What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?
There are many excellent public, private and charter schools available in Washington, D.C., and its surrounding areas. Below is a brief summary of each.
- PUBLIC SCHOOLS - in Washington, D.C., (and the rest of the U.S.) public schools are funded by local property taxes. The areas with the highest property taxes, therefore, have the most well-funded and finest schools. The high property taxes on land in the suburbs have yielded public schools in the suburban areas that are generally considered far better than the public schools in Washington, D.C. A family must live in the catchment district of the public school to send their children there. All public schools are funded through local property taxes so they are considered free, even for expatriates.
- PRIVATE SCHOOLS - in Washington, D.C., are funded from tuition paid by each student. The quality of the education at private schools is generally rated very high and it is the choice for many expatriate families living in the Washington, D.C. area. But, the tuition at most international schools is also very high. There are usually requirements to meet as well as waiting lists, so it is recommended that after deciding on a school, apply as soon as possible to give you the best chance of acceptance to the school.
- CHARTER SCHOOLS - in Washington, D.C., are nonprofit, self-managed public schools, operating under a performance contract with the local school board. Although charter schools are authorized and monitored by the local school district, they operate independently. They are sometimes referred to as independent public schools. Most parents choose a school for their children dependent on the child's needs and interests.
What are some examples of these schools?
Listings and descriptions of schools can be found online. The school websites provide a wealth of information including admission information, phone numbers, addresses and contacts.
Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?
If your child will be attending a public school, there is no competition. Public schools are zoned so they are obliged to accept all children within the school zone in which you live.
Private schools, however, typically have entrance requirements and waiting lists. If you plan to send your child to a private school, it is recommended that you apply as soon as you arrive in the area to guarantee a spot on the waiting list.
Charter schools, like private schools, require that you register. However, instead of entry requirements, they use a "random selection" policy. If you decide this is the choice for your child, it is recommended that you register as early as possible.
Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?
Yes, there are plenty of preschools available throughout the city for children who range in age from 1½ to 5 years old, including the widely popular international preschools. These schools feature diverse curriculums and an international student body. Application to these schools should be made at least nine months prior to the start of the school year, which is typically in September. If you miss the start of the school year deadline, some students will be admitted at mid-year if space permits.
How are most kids transported to and from school?
The public school system provides school bus transportation for children to and from school. They have specific routes as well, but this is not always the case. If not, most parents either take their children to school themselves or form carpools. Some older children use the public transit system to get them to and from school.
To learn specific information on your child's bus schedule, contact the school that they will be attending.
When does the typical school year start and end?
Typically, the school year starts in late August or early September and ends at the end of May or in early June.
Is there anything else I should know about local schools?
More information can be found online. Crown Washington, D.C., also offers assistance in this area. Please contact us for our service guidelines and pricing schedule.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.