If you love your school (or better yet, the freedom to choose the best education for your child), this January provides the perfect time to share that with others.
The week of Jan. 23-29 marks National School Choice Week (NCSW), which is sponsored by a nonprofit with the same name.
Launched in 2011, the nonprofit describes itself as nonpartisan and nonpolitical with an objective to host “the world’s largest celebration of opportunity in education.”
‘Education quality and COVID disruptions’
The COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated the movement for families to choose different educational options.
A Jan. 3-6 survey conducted by NCSW found that half of U.S. parents (52 percent) said they considered finding a new or different school within the past year, or are currently considering it.
“The top reasons parents considered new or different schools for their children were education quality and COVID disruptions,” survey researchers concluded.
The nonprofit’s mission to celebrate educational opportunity encompasses magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling, as well as traditional public schools and charter schools.
Home-education groups including Midwest Parent Educators (MPE) of Kansas City use this week to emphasize their freedom to homeschool.
For example, the Jan. 22 Women’s Encouragement Day for homeschool moms will feature school choice activities sent by NCSW, including free scarves, bracelets, posters, and certificates.
In addition to the Jan. 23-29 celebration, NCSW also offers educational resources year-round to parents and educators.
One such resource explores how to find free tutoring and homework help for students, broken down by state.
“Parents want free or affordable options to help speed up learning, troubleshoot challenges, and make the most of this school year,” the nonprofit’s blog reports. “Fortunately, both local and national organizations are stepping up to provide homework help.”
Support services also exist for students with special needs, who often faced unique challenges with virtual learning during the pandemic. This NSCW article details some of the state-by-state guidelines and ideas for educating students with disabilities.
Because School Choice Week is open to all educational options, events and activities are as diverse as the tens of thousands of schools and organizations who celebrate it.
“Participants decide how they want to celebrate NSCW and plan the events and activities that best meet their objectives,” the nonprofit states on its website.
There are no participation or licensing fees to plan an activity. Furthermore, the nonprofit provides free activity packets to registered schools and homeschool groups before supplies run out.
For organizations and schools interested in celebrating this week as a community, the nonprofit features a list of event ideas on its website.