November 13, 2015

What to Look for When Evaluating School Districts

Given the way most communities work, the location of a home dictates the local school district. The quality of the school district can have a direct impact on the value of your home. Even if you don’t have kids or don’t have to plan kids, the quality of the local schools can positively or negatively effect your home’s value. Buyers tend to prefer homes in good school districts, either because they have school-aged children, or they are thinking of resale value down the line.

So how do you know if your local schools make the grade? What signs point towards an improving or declining school district? Here are a five things you’ll want to consider:

  1. Test scores. It’s a basic measurement of student performance and educator effectiveness. Look at the performance historically for an idea of which direction things have been heading.
  2. Graduation rates. High graduation rates mean a large percentage of students complete a particular school’s program, and generally reflects well on the district.
  3. Student-to-teacher ratios. A low student-to-teacher ratio is generally positive, as it indicates a higher percentage chance of students receiving individualized attention. It also suggests that teachers at the school will be more attentive to the quality of the education as they are not overwhelmed by their student load. (If you already have a relatively high student-to-teacher ratio in a community that’s growing fast, beware.)
  4. School amenities. No, we’re not talking about hot tubs! But we are talking about athletic programs, music programs, and special education programs. If a district is impoverished and has cut all but the essentials from a public education, you may want to hold off.
  5. Local parental opinion. Ask parents what they think of the schools. How well does the staff communicate? Do the teachers seem engaged? How are the libraries? Are parents engaged, or is there little sense of community?

Though school districts are but one factor in the myriad of environmental and neighborhood conditions influencing home value, they remain an important one. Do your homework!

Curious about the local schools? I am happy to help you understand the local school district and homes near great schools. Get in touch with me here:

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