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Choosing a School Before You Move.

By Preston Guyton Published 05/22/2007 | Real Estate
So you're relocating and need to find a school in your new area for your children. The hard part is that you want to make sure it's the right school, and you might not yet know the local neighborhoods yet. Here are some things to research so that when you decide on a school, you can be confident it's the right one for your kids.

Whatever the region you are moving to, chances are they have a city web site. These usually have a list of local schools. If this isn't possible, ask your real estate agent if they have any information about local schools or districts.

While public schools don't necessarily have their own web site, school districts often do. Private schools, at least the good ones, will definitely have their own web sites. Many communities have more than one denominational school as well as a variety of specialty schools such as Waldorf, Montessori or those offering an advanced or university prep curriculum.

Online schools are gaining popularity and many school districts now offer distance education programs, which essentially act as online extensions of their regular curriculum. These allow students the flexibility of studying from home at their own pace, while providing them with a teacher to email their questions and assignments to. These programs work well if you have an advanced, self-motivated teen, live in a very rural area,if you move often and want to maximize academic consistency for your child, or if you work from home and can monitor your children's activities. However they don't work well if your child is the type to spend their day playing computer games.

City web sites are also usually a wealth of demographical information. If you want to know the average income or racial profile for a city or sub-area within a city, this information should be there. It can help you to understand the area you are moving to, and in extension, the types of kids yours will be going to school with. Perhaps you've chosen a home that's close to a new job, but the best schools are in another part of town. You'll want to know, and plan your routines in advance. School District web sites should have contact information for individual schools, allowing you to find information about available bussing, school start and end times, etc.

Waiting until you move to research local schools could mean your child misses more school days than they have to. In addition,6 a.m. the Monday morning after your big move is NOT when you want to be wondering whether the local public school will suit your child, or if a bus goes by the neighborhood of your chosen school. Planning in advance will save you stress at moving time, and considering everything that is involved in a move, the more stress you can remove, the better.

Preston Guyton is a professional RealtorŪ serving the Myrtle Beach real estate market. For more information on Myrtle Beach homes & properties, contact Preston today or visit www.prestonguyton.com.