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Guide to Choosing
The Best Charter School
Fall 2019-20

Charter Schools . Directory
Version 1.0

Our 2019-20 Guide to Choosing the Best Charter School for your child is an informative resource for parents and students, and includes useful information and inside tips on important Charter School Topics, such as: the school philosophy, school academic concentrations, school location, teachers and administrators, school activities, parent and student testimonials, and much more.

We are currently updating and adding to our 2019-20 US Charter Schools Guide information daily, so please check back often.

Attn: Parents - Fall 2019-20 Charter School Registration is now open! We hope you will find this guide to choosing the best charter school for your family both interesting and helpful.

There are now over 40 States here in the US that offer a charter school option for Pre-School, Elementary School, and High School students. Some charter schools offer all grades: K-12, and now there are some exceptional Online Charter Schools, too.

What do you want from your student's Charter School experience? This is the question you have to ask BEFORE you set out to choose the best charter school for you (your son or daughter).

Do you want this just to be a high-quality learning adventure? OR are you also looking for: a leadership & character building experience, something exceptionally challenging, specific academic concentrations, religious studies, or the availability of high-quality sports and arts programming?

Maybe you're looking for a charter school that satisfies more than one of these? Ask yourself and your child -- you might be surprised at the answers.

ONLINE CHARTER SCHOOLS: While an Online Charter School might be the perfect solution for some students and families, many of the following thoughts and questions should still be considered when choosing the best charter school experience for your student.

START WITH THE CHARTER SCHOOL WEBSITE: Almost every charter school has its own website, or at least a dedicated web page on a larger site (like a state's website). You should be able to find a lot of useful school program information there, including all the school's location, grades offered, administrator info, and contact info. As you read you will think of some quesitons -- write them down, or send yourself a text/email so you won't lose them.

Nowadays, a charter school might also have an official Facebook page. These would be a good sources for parent and student testimonials and comments.

CALL THE SCHOOL: Create a list of questions you really need answered, that were not answered by the school website. Then call the school -- yes even in the era of 'live chatting' and email forms, you should really try to talk to someone 'personally.' Some schools have year-round programs and staff, but many don't. Leave a message for a call back or call the school again until you can speak to someone in person. Skype is a great idea, too -- if the school can do that. What's your impression? Is this going to be a friendly, professional experience? First impressions matter. Ask if there is a previous school parent you could talk to (or email) as a reference.

SCHOOL LOCATION: It's easy nowadays to check out a school's exact location using GoogleMaps or other mapping programs. This will give you an actual view of the school and it's surrounding area. How close is that freeway? What's that strange building? Is that an airport right next to the school?

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SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS: If your child requires special needs accomodations, be sure to talk to the school to make sure that have the special needs programs, facilities and staff your student will need. Some schools are even able to accomodate special dietary needs -- be sure to ask.

SCHOOL FACILITIES: You should be able to see photos of the school on their website, but if the school is nearby you should visit the school and ask to take a look around at the classrooms and other facilities. Is there a cafeteria or snack bar? Is there a gym? Are there sports fields and play areas? How about technology, like computers?

SCHOOL HISTORY: History is important, but it's not everything. Remember, the best charter schools ALL had their very first season. You should be able to get this info from the school's website, but if not -- just ask.

SCHOOL MISSION & PHILOSOPHY: What exactly does the charter school founder(s) and administrators intend to do for each student who enrolls? Is there a special set of core school values, ideals, or objectives that each and every teacher and student will strive toward?

SPECIAL INTEREST CONCENTRATIONS: If you are considering a charter school that has a special interest concentration, like performing arts or technology, it is a good idea to check on any specialized facilities and equipment they use for instruction.

SCHOOL FEES & COSTS:: While most states mandate that all charter schools must be 'tuition free,' there could be other costs and fees that you should know about. For instance: Uniforms, School Lunch (Meals) Program, special activities fees (for sports, clubs, etc), just to name a few. Some schools might offer some forms of student financial aid (or fee waivers) to qualifying students/families. It never hurts to ask.

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SCHOOL SAFETY: It is always a good idea to ask about a school's safety programs and serious student injury record. Are there teachers/staff who are certified (or trained) in CPR and basic first aid? What happens if a student is injured or becomes seriously ill? Is there a School Nurse or a local 'on-call' doctor available? What happens in case of a fire, natural disaster, or other emergency?

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS, TEACHERS, & SUPPORT STAFF: You should always check on the education, background and professional teaching experience credentials of those who will be directly interacting with your student. In the case of special interest concentrations, it is a good idea to ask if the teacher(s) have professional experience in whatever the specific concentration might be.

SCHOOL FOOD: The quality, nutrition and taste of school food is very important, so be sure to ask about it. Is it nutritious? Is it fresh? Is it Kosher? Are there 'hot' meals? Is breakfast or after school snacks available? Can the school handle any special student dietary needs, food allergies, etc?

SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS: Does the school offer before and after school transportation, parent carpools, etc.

BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES & CARE:Many charter schools offer either/both Before and After School Care Programs and Activities. There could be great after school clubs, sports and arts activities, and many more. Sometimes there are fees associated with these programs. Be sure to ask.

SPECIAL SCHOOL ACTIVITIES & PROGRAMS: These special events and programs make the best charter schools unique and memorable. Some schools are 'famous' with previous students for their special school overnights, intra-school sporting contests, teacher/staff variety shows, live 'schoolNews' broadcasts, parent days, all-school musicals, backwards days, theme dances, star-gazing parties, or classroom swaps -- just to name a few. Find out if the school(s) you are considering have any special programs like the above.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT & ORGANIZATIONS: Does the charter school offer a way for parents to get actively involved: as teacher aids, office assistants, field trip chaperones, etc? Is there a Parent/Teacher organization, like PTA (PTO).

SCHOOL COMMUNICATION: How will the school communicate with parents and students: Email, text messaging, bulletin boards, automated phone calls, parent and student login areas for the school website, etc?

SCHOOL ACCREDITATIONS, CERTIFICATIONS & AWARDS: Is the school 'accredited' with any school or school program accreditation programs? Has the school received any special recognition or won any awards? Are any teachers who have received special professional recognition or awards?

A TYPICAL SCHOOL DAY: Find out what a typical day is like at school. Get a sense for how much structured learning and classroom activity vs. 'ELECTIVE TIME' there is over the course of the entire day. How much interaction between classes and grades is there? Lunch (meal) Times? Does the school offer any programs or activities on weekends, or before/after school?

PREVIOUS STUDENT & PARENT TESTIMONIALS: The school website (and Facebook page) might have a page where previous students and parents have given their school 'reviews' and testimonials. These are typically ALL positive -- so don't be afraid to ask if you can speak to (or email) a previous parent as a reference.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Finding a great charter school is all about asking the right questions, and listening closely to the answers. This page is evolving with new info each week, so feel free to check back anytime for updates. We hope you have found this info interesting and useful.

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MORE CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE COMING SOON.

More Charter Schools are being added each week so please check back again soon. In the meantime, you can choose another state from the table below, or do a Google Search for Charter Schools in Your Area using the custom search box at the bottom of this page.

Charter Schools Guide: Find out How to Choose the Best Charter School for your kids. Helpful tips and great questions to ask.

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AL Alabama Charter Schools AK Alaska Charter Schools AZ Arizona Charter Schools AR Arkansas Charter Schools CA California Charter Schools CO Colorado Charter Schools CT Connecticut Charter Schools DE Delaware Charter Schools FL Florida Charter Schools GA Georgia Charter Schools
HI Hawaii Charter Schools ID Idaho Charter Schools IL Illinois Charter Schools IN Indiana Charter Schools IA Iowa Charter Schools KS Kansas Charter Schools KY Kentucky Charter Schools LA Louisiana Charter Schools ME Maine Charter Schools MD Maryland Charter Schools
MA Massachusetts Charter Schools MI Michigan Charter Schools MN Minnesota Charter Schools MS Mississippi Charter Schools MO Missouri Charter Schools MT Montana Charter Schools NE Nebraska Charter Schools NV Nevada Charter Schools NH New Hampshire Charter Schools NJ New Jersey Charter Schools
NM New Mexico Charter Schools NY New York Charter Schools NC North Carolina Charter Schools ND North Dakota Charter Schools OH Ohio Community Schools OK Oklahoma Charter Schools OR Oregon Charter Schools PAPennsylvania Charter Schools RI Rhode Island Charter Schools SC South Carolina Charter Schools
SD South Dakota Charter Schools TN Tennessee Charter Schools TX Texas Charter Schools UT Utah Charter Schools VT Vermont Charter Schools VA Virginia Charter Schools WA Washington Charter Schools WV West Virginia Charter Schools WI Wisconsin Charter Schools WY Wyoming Charter Schools
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