Whether it’s across the street or a twenty-minute drive, a great school fit can be your child’s path to opportunity, happiness, and success. While every parent may want to set their child on the learning path that best matches his or her skills, we can only choose from the options we know.
That’s why bringing awareness to families about all their school choices is so crucial.All families have school choices, but some states offer wider access. Across America, families’ options include traditional public school, public magnet school, public charter school, private school, online school, and homeschooling.These various school choices offer kids different paths toward the goals all parents share.
We want students to learn, succeed, thrive, and be happy. And while one child may enjoy traveling at his or her own pace through an online school or homeschool program, another child may benefit from the close-knit comradery at a neighborhood school or a private school’s values-based curriculum.
Having various paths ensures that kids don’t get stuck or give up if a particular route doesn’t work well for them. It’s not extreme to say that school choices can be the difference between a child being bullied in their classroom or being loved and respected, or the difference between dropping out of high school or going to college. I’ve seen this be true many times. For every child who isn’t thriving in school, it’s vital that families know other learning paths are available.You can’t choose a path if you don’t know it exists. That’s why National School Choice Week, a public awareness effort about learning options, will take place January 23-29. Since its founding in 2011, the annual celebration brings awareness about every single learning path around the country that families can choose from, as well as the community organizations that have sprung up over the last decade to help families navigate school choices.
If you love your chosen learning path, celebrate it this School Choice Week to spread the word. If you’re not sure if your current choice is right for your child, discover your other options at schoolchoiceweek.com. Together, let’s help every child get on the learning path that will take them most quickly to being happy, equipped academically, and ready to give back.Andrew Campanella is president of National School Choice Week and the author of “The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child.”