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Step 1 to Choosing a School: Consider Your Options

Gather information to help you find the right fit for your student and family.

Step 1 to Choosing a School: Consider Your Options

Prioritize what is important to you

Think about what’s most important to you in a school—culture, academics, location, transportation, afterschool activities, resources, etc.—and find schools that offer what you’re looking for. Here are some key topics to consider.


  • What school culture, values, or mission are you looking for?
  • How does the school approach student safety and discipline?
  • What school hours and schedule work for you? (Check the school calendar. Do the holiday breaks, days off, and half days align with your schedule?)
  • How does the school engage and interact with parents and guardians?
  • Is supervised before- and afterschool care offered? What activities are offered on weekends? Do they require a fee?
  • Do you need transportation? If it’s not provided, are you OK with public transportation or private options?


  • What type of academics and curriculum best meet your student’s needs?
  • Are there certain activities or courses that you want the school to offer?
  • How strong is the school academically and how well are students performing? For high schools, what is the graduation rate?
  • How does the school support gifted students or those with special needs? What resources are available (social workers, etc.)?
  • What are the expectations for kids who are enrolling for the first year? How does the school help those coming in behind or who are advanced?

In the classroom

  • What courses does the school offer?
  • What is the average class size and student-to-teacher ratio?
  • What is the level of experience of the teachers and staff? Are the teachers certified?
  • Are parent volunteers welcome in the classroom?
  • Does your student have special needs that the school must meet?

Refine your list

Use the school profile information to find information about public schools in Detroit and search by neighborhood, grade level, activities offered, school type, and more.

Once you have a shortlist of 4–7 schools, reach out to your friends, other parents, community members, and educators to see what they know about the schools.

Ask about culture, the administration, and any other things you consider important.

Step 2: Find a School Near You »