January 18, 2012 10:30:00 AM
Columbus elementary schools have been welcoming visitors for more than a week, introducing prospective students and their parents to their magnet themes -- technology and communication, medical sciences and wellness, fine arts, international studies and aerospace and science.
Each year, Columbus schools offer a lottery for new elementary students and those interested in changing schools.
When Columbus Municipal School District launched the magnet school program in 2008, it created a lot of buzz and excitement. And since then, this time of year, the schools are always teeming with energy.
Whether you love the programs or question their relevance, there's no denying there have never been so many people interested in finding out what's going on inside each school.
Any time you can focus positive attention on schools, it's a good thing.
Too often, we dismiss schools, or school systems, based on word-of-mouth and pass by them without ever going inside. These open houses are a good excuse and opportunity to check out what the schools have to offer. Parents of school-age children especially need to take advantage of this opportunity.
Most schools in the area offer open houses before the new school year starts. And if you can't make scheduled open houses, it doesn't stop you from setting up a tour and asking questions.
Even if you don't have school-age children, the school system is an important part of the community and economic and retail development.
Businesses looking to locate in the area make decisions based in part on the quality of local schools.
When Columbus Air Force Base was on the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission's list to be considered for closure, education was one of the primary concerns.
It's time to start thinking more about schools, as a foundation for our children and our community.
So do your research. Ask questions. Meet the staff. Visit the schools.