School Choice Week celebrating the right of parents to choose where to educate their children is drawing to a close. I wanted to share a couple of research results on that process and again point out the new choice available here in the Grand Strand, The Renaissance Preparatory Academy.
Research has shown that parents consider a variety of topics as they choose a school for their children. Over sixteen articles since 1992 have shown that parents’ main concern centers on academic quality. Altenhofen et al. (2016) noted that quality has been measured in a variety of ways ranging from test scores to methods of instruction. One fairly local study up in the Charlotte area found that parents weight test results higher when they are known about several alternative school choices (Hastings & Weinstein, 2008). Families that are less financially stressed tend to differentiate more between schools on important dimensions than those families which are financially stressed are aware of. One difference is actually visiting the schools under consideration. That personal exploration of the available school choice didn’t seem to garner as much consideration as out of school activities like sports and art experiences which was a shame since according to Lareau (page 198) choosing a school is “one of the most economically and socially consequential decision of their lives.”
So as we come to the end of this week, have you gone or made arrangements to go and visit school to see how children are being treated? To see the resources being provided? To see the range of work that children are encourage and required to complete? Doing online searches of schools is important. Determining the “results” of the educational experience (i.e. test scores or other outcome measures) is also important but just as it is important to personally check out day cares, so, too, is it important to personally check out the schools under consideration.
At the Renaissance Preparatory Academy we value your visits. While it is important to not disrupt the children’s work days (i.e. we are a small school by design and are just beginning our growth), we regularly hold open houses and this February we are opening an open house where some of our children will come in on a Saturday morning and engage in a condensed version of our school day via some “mock” lessons while parents and others interested can tour the facility and do a “silent” walk through the various classrooms!
This Curriculum Interactive Open House is
on Saturday, February 10
beginning at 10am
at our school site
which is at 3301 33rd Avenue No., MB
(in the square building behind the Greek Orthodox Church).
Call Ms. Delaney at 854-528-0401
for more information about the school
 Altenhofen, S., Berends, M., & White, T. G. 2016. School Choice Decision Making Among Suburban, High-Income Parents, AERA Open, Accessed January 15, 2018 at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2332858415624098.
 Hastings, J. S., Weinstein, J. M. 2008. Information, school choice, and academic achievement: Evidence from two experiments. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123, 1373-1414.
 Lareau, A. 2014. Schools housing, and the reproduction of inequality. In Lareau A., Goyette K. (Eds.), Choosing homes, choosing schools (pp169-205) New York, NY Russell Sage Foundation
Many private schools have enrollment for the next school year beginning in February or March preceding that start. This up-coming week is National School Choice Week. I recently came across an article by the President of the organization that sponsors that event, Andrew Campanella. His article, Time to focus on school choice, was in the South Strand News on January 11, 2018.
Are you ready to make your school choice for your children?
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