Finding the Right School for Your Kids


A good education is critical for any child’s development, and there is a wide variety of schools in the United States with different budgets, class sizes, teaching methods, and types of nurturing. Anything from a preschool to an art high school to middle schools and private high schools are options, but for some kids and teenagers, some schools will be much better than others based on what and how they teach. In any rural or urban area, searching for a school district by zip code is one way to start, and touring schools and interviewing staff can help a parent determine if a school fits their son or daughter’s needs. What do different kinds of schools provide, and what should parents look for? How can searching for a school by zip code narrow down the list?

Different Schools

Searching for a school district by zip code finds nearby schools, but more than one of a certain educational level may appear, and one is bound to be better than the other for a child or teenager’s needs.

One major divide is public vs private schools, with public schools costing next to nothing for parents but having large class sizes, while private schools are much the opposite. A larger class size may mean less attention that the teacher gives per student, so many schools and colleges compete by boasting relatively small class sizes per teacher and good student-teacher ratios, such as 19:1. Overall, about 25% of schools in the United States are private, and if one can be afforded, a student may avoid some of the statistical problems that face students in public schools. For example, 21% of teachers at public school reported apathy as a problem in students, while only 4% of teachers at private schools reported this issue. Similarly, about 24% of public school teachers say that a lack of parent involvement is an issue for the students, and only 3% of private school teachers say the same. Private schools cost much more than public ones, but the benefits often match the price.

Different Schools for Different Kids

Searching for a school district by zip code may reveal multiple appropriate schools, and parents must know which is right for their kids and their needs. According to Great Schools, four central factors can affect choosing a school. What the child learns, meaning what subjects and at what difficulty, is one such factor. How the child learns, such as the child’s motivation, learning style, any behavior challenges or mental health challenges, and self-understanding, as well as how well a school can teach the child accordingly. The third factor is simply the social factor, how well the child form and maintains friendships and acquaintances, and the fourth factor is practical matters, or extracurricular activities the child may be interested in, such as sports or music.

The school’s budget and supplies can also affect whether a parent wants to send their son or daughter to a particular school. Computer labs may be important for a middle or high school, where the child or teenager learns basic Internet safety and how to research information effectively, as well as learning to type and use basic computer programs for school assignments. Some school districts may even offer computer personal tablets for kids, offering interactive, educational games and digital textbooks.

Finally, the child’s own feedback and behavior are a good indicator if a school district is the best one. The child should be motivated and energized, as well as easily making friends and getting along with others. If the child shows significant academic achievement and growth, and the student finds the work challenging but doable, then the school is most likely a good fit. Conversely, if the child is lonely, unmotivated, or is underachieving, a better school could be found, most conveniently searching for a new school district by zip code.

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