If you plan to move or change schools, you need to get reliable information about the schools you are considering.
These websites will help:
Great Schools at http://www.greatschools.org/
Great Schools is an independent, non-profit organization that provides parents with information and tools to choose schools and support their children’s education. Great Schools has information about public schools, private schools, charter schools, home schools, No Child Left Behind, and school choice options.
These articles will help you make wise decisions when you select a school in a new community.
Choosing a School
Find a School Skills
Choosing a School: Considering Your Child’s Needs
Go to your state to “Find a school” (NC for example) and compare different schools in a county or city: http://www.greatschools.org/north-carolina/
School Questions: MilitaryOneSource Educational Consultants Can Help
School Quest from the Military Child Education Coalition at http://www.militarychild.org/navigating-school-moves
Easing School Transitions for All Military Families – Find an Compare Schools.Find State Education resources.
Designed for military families, SchoolQuest is a safe, secure online resource. SchoolQuest is organized so that you can access information that the MCEC has gathered to help you make decisions on future schools for your children.
@David: Search the states department of education website. For example, in Colorado you are able to view the due process and state complaints dating several years back by district. This is key, especially when you are trying to detrmine if a particular school district fights parents on some of the more costly needs that your child may have.
Specifically for military service members I created this post to help provide some guidance on changing schools during PCS season. As a military officer myself and staunch advocate for autism, we have learned successful tips on how to reduce the stress with a PCS and how to really create a successful transition.
I don’t know how they managed to get the school district totell them that much information. Maybe the military gets more respect fromt he district. . Most districts in NJ will not even talk to you unless you can prove residency. They won’t tell you what services they have. I have found that the best way to find out about a district is to go to the school district website and look for a Parents Group. Contact the Parents Group and then through them contact actual parents and find out whether the district program that sounds so great is any good for your child. There are a lot of programs that sound good until your child is in it and not getting the education he or she should. Also attend meetings and ask questions of groups like ASPEN or COSAC or whatever category your child fits into and find out from parents what their districts are like
Is anyone aware of a data base that is easy to navigate that contains State Department investigations that have resulted in a finding that a school district did not comply with IDEA or ADA procedural safeguards?
Annual report cards are available but details about Special Education are VERY misleading. For example, the Department of Education investigated and found that my child had been denied a FAPE and the annual report card in no way reflects a school that has previously and continues to deny a child a FAPE.
A school that is doing Special Education well, should get a good grade for their efforts. A school district that has ongoing computer glitches and typos at the expense of children in special education, should be entitled to interventions that offer assistance to get them back on track.
White out should not be an interventio