Education/school (297777)
Education/school Credit: Pexles/Pixabay photo

Since 2011, National School Choice Week (NSCW) has reached out to every school in America to give them the opportunity to participate, whether that is showing off school pride or running events and activities to vie for the attention of parents in the hopes of swaying them to enroll their children in their school over another. This year, the 12th annual National School Choice Week kicked off and schools are prepared to call attention to the importance of educational flexibility, especially as school disruptions continue. NSCW 2022 began Jan. 23 and ended on Jan. 29.

Nationwide, there are more than 26,000 activities individually planned by schools, organizations and individuals. In New York, there were about 1,339 celebrations planned for the week, a press release by NSCW said. Among these activities and festivities there was anything from talent shows, fairs and open houses to social media posts and virtual informational events.

The Bronx Charter Schools for Better Learning provides education to K-5 students. As part of their celebration, they turned to social media posts. “We at BBL are honored so many families CHOOSE us to guide their kids in their learning! Demand for our school is high. Our acceptance rate for families enrolling a child in kindergarten at each school is about 10%,” the Bronx Charter Schools for Better Learning said on Twitter. 

“The goal is to have as inclusive a celebration as possible. We let schools determine how they want to celebrate and plan and what they come up with is always inspiring to us,” NSCW President Andrew Campanella said.

In New York, educational opportunities have a variety of options: charter schools, private schools, traditional public schools, public magnet schools and homeschooling. In some areas, online schooling is also an option. Fifty-two percent of U.S. parents considered finding a new or different school for their child or children, according to a survey conducted by NSCW from Jan. 3-6.

“When more kids go to schools that are actively selected for them by their parents, they’re more likely to graduate, learn, thrive, succeed and be happy,” Campanella said.

NSCW aims to educate communities and families on what’s offered to them to increase educational empowerment and support families by helping kids find learning environments where they are more likely to flourish. 

Juan Baez is the activities coordinator at the Bronx Arts and Science Charter School. In celebration of the Week, he said had spirit week, where there is a new theme each day, and students did a dance.

“It’s very important to celebrate because each parent and scholar lets us know why they chose our school. As a parent myself, if I hear a school is amazing, I would be motivated to send my son there.”

Last year, the engagement and participation in NSCW most notably led to the development of resources that gave advice to parents on how to navigate education during the pandemic. The Schools Near Me tool was also launched, which helped families search up to 145,000 schools. Schools had to get creative and accommodating by running primarily virtual events, NSCW’s website said.

NSCW is a not-for-profit effort that spotlights effective K-12 education options. They accomplish this year-round by researching and developing web-based resources.

“We developed the nation’s largest portfolio of jargon-free, unbiased, cost-free school search resources available online,” Campanella said.

NSCW has garnered attention and proclamations from governors and leaders across the country. 

“The power of school choice uplifts minority communities, empowers parents, and offers every child access to a world-class education. #SchoolChoiceWeek,” Florida Congressman Byron Donalds said on Twitter.

However, NSCW is nonpartisan and nonpolitical. “We do not, directly or indirectly, advocate for the passage or defeat of any legislation or policy proposals,” NSCW said.

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