GREG STEELE

"Not All REALTORS® Are Alike"©

New Home, New School?

Four ways to learn about the school in your new neighbourhood

Buying a new family home and planning to move with school-age kids?
You’ll either want to
1) pick the perfect school first or,
2) find your dream neighbourhood first and then check out the schooling options.


Either way, here are four tips on getting good school information to help you make the right decisions.


1. Find the highest-ranked schools
For rankings, the Frasier Institute’s page at compareschoolrankings.org is your source to see which schools top the lists. Use the pull-down menu immediately below the header to select your province. Use the List view to see schools alphabetically by city. The rankings are based heavily on average scores from province-wide tests.


2. See the schools on real estate maps
Read the recent Realtor.ca article Moving with Kids? How to Choose a Great School... (). It’s a good primer. Then, from any listing on Realtor.ca, click Neighbourhood then select Elementary Schools or High Schools from the menu on the left. You’ll see them on the map. Click the school name in the left menu and information – including the school’s website address -- pops up over its map location. Explore!


3. Visit the school websites… and school boards, too!
Edmonton Public Schools (epsb.ca) educates 104,930 students in 213 public schools. Edmonton Catholic Schools (ecsd.net) operates 95 schools with 44,330 students. Each of these websites (above) features a directory with links to school websites. There are also three charter schools and many private schools in Edmonton. Visit ourkids.net for more information.


4. Visit the schools & chat with teachers and principals!
Once you’ve done your online research – including a look at the Frasier rankings (see above) – arrange to meet with the school’s Principal, administration and teachers, if possible. If you get the chance, walk to the school from the new location of your prospective home. That’ll give you an idea of what the walk or ride will be like for your kids.

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