Standard education in America is included as part of public funding from both the state and federal governments. The taxes that each citizen pays contributes to the school systems and allows children to attend from kindergarten to twelfth grade and children can attend from the ages of five to twenty one. Public school options are offered in almost every town and community, however, there are also alternative and private schools that you might want to consider.
Pre-schools and beginning level schools are typically the beginning of a child’s education. Some schools, such as the Montessori chain, focus on preparing the child for their next years in school as well as one-on-one education for those that experience challenges. These schools are not included in the public school system and there are charges that are associated with attending as well as parental responsibility for school supplies and transportation.
Public schools from grammar school through high school are available for all children to attend. Parents pay for standard school supplies and meals. Many of the school systems offer busing services for pick up and drop off. It’s important to make sure that you live near an available school bus stop and that there aren’t any restrictions as to the distance from your home to the school for bus pick up. Another important factor is to do some research online to see how the school rates in education within the state. If the rating is too low, you may want to make a decision for a private school.
Private schools are designed to assist children who have either accelerated needs or if the local public school is not up to the standards that the parent expects. There is usually a higher cost associated with public schools as they are subsidized through tuition payments. Parents are responsible for all costs associated with the child including standard school supplies, meals and in some cases the purchase of the books. Parents are usually also responsible for transporting the children to and from school, although some private schools do include this as a choice with certain busing services. Private schools usually have smaller classroom sizes, giving the students the opportunity to work more closely with the teacher.
Alternative learning environment schools offer both accelerated services and education for children that have learning challenges. In more recent years, some of the school systems have established these schools and they are part of the public school system. In these cases, they are also used for those that may have dropped out of school and wish to continue to get their GED (General Education Degree). Most of these schools do involve additional financial payments, including tuition, books, meals and transportation. The classes in these schools are smaller and allow more attention to be given to each student.
It is advisable to set up an appointment with the school of your choice. Talk to counselors and teachers and take a tour of the school. Discuss any sports activity or special interest that your child has and get a complete list of all of the extra activities that the school offers.