How to Select a Great School

The right school can make all the difference for you and your child.  “Fit” is important.  A great school delivers on its promise for children every day.  A great school for you and your child provides the right mix of academics, support services and location.

To find the right school for your child, Accelerate Great Schools recommends that you first determine what’s most important for you and your family.

If academics are the primary focus of your search:

  • For Cincinnati Public School district or public community schools, start by getting the facts about school performance from the Ohio School Report Card.  Click here to find the latest district or school report card.
  • Private schools are not required to provide a public record of student performance results, but most will share information if you call them directly.
  • You may want to search for the school website. Websites often speak about special programs at the school that might engage your child in learning.   For instance, if your child learns by doing, you may want to look for a school that talks about projects or expeditions.  Some students learn best by listening, so you may want to look for a school where students recite information out loud to help them remember or teachers give students a chance to repeat information.  If your child likes to draw diagrams or sort information into lists, look for a school where you see lots of charts and graphs in the classrooms to help students learn complex concepts. 
  • If you want a school that focuses on the arts or music or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), you may want to do a search for schools in your neighborhood using those terms. 

Sometimes location is the most important factor in choosing a school.

  • Is it critical for the school to be located near your home, workplace or childcare? Do you want your child to be able to walk to school?
  • Will your child need transportation to the school? Click here for CPS Transportation guidelines.

Many families want to make sure there are a wide range of support services or additional activities at the school. 

Once you’ve found a list of possible schools, you may want to look at the school website or call the school to find out about support services before you make a final school choice.

  • Is it important to have a school nurse or a health clinic at the school?
  • What about technology?  Is it important for your child to have access to computers and computer-based resources at school?
  • Is a playground important for your elementary child?
  • Do you want to make sure your child has access to the arts, sports or other extra-curriculars, like band or drama or robotics?
  • Do you look to the school to connect you with additional support services in the community like health services, counseling, after school programs, tutoring, mentoring, connections to food and housing, and so on? Some schools have a staff member whose role is to make those connections, others have formal Community Learning Centers

You probably won’t find a single school that meets all of your desires, so take a few minutes to identify your top 3 priorities. 

The bottom line: 

Your child deserves a great school.  You have the right to choose from great school options.

  • Do your research.
  • Look for the best fit for you and your child.
  • Make your choice.
  • Enroll your child in a great school.
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