Now that my daughter is 3.5 years old, I have started to enter into the world of researching schools for pre-k and kindergarten. Today, there are so many options to choose from such as deciding between our local or zoned school to specialized schools or to private institutions. With all of these options there are also word-of-mouth references and recommendations, which when all weighed together makes this process rather daunting. To streamline this process, I recently had the chance to test out the GreatSchools app, a national school search tool that is designed to a make looking for schools a whole lot easier.
Established by GreatSchools, a national nonprofit whose mission is to guide parents to be involved in their children's education, this innovative app features reviews, rating and school information of over 125,000 public and private K-12 schools in the U.S. To test out this app, I searched for elementary schools in my area (the app also allows you to search for middle schools and high schools). With a simple tap, the app knew my location and pinpointed with green and red marker points the surrounding public and private schools in my area. In order to see the schools, I clicked on '??list'?? where the app organized the schools by distance, name, and ratings.
As I looked through my list, I started perusing schools based on their rating. One tap of the school name and you are given pertinent information such as a schools address, phone number, enrollment numbers, map, city info and its rating. You can also save your searches or share them via email or as a message. These user-friendly functions made it very simple to compare school information and learn more about schools in my area.
Through the search, you can also tailor your search and filter your list by grade, school type, distance, community rating, enrollment size and by its GreatSchools rating, which aggregates community reviews from parents, teachers, and students. As I was looking through various schools, I also really enjoyed reading the detailed and very honest reviews that were submitted by both teachers and parents. Everything was included in the rating such as the day-to-day culture of a school to what frustrates parents such as one parent who remarked that a school'??s principal was '??unprofessional and rude.'?
GreatSchools also mentioned that this app is also ideal for real estate agents who can promote that they know where the best schools are located since this directly impacts home buying. The valuable app is also ideal for teachers who can research schools and get a feel of the community and culture of where they will work.
Living in a digital and busy world, I loved that I could easily search and research schools at my leisure on my phone. This new app was a great way to streamline the search process where I was able to assess schools based on their distance from my house, programs offered, rating and enrollment. As I have more research to do, I am excited that I now have the GreatSchools FREE app to make this process a little easier.
The GreatSchools App is available on the iPhone, iPad, or iTouch. For more information, visit greatschools.org.
Serena Norr is a NYC-based writer/editor, soup-maker, and more importantly, a mama to two girls. You can read more soup recipes on her blog: seriouslysoupy.com.
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