National School Choice Week starts today, with the purpose of raising awareness among parents regarding the multitude of ways in which they can provide good education to their children.
The campaign was initially launched in 2011, and is now considered to be the most extensive initiative emphasizing the wide array of schooling options that parents can choose from, in order to discover the most suitable fit for their offspring.
For example, parents can opt to send their children to public schools, which are funded and regulated by the federal government. Some advantages of these academic institutions include the fact that they are held more accountable for the academic results of their pupils, and their teachers are fully certified and accredited.
There are also charter schools, which also provide primary or secondary education completely free of charge. They benefit from less financial support from the government, and admit applicants based on a lottery, thus being considered more inclusive of disadvantaged or low-income students.
Another schooling option involves magnet schools, which are actually public schools that offer more specialized education. For instance, some can focus on developing the children’s farming skills, others introduce them to medical sciences, while another category of magnet schools can be centered around visual and performing arts.
There are also private schools available, which may require higher investments from parents, but also provide numerous benefits. For example, they usually have smaller class sizes, thus allowing teachers to focus more on each individual student, in order to identify potential weaknesses or learning difficulties.
There is also a much higher level of security and discipline, and more active communication between teachers and parents, allowing the latter to track the academic performance of their children more easily.
Another advantage is represented by a wider array of extracurricular activities and qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate programme or various advanced placement courses.
Alternatively, parents can choose homeschooling for their children, if they don’t feel persuaded by any public or private schools. This way, they can either educate their offspring themselves, or rely on the services of a highly qualified tutor.
This type of schooling can be chosen when parents have kids with special needs, who might be bullied or might not benefit from the attention and support they require in an ordinary academic setting.
Homeschooling can also be a good choice for parents who travel a lot, who live in remote areas, or who wish to ensure that their children will develop particular skills, reflective of their natural affinities, abilities or interests.
Online learning programs can also be a worthy alternative to traditional schooling, which requires students to physically attend classes.
Distance learning can provide greater flexibility, allowing pupils to access the study material at any given moment, wherever they may be, as long as they have a working Internet connection.
Although initially treated with suspicion, online learning has proven that it can equip students with academic skills similar to the ones attained by their counterparts who opt for on-the-ground courses, which is why enrollment in such courses has been soaring in recent years.
During National School Choice Week, all this wide selection of educational means will be presented to parents, so as to allow them to choose what’s best for their kids.
More than 16,000 events will take place across the country in order to promote this awareness week: approximately 13,000 schools will organize such meetings and workshops, and so will around 800 home school groups, and more than 1,000 chambers of commerce.
In addition, several rallies and other festivities will be held at 20 state capitols throughout the nation, also in celebration of National School Choice Week.
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