School Choice is My Choice

By Cheryl Coleman

In 2011 I began searching for a school for my daughter in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. I, like other parents, was clear about the mission of my quest – I wanted a school with educators that would deliver a high-quality education to my daughter. She needed a place of nurturing and growing and well…learning.  I visited many both public and private. I went to a public school my entire life so it wasn’t totally off the table but I still wanted to weigh my options.

After many, many visits it didn’t come down to the best school per se, but what I felt was the best fit for my daughter. My last and final visit of the day was a small private school in the Brookland section of Washington, DC.  When I walked in the school it was a welcoming atmosphere, the principal was energetic, and the front office staff was extremely helpful and very patient with my thousand questions. They assigned an 8th-grade student to show me around. She talked to me through the entire building. She had been there since kindergarten and her mannerism was incredible. I loved talking to her.

I knew my daughter would fit right in. The one thing that I particularly appreciated about the school was that it was a little bit of everything. While it is a private school, it sits in the middle of a community. People walk to school every day because they can. The school and its families are a part of the community’s fabric and have been for the past 96 years.

The school offers scholarships on its own and accepts students in the Opportunity Scholarship program. There are full-tuition paying families and families whose children wouldn’t have the opportunity of changing the trajectory of their lives were it not for a voucher.

My daughter is in the 6th grade and has been at her school since she was in kindergarten. I appreciate the ecosystem of choice our school offers. As a parent knowing that she is surrounded by various teachers who are yielding great results in the classroom, making great life-long friends, and receiving an education that is setting her on a path to success, and instilling core values that she will carry with her throughout her life.