School choice is wonderful at a policy level, but families don’t always have the time or resources to learn about their options for where to send their children to school. SchoolFinder aims to create a world where all kids can learn and grow in environments that are best for them, their families, and their community. We plan to accomplish this by becoming the most robust platform for information about student educational opportunities. By partnering with the SchoolFinder team, school districts and charter management organizations will empower schools to understand their potential families and effectively engage with their communities. Together, we will enable families to navigate the school choice process and connect with schools to better understand their options so that students end up enrolling at the best school for them.
The SchoolFinder homepage, customized for each district and organization, offers families the ability to search for schools in a variety of ways. One of the most powerful ways families can discover a best-fit school is to follow the option to “find a school based on interests.” Guided search allows parents to search for schools based on address, grade level, and a set of questions about specific interests and what is most important to them. The system then prompts families to answer a few questions about their location, important programs, critical services needs, and other delineating criteria which will yield schools that match those specifications. The resulting schools, which have a “match score,” often include several schools that families had not previously considered.
Before now, there hasn’t been a platform for schools to describe what they have to offer, and so families don’t have the information they need to make decisions about educational opportunities for their children. SchoolFinder works with districts and CMOs of all sizes across the United States to address this challenge by creating robust school profiles that display information in a beautiful and user friendly way. Customers determine profile content and how content is organized on the page. Parents learn about each school, and schools have the chance to market themselves. Schools can print PDF versions of profiles to distribute to families at open houses.
Families can compare schools to one another and make highly educated decisions about which school and programs are their favorites. These favorites can be marked within SchoolFinder and resurfaced during the application process. Families can see on SchoolFinder how many open seats each school has available for each grade, which is a useful metric when deciding which choice schools to apply to. Our team is committed to accessibility and meeting families where they are, so we provide translations of all content and design SchoolFinder to be mobile friendly.
As school choice has proliferated across the country, families are faced with the increasingly difficult task of selecting a best-fit school for their student. Bombarded with information of varying validity, this decision often becomes an emotional one, rather than one based on factual and verified information. Many districts have elected to begin publishing a directory of schools that includes facts about these schools, or simply an in-house “School Finder” that simply allows parents to enter their address and locate their “assigned-school”, but families continue to struggle to determine their best fit school. To address these challenges and help districts seize an opportunity, SchoolMint has partnered with school districts to develop and implement SchoolFinder.