Wouldnt it be simple for parents if all local schools were alike? Unfortunately they aren't. Among local schools, there can be big differences between testing scores and state ratings. Basic curriculum may be the same at all local schools, but not all offer the same arts, languages, or sports. To find local schools in your area, search online for the school system website. It will list local schools including their addresses, phone numbers, websites and emails. Usually these schools can be compared by looking for information about state rankings and testing scores. This information should be on the school system website. If it isnt, you may need to find the website for your State Department of Education. This site should help you find out if your local schools are succeeding or failing. To find out which local schools are zoned for your address, you can often find a place on your school system website that provides zone maps. If you are uncertain, you can call or email the school system and ask them. There are more and more flexible laws which allow you to choose among local schools rather than be limited to your zone school. You should check with the school system for its policies on taking your child across zones. When comparing local schools, you will want to look for magnet schools. These local schools have a special emphasis such as fine arts, science, or technology, and they allow enrollment across zones. They usually have an application process and a lottery. Others have a waiting list. Check out their policies right away to find out the deadline for applications. If you have just moved to the area, you can often ask for an exemption to enroll your child.