Tips for choosing a Twin Cities public school and district

Moving is hard… and even more difficult when schools enter into the mix. While we have many excellent private schools, you don’t need a private school to get a good education in the Twin Cities. There are fine neighborhood public schools, but choices that offer students an outstanding public school education go beyond those…. including open enrollment, charter schools, language immersion programs, alternative schools.

The choices can be overwhelming, but the majority of students still attend a school in the school district where they live. Here are some tips for choosing a school district and school…

Do your online research

A simple Google search will deliver many sources of online information, including sites such as GreatSchools and Niche, but be careful of using only data rankings as a measure of whether the district or school may be a good fit for you and your child. The reasons for the rankings may or may not be important to you. In fact, some of the reasons a district is ranked lower could be exactly what you are looking for in a school

Create a list of qualities, values and programs that are important to you

  • What curriculum is important to you? special needs programs, gifted programs, college prep, physical ed, languages, music, art, AP classes, STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, math, the arts), etc
  • Class size, student/teacher ratio, diversity
  • Library resources, technology, homework
  • Approach to discipline and safety, counselors, tutoring
  • Extra curricular programs such as debate, theater, music, athletics, etc
  • Before and after school childcare programs
  • Busing policies, parking
  • Types of parent involvement
  • Food service
  • School schedule

Talk to parents whose children attend the school system

Don’t rely only on online reviews… keep in mind that oftentimes it is people with complaints who write reviews and they may not reflect the experience of most families at the school. Look for misleading factors that could rule out what might be a good choice for you and your child. Connect with parents whose children actually attend the school system… you might even be able to strike up an online conversation with a parent whose children attend a particular school.

Visit the schools yourself if possible

There is nothing that can take the place of an onsite visit while school is in session. Be sure to contact the school first as there may be restrictions.

  • Observe student behavior and attitude
  • Observe teacher & administration attitude
  • Do students and teachers appear happy, engaged, challenged, respectful, etc
  • Observe interaction on different levels

Your school/district decision is a personalized one, based on your child’s needs and learning style. Don’t get caught in the trap that students can only get a quality education at a top-rated school… the whole picture goes beyond a school rating.

Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

Related Posts

Down Payment Assistance

đź–¨ Print Article Are you thinking about buying your first home but not sure about your down payment? Do you have some money saved up but not sure it’s enough?...

How to buy when you need the proceeds from selling your current home to buy your next home

đź–¨ Print Article It used to be fairly common to buy a home contingent upon the sale of your current home, but with such a shortage of homes for sale...

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Market Updates & Mid-Century Modern Listings

Our weekly HomesMSP Update includes current local market information and a curated list of mid-century modern properties for sale, plus posts from an inspector, a lender, a stager, info about neighborhoods, life in the Twin Cities… even recipes!

Hidden

Blog Categories

Archives

Sharon and John Hensrud

About Us

The HomesMSP Team is committed to meeting you where you are and listening… really listening to understand you so we can use our extensive knowledge of the market and local neighborhoods to give you personalized service.