Why School Choice?

Why is it important to investigate schools to identify the best fit for a child?

Students should not be required to change who they are to fit into a school, but rather, find a school that has systems in place to help them grow regardless of any diversity. 

Today, parents have a smorgasbord of options when it comes to selecting the right learning environment for their child: from traditional public schools, to public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling. Growing up in a small rural community and raising my children in a similar setting, it never occurred to me there might be options for schooling. 

Last year, I had the pleasure of working with a scholar, enrolled at Gem Prep: Meridian. His parents had significant difficulty over the years in finding a learning environment that met their child’s diverse needs while also fostering a love of learning. This was not due to their lack of inquiry into school options. They had tried traditional public schools, online schools, homeschooling, and private schools in their efforts of supporting his academic and social-emotional needs. After two years of his Gem Prep enrollment, it is evident he found his place. This proclamation is measured by his competencies in social skills, academic scores, and his most recent award, Principal Honor Roll, due to the achievement of a 4.0 GPA. 

  “GPM works for me because of their flexibility and the assistance I get to help me succeed and feel good about school.” (Scholar, January 2020)

The parents’ perseverance and determination to investigate the right school for their child clearly paid off.  School of Choice is a privilege all parents should exercise. Every child deserves to be challenged, inspired, and happy in a school setting that recognizes their uniqueness, skills, and talents. I believe all schools strive to provide the best possible learning environment for kids, but clearly, school systems, missions, visions, and models vary. And it is such an overwhelming joy to find the good-fit school for your kids.

“GPM works for our scholar because of their multifaceted education model and universal acceptance and support of each scholar’s needs to succeed.”  (Mom, January 2020)

As Schools of Choice are entering the lottery and enrollment season, I encourage you to invest the time to identify the best fit learning environment for your child. As a mother of four and grandmother of five, I fully recognize all children are unique in learning styles and abilities.  ALL students deserve an excellent education; including yours and mine.    


Principal Nanette Lehman-Merrill