The quality of schools is a contributing factor for anyone buying a home. More than half of all homebuyers with children under 18 years of age rate the quality of the local school district as a significant factor influencing their choice of a neighborhood. (Source: “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers” from the National Association of Realtors). Even if you don’t have kids yourself, your next buyer might, and they might base their decision to buy on the school district which serves your home.
The Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Dewey-Humboldt areas have numerous award-winning public, private, and charter schools in the area. Each has something unique to offer. The Prescott Unified School District has six primary schools and one high school. Prescott Valley and Dewey-Humboldt have the Humboldt Unified School District with five elementary, two middle schools, and one high school. Chino Valley Unified School District has two primary schools, one middle school, and one high school. In addition, the Prescott area is full of charter and private school options: Tri-City, BASIS, AAEC, Trinity Christian, and Franklin Phonetic.
With so many options, the challenge is, how do you evaluate schools? What’s the best approach for understanding if your local schools will score your property an “A” or negatively impact the property?
Luckily, there are some excellent on-line resources out there for evaluating schools. Here are a few I’ve come across which provide an excellent place to begin your research:
A primary portal site for education everywhere, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the school’s section. Their website: Education.com
· Great Schools
A good search engine for researching schools, you can do zip code based searches that will help you learn a ton about the public and private institutions in the area. Their website: Greatschools.org
· Project Appleseed
A website dedicated to improving public schools, you can learn a lot here about the crucial elements of what makes a local school an excellent local school.
Their website: ProjectAppleseed.org
Distance from your new house to the school might be an issue. For example, can the kids walk to school? If not, where’s the bus stop? Are you willing, or are you able to drive your kids to school every day? Fortunately, most of the school websites offer bus route information.
Neighbors may be a good source for first-hand information. But be cautious, you will want to talk to a few neighbors, as you probably are aware, everyone has different needs when it comes to education.
Here are a handful of questions to ask yourself if you’re doing research:
· How comprehensive is the school’s safety policy?
· What social/support services are available at the school?
· How does the school handle discipline?
· Are people involved in a parent/teacher organization?
· How healthy is the school district’s annual report?
Visit the School
If time permits, a visit to the school will be incredibly helpful in your decision-making process. Call the school office to set up a time to meet with an administrator and take a tour of the school.
Finally, be sure to ask me for information. As a realtor in the Prescott area, I know the schools very well and are happy to help any way I can.