If you're picking a place to live, it often means comparing the schools in different neighborhoods. How can you find the right school for your family? This video shows you how. It emphasizes Montgomery County, but the advice is universal.
Recently, I interviewed Montgomery County board of education member Jill Ortman-Fouse about the best tools for learning about local public schools. While websites like GreatSchools.com assign each school a point rating based on test scores, they don't tell the full story.
Instead, Ortman-Fouse recommends taking a more hands-on approach. If you're curious about a school, schedule a visit, meet with the principal, or talk to neighbors whose kids attend that school. There are also a variety of online resources, including school websites, Twitter accounts, and Facebook pages, that list events going on at each school and can provide a first-hand look at what happens there.
Of course, Montgomery County Public Schools has a website with lots of information as well. Schools at a Glance is their annual report of data about every school in the system, with everything from test scores to teacher statistics to building information.
Are you trying to pick a school in Montgomery County right now? Have you picked one in the past? What tools did you use?