Tools for Evaluating Metro Denver Schools

100 Real Estate Tips in 100 Days (Day 29)

By Kristal Kraft

Relocation to another town or state requires extensive research.  Most people will agree that being in a good school district is of the utmost importance, both for the sake of the children but also resale value. It is not uncommon for people without children to insist on purchasing a home in a good school district purely for resale potential alone.  They know the value of school district with a good reputation will survive any bumps in the real estate market.

A wise homeowner will invest time doing extra research on the district.

Colorado Department of Education presents the John Irwin Award to schools ranking in the top 8% of the School Accountability Report.  Some schools achieve this rating year after year.  We see a thread of excellence here beginning at the elementary level continuing through High School.  Following such a thread will give a home purchaser some clues as to the very top schools in the district are located.  This list can also be found on the Colorado School Accountability Report Website.

Online Resources for Choosing a School in Metro Denver

When it comes to comparing schools from various districts there are a few good websites that provide additional information.  Parents often have different objectives when searching for a school. Some feel the size of the school is critical to their child's success, others may have a need for special education ranging from learning disabilities to bilingual education.  Whatever your child's needs are, there is probably a resource online.  Here a few suggestions to aid in researching the best school in the Denver Metro area for your family.

Great Schools has options for schools starting with Preschool through High School.  You can search by school name or zip code.

Search for and compare over90,000 U.S. public elementary,middle, and high schools.
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Schooldigger has a very nice feature that returns the Top Schools in the state with just one click. Of course from there it is necessary to wade through the list to determine which schools will be in the area you wish to live.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, it also lists the Top Worst Schools.

School Matters is brought to us by Standard & Poor's has a nice website that allows comparisons to 3 schools within a same state.  Worth mentioning, comparison between states is not facilitated due to unique testing methods used from state to state.

For those wanting input from parents, the local site City-Data.com offers a forum where comments about schools is encouraged.  Many of the comments are from satisfied parents wanting to share their actual experience with the schools.  You can also find some disturbing comments from parents who are not pleased.  Like typical online forums, comments must be taken with a grain of salt.

Before making the final decision on a school, it is advised to visit the school (be sure to make an appointment) and take a tour.  Like buying a house there is no substitute for experiencing the place in first person.  We can learn much online but nothing compares to "IRL." (in real life)