Oakville Real Estate News

How To Find The Best Schools For Your Kids When You Move

Blog by Joette Fielding | January 3rd, 2014

How To Find The Best Schools For Your Kids When You MoveMoving to a new area is never easy, but moving with kids in tow can be a real challenge. As a parent, you have to factor their education into your location choice, and that can get tricky when you’re searching in an unfamiliar area.

Work With Your Real Estate Agent

Your first conversation about schools should be with your real estate agent, who can provide information on local neighborhoods and the choice of schools your children might attend, whether public or private.

If you prefer private schools, you may have more flexibility picking the location of your new home, since you won’t have to find a place located within a particular school district’s boundaries.

If you want your kids in public schools, you’ll need to know the boundaries of school districts and their individual schools to narrow down your house hunt. However, school districts may change their boundaries from time to time and you may find yourself in a district [or a neighborhood assigned to a particular school] you did not want to be in. To be on the safe side, ask your real estate agent for a list of good schools in the area and then contact the school district office to make sure there are no plans to change boundary lines.

Research Online

Once you have an idea of the best schools, you should go online to do further research. The Fraser Institute (http://ontario.compareschoolrankings.org/) provides ratings for each school and you can access the EQA test results for each school on the Halton District School Board site (http://www.hdsb.ca/).  

Visit Schools

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, set up times to meet with teachers, principals or administration staff. Ask questions to get a true feel for the school, such as:

  • What is the school’s disciplinary policy?
  • How does this school monitor students’ progress toward meeting grade-level standards?
  • Is free school busing available?
  • Is there an active parent organization?
  • How is technology used to support teaching and learning at this school?
  •  What extracurricular opportunities are available for students?

When visiting private schools be sure to discuss entrance requirements. Some private schools require testing or that your child meet certain criteria before acceptance.

Plan Ahead

After you’ve narrowed down your choice of schools to one or two, look for housing inside the public school’s required boundaries or within an acceptable commuting distance for a private school.

Even if you’re set on a private-school education for your child, you may want to consider the quality of the public schools in the neighborhoods where you’ll be house hunting. Houses in high-ranking school districts often have a higher resale value than houses in lesser-ranking school districts.

Excerpt taken from http://www.realtor.com


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