Choosing a School for Your Child:

Choosing a School for Your Child: Resources and Information for Finding the Right One

Your child will spend at least 16,000 hours at school from kindergarten through grade 12. That’s only one reason why it’s important to select a school that will allow your child to thrive. The Web offers solid resources and information to help you in choosing a school for your child that meets their needs and those of your family.

Understanding Different Types of Schools

With choices ranging from public, private, charter, magnet, independent and parochial schools, how can you find the right one? Before you get overwhelmed, read this guide to find the best Web sites for understanding different types of schools.

Insights for Understanding Different Types of Schools

  • Charter schools are public schools that are privately managed by a team selected by parents, teachers and community members.
  • Magnet schools are part of the public school system but offer a specialized curriculum.
  • Parochial schools are church-affiliated private schools and function like independent schools.

Top Sites for Understanding Different Types of Schools

To find public, private or charter schools …
To find a boarding school …
To find magnet and independent schools …
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Schools for Gifted Students

Explore schools for gifted students to get familiar with how gifted and talented is defined around the country, how different programs cater to gifted students and to find guidance on choosing a school or program for your gifted child.

Insights for Schools for Gifted Students

Top Sites for Schools for Gifted Students

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Special Education Programs

Some children experience difficulty in school, ranging from concentration problems to learning, perception and behavior problems. These students may need special education programs to learn at their own unique pace.

Insights for Special Education Programs

  • Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, parents of kids with special needs can work with educators to create an individualized education plan (IEP). Learn more about IEPs and the referral and evaluation process.
  • If your child is referred to a special education program, it’s a good idea to become familiar with your rights under special education laws.
  • Although learning disabilities are never outgrown, proper identification, support and intervention can help a child become successful in learning and in life. To learn more about learning disabilities, see our findingDulcinea Learning Disabilities Web Guide.

Top Sites for Special Education Programs

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Applying to Schools

The school application process can be rigorous, time-consuming and expensive. Use the Web sites in this section to find strategies for applying to schools that can help your child get into the school of their choice.

Insights for Applying to Schools

  • Applying to elementary, middle school and high school can be similar to the college application process. Testing, essays, letters of recommendation and interviews may be required.
  • Not meeting deadlines can prevent your child from getting into their ideal school. Keep a running list of all application deadlines, including deadlines for testing, essays, medical exams and interviews.

Top Sites for Applying to Schools