Learning about schools

How can I tell if a school is the right fit for my child?

Talk about it

  • Talk to your neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family about what school options they have selected and whether they would recommend their school.
  • Neighborhood online forums, parent advocacy groups, and other special interest discussion boards can be other helpful spots for asking questions and seeking advice.
  • Talk to your child! As the active participant in any school that’s chosen, it is important that your child is on board with the decision, as much as possible. Include your child in researching and visiting schools, and listen to your child’s perspective.


Learn about schools by visiting their websites. Things to look for, include

  • Mission and vision for education
  • Photos of learning in action
  • Staff bios
  • Handbook
  • Dress code
  • Lunch menu
  • Anything else that will give you a picture of day-to-day life at the school


Remember that your local library will have computers to use if you need access.

Other sources of information:

Visit the Ohio Department of Education’s Interactive Dashboard to find local school options in your area.

Great Schools is a nationwide website that combines school testing data with community reviews to create ratings for local schools.

Ohio Report Cards are created by the State of Ohio. They measure academic quality of a school through how students achieve and grow on yearly tests. They also gather attendance and other data about a school.

Ohio Special Education Profiles are created by the State of Ohio. They give in-depth information about how a school is doing over time in meeting the needs of students with disabilities.


  • A powerful way to learn if a school is a good fit for your child is to visit!
  • Most schools have open houses and tours for prospective families.
  • Contact the schools you are interested in to find out when you can visit.

The Great Schools guide to visiting schools can help you prepare for your visit and plan what questions to ask and what to look for.

Print this Great Schools checklist to keep track of information when you visit.