looking at moving from the UK to Colorado, how do i get the kids into school???
i have a 7 year old and a 3.5 year old, once we are in colorado do we automatically enrol at the local school, also, would they be in the same school??? Has anyone had experience of moving from one country to usa and any advice??
Check out the Find-A-School resource on Education.com. Simply type in the zipcode. You'll find a ton of helpful information about teacher to student ratio, test scores, proximity from your home, and more. http://www.education.com/schoolfinder/
We moved from Wales UK in January 2012 from a wealthy area with highly respected schools to equally wealthy area and so called top schools in PA, USA with a bright 8 year old and an average 4 year old (has minor visual impairment).
Houses in our area are $600,000 - $2m plus, highly regarded schools. We used great schools website and also used a relocation consultant.
Check where you will be living to work out which school you will be going to and call the school to confirm. Generally speaking the equivalent of UK state schools here (called public school in USA) start at kindergarten which is either a morning OR afternoon session Mon- Friday. Most children in kindergarten are same age as children in UK year 1 ie almost 6 years old. We have since found out though that if your child is sufficiently able they might be able to start a year earlier but check with your school. Syllabus in USA schools is about 2 years behind UK schools. Our 8 year old is doing work she was being taught 2 years ago in Wales. They haven't even started teaching multiplication here, she learned that 2 years ago. The focus is more on facts than study skills/trouble shooting. Bullying is rife yet hidden. Drugs are an issue in most if not all high schools and classroom discipline is dreadful. Ask your school what their proactive and reactive measures are for bullying. Also, ask what they do for children who are excelling or need extra help. My eldest is exceptional by USA standards but gets no enrichment. She has been bullied but measures have been ineffective. Youngest is visually impaired and services here are decades behind the UK. Husband and I are both professionals have BSc Hons, MBAs, MScs and DPhils. We value education highly. Education standards in the schools we chose were rated highly, after 10 months we categorically disagree, it's appalling. I have to stay at home to devise and deliver additional learning opportunities to our children until we resolve personal tutors and private schools (if they are any better). Worst decision we ever made moving to USA. Colorado great for winter sport and fab gateway airport in Denver to get to Yellowstone (awesome). Recommend you visit and do more research (we did that) before you commit to move. Good luck. Happy to offer more advice or answer more questions.
I would also advise caution on any info you read on a website. Our elder daughter's school is rated 10/10 with a student teacher ratio of 18:1 on this very website. My daughter has 26 students in her class and 1 teacher. In the UK she had 26 students, 1 teacher PLUS 1 teaching assistant. An extra trained person makes a huge difference to the classroom discipline, preparation of materials, accuracy of marking tests and 1 to 1 attention. If the same school was transported to the UK it would be under emergency measures.
Also, ensure you gather your child's immunization records and school records for the new USA school. Try to get dental, health checks and plenty of prescriptions sorted in UK before you depart for the USA. Our children had all the required UK immunizations but when we came to USA they also needed hep B shots (series of shots taken over several weeks and months). When you arrive in USA get your social security number ASAP and register at a primary care physician (like UK GP) and dentist as soon as you can. I find quality children's books very expensive even on Amazon compared to UK discounted book retailers like thebookpeople and bananas.co.uk. I haven't found new books discounted to 80% like the UK. Generally speaking, you get more car and house for your money in USA but with most things like libraries, recreation centers (leisure centers) further away I'm still spending the same on car fuel despite the unit price being cheaper in USA. Like for quality food is about 40% more expensive in USA. Car insurance is really expensive in USA too as they didn't accept my no claim discount from UK. Also, it takes a long time to establish a credit rating and get a credit card, after 10 months in USA I still can't get a credit card despite a top credit rating with Experian in the UK, although I do have a USA debit card. Eating out is generally cheaper than UK but mostly fast food style or casual dining a bit like harvesters. Not much in the way of genuinely fine dining where I live. If you don't have Skype or Facebook I would get them as they are great to keep in touch with friends and family. In the UK public transport and walking is a realistic option. Not realistic in USA. Get an international driving license from The AA in the UK. Check out the driving test requirements for your state, eventually it will become a must but in the interim it will reduce your car insurance premiums. I found the PA driving test easy, studied the manual over a couple of evenings on signs rules etc., and did a sight test and o line test. That was part 1 of the test, I did part two a month later, just involved 10 mins driving with the examiner and a reverse parking. Much easier than the UK test. But check what the requirements are in your state. TV, a few good shows here and there but most are dreadful (Honey Boo ...) TV news is highly partisan and biased so I still refer to BBC for unbiased info. Check out how far your nearest emergency room is. We were in Montana last month and we were over an hour from a tiny ER. When you arrive, arrange plenty of play dates.