our school options include an extensive array of traditional, special-focus and charter schools. But how do you know which school is a good fit with your child’s talents and needs? Explore these helpful tools and strategies to consider your options. And remember – there isn’t one measure alone that should dictate your choice. Consider a wide array of factors to make the best decision for your family.
School Performance Framework (SPF)
This rating system gives each school an overall grade that is based on six main criteria. These criteria include:
The most recent year’s test scores
Growth in test scores over time
Parent and community involvement
Schools that achieve “Distinguished” or “Meets Expectations” are doing the best, while schools that score “Accredited on Watch,” “Accredited on Priority Watch” or “Accredited on Probation” need additional work to improve overall student achievement.
Each school-comparison Web site includes unique features.
www.dpsk12.org – This site includes the full list of DPS traditional, special-focus and charter schools. Click on the school name to see the current principal, grades offered and a link to the school’s Web site.
www.greatschools.org – This site includes ratings by the site administrators that compare each school’s test scores with those of the state of Colorado. It also includes reviews directly from parents.
www.coloradoschoolgrades.com – This site uses the exact same variables and weights as the Colorado Department of Education’s School Performance Framework. It translates the state’s data into letter grades (A-F) for public schools.
Once you have researched the specifics of schools you may be interested in, contact the school directly to meet the principal, take a tour or have your child spend time with other students or in classrooms – what is often called “shadowing.”