Eight Factors To Consider When Comparing Public Schools


Comparing public schools is an important process for parents and their children. Whether their children are five years old and entering kindergarten or are 17 years old and getting ready for their senior year of high school, parents feel the pressure to choose the absolute best learning environment. In order to make the process go as smoothly as possible, parents should make a list of key topics they’ll want to review at each of the public schools they consider. The following is a list of eight important areas for you to consider if you find yourself in this position.

Class Size

One of the struggles many public schools face is keeping class size to a reasonable level. Especially when compared to private institutions, class sizes can sometimes be so large that individual student-teacher interaction becomes nearly impossible. A group of 10-12 students per teacher is generally considered ideal.


As every parent knows, a child’s learning experience is about a lot more than just what’s taught in the classroom. When touring the property, asking about what sports are available throughout the year. It’s most common for there to be three distinct sport seasons for fall, summer, and spring. Make sure the sports your children are interested in are available for their genders, too. For example, lots of districts offer girls tennis in the fall and have a boys tennis team in the spring.

Extracurricular Activities

There are many other after-school activities that children can get involved with in addition to sports. Inquire about groups such as the Spanish Club, Yearbook Committee, Glee Club, or other activities that your son or daughter may be interested in outside of normal school hours.

Creative Classes

Research shows the profoundly positive impact that art and music classes make on children. Ask about the different types of creative classes available to ensure your child has exposure to the arts as part of his or her curriculum.

Standardized Testing Preparation

Make sure any public schools you’re considering offer adequate support and training so your child can be prepared for standardized testing. Ask about students’ performance to get an understanding of how well they prepare them for tests at all grade levels. Some districts even offer free after-hours classes to prepare students for the SATs and other important exams.

One-on-One Support

Find out about tutoring or coaching services offered for any subjects that your child struggles with. If not offered by the district, can they suggest other local resources that you can turn to for support if needed?

Food Program

What is the lunch program like? Do they have healthy food options that will fit your son or daughter’s eating habits? If it makes sense for your family, find out about breakfast options as well.

Dress Code

Does the district have a dress code and do you feel it is appropriate for your child? While at the property, be observant of the students around you and think about if your son or daughter would feel comfortable in that environment.

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