On Saturday, Nov. 5, Raising Arizona Kids magazine will host the Valley’s first large-scale school-choice event. Education Fair AZ is an opportunity to meet with representatives from up to 100 local public, charter and private schools and a variety of resources that support success in learning.
The free, drop-in event runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Phoenix Convention Center.
“This is something we’ve been thinking about doing for a long time,” says RAK Publisher Karen Barr. “We’re modeling it on the success of Camp Fair AZ, which we’ve hosted in the Valley each February for 14 years. Families who come to Education Fair AZ will be able to talk directly to the people who are running these schools and get a better feel for what their children will experience.”
Arizona is an open-enrollment state, which means children can attend any school in any public school district in the Valley, subject to available space. Beyond that, there are hundreds of charter schools (which are also tuition-free public schools) and hundreds more private schools.
“It can be overwhelming for parents,” says Barr. “Everybody hears how important it is to ‘find the right fit.’ What does that mean? Where do you start when there are so many choices?”
At Education Fair AZ, local education experts will speak on topics including:
- What you need to know (about your own children and family) before choosing schools
- How to recognize a high-quality learning environment
- Where to find financial support for private-school tuition
Families will learn about non-traditional education choices, such as online schools, and receive a complimentary copy of “Schools, etc.”, RAK’s comprehensive annual education guide, which offers short profiles on every school and school district in Maricopa County.
“If your child is facing a transition in a year or two — to elementary school, middle school or high school — this is the place to be,” says Barr. “You can stop and talk with people from schools and districts that already interest you, and you might also find out about intriguing options you hadn’t considered. We wanted to pull people together in one place to save families the time they would spend doing a lot of independent research.”
Children are welcome, and there are a lot of other family-friendly events going on near the Phoenix Convention Center that day — including the Herberger Center Festival of the Arts just across the street. The Convention Center is within walking distance of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Arizona Science Center and other downtown attractions.
Education Fair AZ is sponsored by Choose A School, Legacy Traditional Schools, Arizona Private Education Scholarship Fund, Imagine Schools, Rancho Solano Preparatory School, New Way Academy, Hope Online High School and Expect More Arizona.
IF YOU GO: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5 in the West Building (Lower Level, Hall 2) at Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third St. Admission is free. Register at educationfairaz.com to receive additional event details directly to your email. Follow #EdFairAZ for updates.