San Diego, California (NAPSI) - If you or someone you know is looking for a new school for a child for the 2014−2015 school year, now is the time to begin researching your options.

From January 26 to February 1, millions of Americans will participate in National School Choice Week, which shines a spotlight on effective education options for children. The Week, which features more than 5,500 events across all 50 states, is an excellent time for parents to begin looking at the options available to them.

While choosing a new school for your son or daughter is an intensely personal experience, here are a few ideas for starting the school selection process.

1) Start right now. Seats in great schools are already filling up for next year. Ask yourself what matters most to you in a school. Is it academics, school safety, an educational theme, a specific style of instruction, the qualifications of teachers, the size of classes, or other factors?

2) Research your options. Make a list of the choices you have. Some states let parents send their children to schools in different districts. Some have charter and magnet schools. You may be able to get a scholarship to send your children to a private or faith-based school. In addition, there are full-time, online schools in many states.

3) Visit the schools you’re considering with your children. While there, ask lots of questions. Talk to principals and teachers and make sure that you’re comfortable with the answers you receive. Consider sitting in on classes, too.

4) Talk to other parents—and to your children. Before making your decision, ask parents of other students who attend your target schools about their experiences. Ask your children about their impressions and their concerns.

The more research you do, the better choices you can make. Remember: You know your child best, and you are truly in the best position—better than anyone else—to decide what type of school your child should attend.

You can learn more at www.schoolchoiceweek.com.

• Mr. Campanella is president of National School Choice Week, an independent public awareness campaign that shines a spotlight on effective education options for children.