Useful links for school hunts

In NYC we suffer a wealth of choices when it comes to schools. Whether you're looking for a preschool or a high school for your kid, there are so many schools to choose from, just thinking about it will make your head spin. And where do you begin? How do you find that one school out there that is the perfect one for your child? Mommy Poppins has put together a list of useful resources to help you navigate the twisting and turning road of New York schools. We hope it's helpful. If you have one you'd like to add, leave a comment or let us know.

A great place to start your search is insideschools. Founded by, Clara Hemphill, the author of The NYC Best Public Schools books, it has reviews of just about all the public schools in New York City. The reviews can be kind of outdated, but it's still a good place to start. There are some new features like catchment maps, which tell you exactly where you have to live to be able to go to a school and forums. Typically, the Dept. of Education site is not very useful. Just like the school system, the site is too big, difficult to navigate and hard to learn from. It does have report cards and you can search what school you are zoned for. There are a bunch of sites that give statistics on schools, state ranking, etc. You can check them all out (The National Center for Education Statistics, schooldigger.com and psk12.com), but the best one is Great Schools. If you are looking for anecdotal information. You can check out gocitykids or the urbanbaby school boards. (WARNING: Visit this site with caution. The UB boards have a very particular viewpoint. Many people go in to the boards thinking they will just take a peek and see what people say, but somehow get sucked in and come out believing there are only certain schools good enough to send your child too and if you don't wear the right clothes to a school interview your child's life will be ruined.) The Parents League of New York is a not-for-profit organization for both private schools and parents. Their members include early childhood education, ongoing school and boarding schools. They can also help find summer programs. Parents League has a resource center and provides information on every topic on parenting toddlers through teens. They are known for helping parents try to find last minute spots in private schools or preschools.

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