Tips for choosing a school

  • Use these tips to help decide between your neighborhood school and a Signature School. We encourage you to talk with school principals and staff, parents and friends to help you make your decision.

    Know your neighborhood school

    Learn your neighborhood school by entering your home address into our "Find Your School" service.

    Visit the schools

    Visit your neighborhood school and any Signature Schools you are interested in. Call the school office to set up a site visit or inquire about their open house schedule. When you visit, actively ask questions to make sure the school is the right fit for your student and your family. Consider the following:
    Are enrichment and gifted programs offered? What's the classroom environment like? Does the atmosphere seem competitive? Nurturing? Do students appear to be engaged in their schoolwork? What exceptional education support and resources are offered? How does the school recognize student achievement? How does the school prepare students for college, careers or the workforce?
    Comfort and Safety
    Do you feel comfortable walking into the school? What are the security policies and practices? How does the school handle safety issues?
    Parent and Community Involvement
    How are parents involved at the school? How does the school communicate with parents? How are local businesses and community organizations involved with the school? Are there additional opportunities for students through community partnerships?
    Respect and Discipline
    How do students respond to staff? Does staff appear to be attentive to the students' needs? What interventions are available for struggling students?
    How is technology incorporated into teaching and learning? Are there special resources available at the school?

    Consider your family's needs and goals

    When trying to decide between your neighborhood school and a Signature School, make sure your selection will align with your family's needs and goals. Will you be able to make it to the school if your student is ill or if there is an emergency? Will you be able to attend after school events? Will your student be able to maintain the academic standing required by the Signature School?