In the Denver Metro area, we get a lot of questions about school districts -- which ones are considered the best, which ones rank the highest, and the districts to supposedly avoid. In reality, there is no way to predict which schools are going to be the best fit for your family and your kiddos, but there are many places that you can do some initial research online:
According to their website, GreatSchools is the leading national nonprofit empowering parents to unlock educational opportunities for their child.
GreatSchools’ trusted ratings and school information help parents find the right school for their family and improve schools in their communities. The thousands of articles, tips and interactive tools help parents support their child’s learning and wellbeing every day.
Colorado Department of Education - schoolview
Using this state-wide resource, you can view historical profiles of individual schools and districts as well as state education data up to 2014, including district and school performance frameworks, performance results, enrollment, disciplinary actions and more.
School Choice for Kids
Students may open enroll into any public school as long as certain criteria are met. Most schools that do not have room for more students will have a waiting list. When there is room for more students, schools will either accept students on a first-come-first-served basis or hold a lottery to determine which students may enroll in the school.
This website is a great resource for families who don't think their neighborhood school will be a good fit for their child, or if you are considering buying a home in a certain neighborhood based mainly on the neighborhood school.
Colorado is an open enrollment state, which means that students are not required to attend their neighborhood school. There are many alternatives.
According to a new realtor.com® survey, Buyers have their eyes on schools, and with the irrefutable link between the quality of schools and values, a district with high ratings trumps all—even coveted features of a home.
To get into their desired district, 78 percent of the homebuyers surveyed had to let go of something on their wish list. When asked what they would compromise on, approximately one-fifth (19 percent) of respondents would forgo a garage, while 17 percent would go without a kitchen that has been remodeled. Another 17 percent would settle for less bedrooms.
Being within an in-demand district is “important” to 73 percent of respondents to the survey, and even more so to those with children, and those who are younger. What are the characteristics of a “good” school? Accelerated programs, arts and music and diversity are all factors, but the most important is test scores, according to the survey.
“Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list, but our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com. “For many buyers, ‘location, location, location,’ means ‘schools, schools, schools.'”
Generally, homes in proximity to sought-after schools move quicker than others, and are pricier.
In Colorado, there are many school districts, types of schools, and even homeschooling and online schools that may be viable alternatives for your child. It's important to note as well that school boundaries are rapidly changing - as neighborhoods evolve, demographics change, and schools are both being built and are being closed on a very regular basis.
So, it might not be the best idea to buy a home based ONLY on the neighborhood school. If you have questions about anything related to the Colorado home-buying process, or about our education system or certain schools or districts, please contact us.
**Infographic and information courtesy of Realtor.com