School choice: How to choose the best school for your child

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(WSPA) – Parents, we all want the best education for our child. And this week there’s a push to educate parents about all the choices they have, most of which are free.

As part of National School Choice Week we look into what parents and students need to know.

10-year-old Kinley Myers is one of the biggest advocates for school choice.

Before 4th grade she decided to tranfer from her public school in Pickens County to the magnet STEM school McKissick Academy in Easley.

“My future did change for me because I’ve come to such a great school with such great chances and opportunities,” she said.

The magnet school’s focus on engineering, bio medical and computer science translates to a more hands on way of learning for Myers like when they read about Henry Ford’s assemly line, and then constructed their own.

“You only get one chance at an education for your children and I think if you give them a chance to have that choice then they are more apt to take ownership of that and to excel,” said Heather Touchberry, the Principal at McKissick Academy.

So how do you know what’s right for your child?

SchoolChoiceWeek.com has a guide for every state, and it breaks down what’s offered where and for how much. Most options, except private and homeschooling are free.

“The top three things for a parent to keep in mind when they are thinking about school choice, they want to think about A) accessability, transportation B) the student and the school’s performance and C) you want to look at the culteral fit of the school and whether it’s a strict dress code place or a free spirit place and how that would fit with your child’s partuclar personality.”,” said Shelby Doyle with National School Choice Week.

She stresses, recommends greatschools.org as a resource to check on a school’s performance and says look for the year over year, not necessarily the overal profieciency.

There are 6 choices in South Carolina including:

  • Traditional Public Schools
  • Charter
  • Magnet
  • Online
  • Private
  • Homeschool

You’ll find definitions of all at schoolchoiceweek.com

Unlike North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia also give parents additional choices by allowing students to request public schools that are not zoned for their neighborhood.

For Myers, it’s a choice that she will never take for granted.

“That’s going to give me a chance to go to the college of my dreams,” she said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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