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Old 05-28-2011, 07:41 AM
925 posts, read 2,594,001 times
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Parents relocating to the Boston suburbs often say it's hard to know if they're choosing the right school system. While there are some resources online such as the Boston Globe school rankings, Great Schools parent reviews, MCAS scores, and such, it seems like there could be more information out there to get a real feel for an individual school.

I'd love to hear from folks on the forum:

What additional information would you like to know about a public school that would be helpful for choosing the right school for your children?
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:43 AM
Location: Cape Cod
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Accessibility. How much parental involvement in school is encouraged? Can I get the Superintendent on the phone? Are valid concerns met with indifference or addressed quickly?
More importantly, though, I believe parents should ask themselves similar questions: How willing am I to become involved? Parental involvement (not to be confused with "helicoptering") is as crucial to a child's education as the school system. A superior education requires both.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:21 AM
Location: MA/NH
17,651 posts, read 37,967,159 times
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I suppose that I would want to know about the demographics of the students attending these schools. When I look back at my grade school days in Concord, my fondest memories are less of how good my teachers were, but more that all of my fellow students were planning on going to college. And that meant that my being a nerd was the norm. Plus I was never bullied, I didn't see any bullying (except some friction caused by the METCO students), and there were no teen baby mamas either.

Basically, I would want my kids to be only associating with families that have the same life goals as my family. I don't want them hanging around with kids that think being street-wise and smoking cigarettes is cool.

Statistics about the high school dropout rate, teen pregnancies and how many go on to college and become college graduates would be useful. Also what sort of extra curricular activities are available. I remember participating in chamber music groups and playing in recitals. We once went to an art camp at the DeCordova Museum.

And diversity is a plus only if others are hardworking, good parents and have the same goals such as academic prowess for their children.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:47 PM
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Extracurriculars available and the number of students who take part in each of them.
How programs are funded- athletic fees, club fees etc. Extra costs that could be incurred ie: bus costs.

Enrollment numbers at the high school including numbers in CP Honors and AP. AP test scores and MCAS scores so parents can use that information to discern if the curriculum has rigor.
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