Summer is a popular time for families to move because kids are out of school and they want to be settled into a new home before the next school year begins. A popular question realtors receive around this time, is about local school systems and where parents can go online to get more information. This is a tough question because many area schools are good and some may excel in one area more than another. Plus, its difficult to know exactly what a family may need or want from a school district.
There are many ways for parents determine if a school is a good fit for their children, for example, test scores, graduation rates, class size, sports and subjects offered are popular statistics. Finding the right data can be difficult, but the following websites offer a range of information.
- Indiana Department of Education – This state-operated site gives an overview of school’s and school system’s test scores, graduation rates, diversity, attendance, educator’s years of service and a description of the state’s rating.
- NeighborhoodScout – This site provides visitors with income and real estate data for specific neighborhoods or areas within a community. For a fee, the site will provide “quality alerts” for schools, test scores, state and national ratings for individual schools and school systems as well as other enrollment data.
- SchoolDigger – Similar to other sites, this one offers a breakdown of diversity, overall state ranking and test scores. It also gives comparative data of school districts using state data.
- GreatSchools – Parents looking for school reviews from other parents can find it here, along with easy-to-read and understand summaries for academics, diversity and school environment. The graphs offer comparisons to state averages.
- Individual school and district websites – This is an excellent way to see what specialized courses, extra curricular activities, support services and policies a school or district offer students. These are also good places to review in the event rezoning will take place soon.
- Project Appleseed – This is a resource for parents wishing to determine how well a school or system communicates and interacts with parents and guardians. It offers a variety of tools for parents to use to determine if a school is the right fit for their child’s needs.
Finding a home within a school system that offers the right educational opportunities for a family’s children is important for many buyers, especially during the summer. Taking time to research what schools offer in terms of students with special needs, STEM classes, graduation prep and more can only help narrow the focus when searching for a new home during this busy buying season.