Choosing The Right School for Your Child: Open Enrollment Tips

Choosing The Right School for Your Child: Open Enrollment Tips

Written by Paradise Valley Unified School District Communications Specialist Becky Kelbaugh 

November and December are great times for parents to start researching options for their child’s educational path, as January is the start of open enrollment at many Arizona schools.  Whether you recently moved, have a child who will be entering kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year, or simply want to change your child’s school, there are many education options to choose from.

Paradise Valley Unified School District Communications Specialist Becky Kelbaugh has insight for parents trying to determine what school best fits their child’s needs.

“Parents choose to open enroll their child at another school or school district for a variety of different reasons such as program offerings, the teaching philosophy or extracurricular activities,” Kelbaugh said. “Deciding whether your child should or shouldn’t attend your neighborhood school depends on which school will best fit your child’s learning needs.”

Kelbaugh points parents to a helpful article, Top Tips: How to Choose the Best Educational Journey for Your Child on the district’s website.

The article recommends asking the following questions:

  1. What are the most important qualities you want in your child’s school?
    Decide on the top three to five things you want for your child’s education.
  2. What distinguishes this school from others you are looking at?
    Find out if the school has a special focus such as arts, STEM, foreign language immersion program or technology.
  3. How does the school look and feel?
    The school should feel inviting with helpful and friendly staff members that exhibit school pride.
  4. What is the learning environment like?
    Find out if students work in groups or independently, as well as student to teacher ratios.
  5. How does the library/media center look and feel?
    Computers and technology should be up-to-date. A bright and colorful library with a large selection of books and access to various technology tools is always inviting. Find out about library usage and borrowing limits.
  6. What is the homework policy?
    Find out how often homework is assigned. Is there a policy for turning in late assignments?
  7. What is the dress code policy?
    Find out what the expectations are for school attire. Do students wear a uniform?
  8. Is there an onsite registered nurse?
    If your child has medical needs or gets hurt on the playground, having an onsite registered nurse is always reassuring.
  9. What before and after school activities are offered?
    If you work during the day, you’ll need to make arrangements for childcare either before or after school. Inquire to see what services are offered and the cost.
  10. What is the school’s commitment to technology?
    We live in a digital world. Find out how often students use computers and or tablets in the classroom. Do teachers weave technology skills into their curriculum, such as learning to code?

Before you make your final decision, you should always schedule an appointment to tour the school(s) you are interested in and speak with the principal and teachers to make sure the new school is the best choice for your entire family.

With a challenging and engaging curriculum, an array of signature programs, electives, athletics and open enrollment options, PVSchools offers quality education choices for all students’ educational journey. Learn more at

For this and other helpful articles, visit the Paradise Valley Unified School District’s website at

Follow Paradise Valley Unified School District on social media at:

About Paradise Valley Unified School District

For more than 100 years, Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools) has consistently represented the best in Pre-K-12 education. PVSchools serves more than 32,000 elementary, middle and high school students in 45 schools located in northeast Phoenix and Scottsdale. The district extends from 7th Avenue to Pima Road, and Northern Avenue to Jomax Road. The district has been recognized nationally for its outstanding educational programs and as one of the top districts in the state for providing students and taxpayers a big academic “return on investment” for high achievement and low cost operations. PVSchools celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013. For additional information about the Company, please visit


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