For parents, schools have a huge impact on the home buying process. Buyers want to ensure that the school zoning for the home they purchase coincides with the schools they want their children to attend. Many times they will also wait to move during their child’s summer break because they do not want to move their children in the middle of the school year.

Many times locals find out about great schools by word of mouth through their friends and relatives. This process can be more difficult for those relocating to our area that are not familiar with schools and know very few people.

Below are some great resources for buyers to use when evaluating and selecting schools:

http://www.greatschools.org/

https://niche.com/

The GreatSchools Rating is on a 1-10 scale, where 10 is the highest and 1 is the lowest. According to their website, the overall GreatSchools Rating is an average of how well students at a given school do on each grade and subject test relative to all other students in the state, and these ratings are averaged into an overall rating of 1 to 10. This rating gives parents a good sense of how well students are performing, but test scores are not the only factors that determine whether or not a school is good. Parents are also allowed to review and rate their children’s schools on the website to give another perspective.

GreatSchools allows you to use different criteria to search for schools. You can search by state, city, school name, grade level and even home address.

Niche.com ranks schools a bit differently. They use a system of A+ to D- (with A+ being the highest and D- being the lowest) and have an entire page on their website that explains their ranking system (https://k12.niche.com/rankings/methodology) but state standardized test scores is only one factor. At Niche.com, they believe that “the quality of a school or district should be measured, at least in part, by the parents and students who actually go there. They should also be measured by hard data and across a number of key factors so that no one factor dominates a ranking. Most importantly, they should be measured by their results.” Niche.com claims that standardized test scores account for only 15% of the weight in the Best Public High School rankings. This site also ranks private schools.