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Elementary Educators/Choosing School Districts


Hi Kevin- Not sure if you can help me, but any guidance you have would be wonderful.  I have 2 children (ages 6 and 7)  I live in a small school district that appears to not be rated high academically.  My husband and I are trying to decide if we should move.  However, when trying to find information about different school districts and ratings, it is very overwhelming.  We are not sure what to even look for??  I know that statistics can be skewed to each districts' benefit, and they can use what info they may want.  Not sure what is the REAL thing to look for in a good school system.  (I don't the the BEST School in the world, but not the worst!)  Thank you in advance for all your efforts and work.  I live in NJ if this helps at all.

Thank you again,

Hello Kristine.  Thanks for your question.  I can understand your wanting to ensure your children are attending a high quality school.  I can give you a few ideas to help you in your search.  The most impartial data would be from your state's Department of Education.  I looked at the New Jersey site and found this link:  .  From here you can take a look at data for various school districts.  Unfortunately the most current information that I found was from 2011.  From this data you can see the performance of different districts in your state.  Most of this information is data and numbers and might not help you with your questions.  The best information would be to visit the district's website and look for student data.  I would look for information on the schools AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress).  I would also check student to teacher ratio and graduation numbers.  You could also visit with the district superintendent or school principal to voice your concern.
Visit the schools.  Chat with the teachers and administrators.  You will have a "gut-feeling" about how the school operates.

With the Common Core standards that are being adopted in most of the states, you will find that the school's curriculum that is taught is similar across districts.  I find that the quality of the classroom teacher is one of the biggest factor in student success.  A poorly performing school might have outstanding teachers that provide an excellent education; however, there are so many factors that determine a district's success.  

I hope that some of this information is helpful.  If you have additional questions or need clarification please don't hesitate to contact me again.

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Kevin Kennaugh


I can answer questions from teachers, parents, students, and other interested parties. I can answer questions regarding classwork, curriculum, behavior, classroom management, homework, and other school related issues.


I have been an 3rd grade elementary teacher for the past 12 years. I also work with students in grades 1-4 on a daily basis.


B.S. Elementary Education M.S. Elementary Education/Technology Integration

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