Also, the link above provides an interactive map so you can see the different schools in your area.
Mindy, it can be very overwhelming. What we did the first time was talk to our Preschool Director and she gave us information about all the different schools in our area: district-run neighborhood schools and charter schools alike. Then, I researched the schools closest to our house (within the radius I was willing to drive) and then I visited every single one. It was a process, but one I loved doing. Good luck!
Kiersten, the particular charter school we attend is a K-8, and then we'll decide which high school best fits her needs when we get closer to that point. Honestly, I'm not worried at all about her fitting into any of the High Schools in our area. Personally, I feel this charter school will more than prepare her for that, and it's one reason we chose it.
Amanda, I know that "charter schools" mean different things in different states, and it even varies by county. I can only speak to how our charter school does things in Jefferson County, Colorado. We hire certified teachers. Our curriculum is as stated above, and one reason I loved this school was because they could provide that information to me easily. As for how you work through all this in your state? Research, research, research. Good luck!
Public charter schools ARE held to very high standards, and they do NOT routinely exclude populations of students. Many do everything in their power to see that the needs of kids are met. It's too bad that this misinformation is being spread about public charter schools. Public charters are just a different type of public school. It would be like trying to pit the neighborhood public schools against each other. Are they all the same? No. Are they all public schools? Absolutely!
Ben, thanks for posting that link! Years ago, when we started the research process, we got a packet of information from our Preschool Director about the different schools in the area. Since then, there have been a few different websites pop up providing information, too. The link you posted is a great place to start the process!
Public charter schools DO have to take the TCAP or CMAS or PARCC (the names keep changing, so it's hard to keep up). They ARE held to very high standards. This is another misconception that people have.
It's amazing to me how much misinformation has cropped up about public charter schools. These rumors were dispelled years ago, but they're back, and they're being used to turn the public school parents against each other. Imagine what we could do for our kids if we realized we were on the same side!
Confession: Claire has her Valentines DONE, baby! DONE! AND, they were done before I'd vacuumed up all the fake pine tree needles in the living room. You wanna know why? She wanted to do rainbow loom bracelets, and we had OODLES of time over our long Winter Break to do them...so she did! Honestly, I'm glad they're done, because the schoolwork accompanying the turn to 2014 has hit us like a truck. It's one less thing we have to worry about. ...now, to search your blog for those cute fondant heart daggers for the Ides of March Party... 😉
Just as a follow-up to this, Claire ended up getting them pierced for Valentine's Day, after having turned 6 the November before. She never even flinched! She was awesome with ear-care, and we've not had any issues! 🙂