When you have school-aged children nothing is more important when you’re moving than the nearby schools. After spending years getting to know your local schools – the leadership, the teachers, the facilities – now you’ve got to start all over again.
Maybe it’s been years since you’ve had to compare and contrast schools or you’re moving into a completely new area. Either way, the resources below can help you find and compare schools before moving day.
The GreatSchools.org website is built to provide parents with information on area schools. Use the search filters to narrow the selection by grade level, rating and more. GreatSchools.org rates schools using a number of factors that range from test scores to equity for all students.
If you don’t have school-aged children yet check out the academic progress. It’s an indicator of whether a school will likely improve or digress in the coming years.
Another useful feature is the user reviews. Real parents weigh in how they think the school is doing. Getting insights like these are invaluable.
Real Estate Listing Sites / Local Realtors
Real estate agents know how important school ratings are to homebuyers. They stay on top of the local school district’s developments, test scores and ratings. When a buyer asks which areas have the best schools you can answer with confidence.
It’s amazing what Google has done with mapping technology. You can zoom in on an area and search specifically for schools. Related points will immediately pop up on the map.
Click on the point of a school to get additional details, including reviews. You can then get directions from your new home, and even use Google Streetview to get a ground look at the school.
Tour Local Schools
Once you get a better understanding of the local schools it’s time to tour the facilities. A school visit is the only way to get a true feel for an education facility.
You can call a school to request a tour or find out when they are holding their next open house. During the school visit pay attention to how people interact and how well the facility is maintained. Come prepared with a list of questions for the school faculty. If you need help getting started check out this list of school visit questions from Greatschools.org.
Don’t Underestimate Student Input
Engagement is critical for learning. The best way to gauge engagement is to talk with students.
How do students feel about the school in general? Do they like their teachers? Are they excited about classes? Do they have a selection extracurricular activities?
Real Estate Listing Sites
You can also find school ratings on real estate listings. Both Realtor.com and Redfin.com include information on nearby schools. Realtor.com stats come from GreatSchools, the National Center for Education Statistics and Pitney Bowes. Redfin.com uses information provided by GreatSchools.
Need more time to research schools before you move? Square Cow Movers is equipped to provide families of all sizes with local moving services, intrastate services or cross country relocation services.
Give us a call or get a free moving estimate online.