll be limited to selecting the best teachers and classes.

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