A Choice Education

What School is Best for Your Child?

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As a parent, you have many options available when it comes to the type of school your child attends.

From public to private, charter to homeschool, you can choose whichever type of school best meets your son or daughter’s personal learning style and academic needs. Maybe he excels academically or needs extra attention in certain subjects; perhaps she prefers the arts or the sciences; or, possibly she’s interested in getting a head start on college classes. The reasons for selecting one type of school over another range widely. We asked a representative from various school settings to answer questions on his or her personal experiences with each learning environment.

What unique opportunities does each respective school offer students?

Public: “With confidence, I can say that public school teachers in our area are highly skilled, exceptionally trained, and extremely dedicated to all students’ learning,” says Superintendent Richard Pierucci, Roseville City School District. “We do not control who walks through our school doors and we embrace all students of every variety of background and skill level. Public schools are a microcosm of our society; students learn to interact with and learn from experiences with students of all backgrounds.”

Private: “The private school system provides an arena that caters to each individual student and their learning needs,” says Armaghan Mirhaj, associate administrator for Golden Hills School in El Dorado Hills. “Due to smaller class sizes, greater parental involvement, and various extracurricular choices, the students receive a complete education in a small and safe environment. Aside from academics, we also focus on building character and positive citizenship within our students . . . and we offer various enrichment courses that further enhance their educational experience.”

Charter: “Our charter school is actually a public school that is part of the regular public school district,” says Principal Sylvia Shannon, Gold Oak Arts Charter School in Placerville. “It provides an alternative to those students who are more successful in a different environment than a typical school. Our charter is highly academic; however, we do feel that having an arts emphasis and being more projects-based allows those students to flourish where they might not in a traditional public school. We try to expose the students to the experience of across-the-board arts, including visual, performance and visiting artists.”

Homeschool: “One-on-one education, for one thing,” says Julie Yoder, mom and teacher of Zack, 15, who was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at 21 months. “We had him in a regular class until first grade and saw he couldn’t keep up with peers, so we started to homeschool. Now, there are no distractions and he’s at grade level in everything. It is still a public school education done through a charter school called Visions in Education. We have to meet with a certified teacher every 20 school days, meet state standards, do STAR testing and follow curriculum. I can go with the curriculum they suggest, or if I find something more appropriate that meets the standards and better fits his learning style, then that can be approved. It allows us to really personalize the education. For example, I can use videos or audio to supplement the textbook materials.”

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