Question: I'm moving to Colorado. How do I choose the best school and district for my children?
Defining a school or district as "the best" can be a subjective choice. What makes a good school and which criteria are the most important? High scores on Colorado's own standards-based assessments (CSAP)? Low pupil/teacher ratios and dropout rates? A broad spectrum of music, art, or athletic programs? A particular educational philosophy?
In an effort to help parents understand school performance in Colorado, schools are now ranked on a scale of Excellent, High, Average, Low, or Unsatisfactory using School Accountability Reports.
To truly choose "the best" school or district for their child, parents are encouraged to crystallize their criteria, and then contact the district superintendent's office to inquire about:
- scores on standardized tests and Colorado's own Student Assessment (CSAP)
- educational philosophy
- district annual performance reports and accountability reports
- programs for special needs students · extra-curricular activities
- any special issues important to your child
Note to parents of transferring students: Colorado is a "local control" state, which means that local rules and policy apply in the placement of a child moving into a Colorado district. Generally, local districts either accept the grade level of the transferring student or carry out testing of the student to place them in the appropriate grade level. Districts also have the right to apply their own cut-off dates to kindergarten age children and their own credit requirements to transferring high school students.
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