Whether you are choosing a school for the first
time for your child or your child is making the transition to a new school, you
probably have many questions. What are your options? How much choice do you
really have? What's the best option for your child and your family? Where
should you begin?
School choice options available to
parents have increased dramatically in recent years. There's a growing national
sentiment that promoting competition in public education may spur schools to
improve and that parents who invest energy in choosing a school will continue
to be involved in their child's education.
Your neighborhood school
Generally, your first option is
your neighborhood school. Each public school district sets up its own rules and
boundaries for each school in the district, so it is best to check with your
local district to find out which school your child will be assigned to, and
what the rules are for attending charter schools, magnet schools, or other
schools within or outside your local district.
School districts generally set
their own policies for intra district transfers (from one school in the
district to another) and inter district transfers (to a school outside the
district). Preferences are often given to children whose child care provider is
near a particular school, or whose parents work in the city where the school is
located. Most school districts have an appeals process if your request is
denied. Space limitations often make transfers difficult, and each district's
process has its own regulations, so be sure to check with your local district for
How much choice do you really have?
It depends. The amount of choice
varies from one school district to another, and varies from state to state. In
most instances, it depends on supply and demand, and schools that are well
regarded are generally in high demand. So if you are hoping to transfer your
child to a popular school outside your home district, or a popular charter or
magnet school, you may find it difficult.
Always check with your local
district to learn the rules, and once you have applied for a transfer, keep
checking on the status of your application. In some districts, spots will open
up at the last minute or once the school year has begun, so it's a good idea to
keep checking back with the school.
U.S. News Looked At Thousands Of Public Schools
to Identify The Most Outstanding
Broward County Public Schools is
home to several Best High Schools in the nation and state, according to new
rankings by U.S. News & World Report. In all, 14 BCPS high schools received
gold, silver, or bronze medals in U.S. News’ Best High Schools 2012 national
U.S. News evaluated more than
22,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Schools
were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on state proficiency
standards, exams, how well students are prepared for college and other factors.
A three-step process determined the
Best High Schools. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all of
their students well, using performance on state proficiency tests as the
benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third
step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level
work. Schools with highest unrounded college readiness index values were
numerically ranked nationally from No. 1 to No. 500 and were the gold medal
Broward’s top national ranking high
schools and gold medalists, also ranking in the state’s top 50, are Cypress Bay
High School (#19 state, #253 national), Pompano Beach High School (#20 state,
#262 national) and McFatter Technical High School (#24 state, #329 national).
In addition, four BCPS high schools
are national silver medalists and rank in the state’s top 50 – Nova High School
(#32 state, #544 national), Atlantic Technical High School (#38 state, #611
national), Cooper City High School (#46 state, #810 national) and Fort
Lauderdale High School (#48 state, #854).