The standard of education and schools in Baltimore is varied, so prospective residents planning a move to the Charm City with children will need to factor in schooling options when making decisions. There are hundreds of schools that fall under the two public school districts that oversee education provision in Baltimore, which might make deciding on the right school slightly overwhelming. 

Factors to consider when choosing a school in Baltimore include the type of school, the standard of teaching, the cost of tuition fees, extracurricular activities, and the proximity of the school to home.

Public schools in Baltimore

Public schools in Baltimore are overseen by either the Baltimore City Public Schools District or the Baltimore County Public Schools District, depending on their location. 

The standard of public schools in Baltimore varies dramatically. As is the case in most major cities, better public schools tend to be located in more affluent areas and suburbs of Baltimore

Admission to most public schools is based on catchment areas. Some of the more popular public schools in Baltimore are oversubscribed, so prospective students will want to submit their applications as early as possible. 

We recommend parents have the following documents on hand when making an application: the student’s birth certificate, parents' ID and proof of address. Some schools may also ask for academic records, references and medical certificates. 

Read Education and Schools in the USA to learn more about the national education system. 

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Charter schools

A charter school is a type of public school that is overseen by external entities. They have increased autonomy but remain accountable to the school district.

Each school will have a charter or performance contract that details its programme, goals and assessment methods. Some charter schools may have a particular approach to learning, focus on a certain instructional theme, or serve particular populations. 

Students may choose to attend a charter school regardless of where they live in Baltimore and are not strictly governed by catchment areas.

Magnet schools

Magnet schools, like charter schools, are primarily state-funded, but they do receive additional external funding, are not strictly bound by the US curriculum and can develop their own curriculum. 

Magnet schools typically focus on a specialised subject area, like STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), the performing arts or languages. Teachers at magnet schools are highly specialised and tend to have a high level of training.

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Private schools in Baltimore

There are a number of good private schools in Baltimore. In general, private schools perform better academically than the average public school. Students have access to better facilities and have greater opportunities to explore extracurricular pursuits such as sports and music to a higher level. 

The downside of choosing to attend a private school is, of course, the cost. Parents who opt to send their children to a private school will also need to budget for several additional expenses such as uniforms, textbooks, and extracurricular lessons, as well as various field trips.

International schools in Baltimore

There are no international schools that follow foreign curricula in Baltimore. That said, there are a handful of public charter and private schools that offer students the option of studying for the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Expats relocating to Baltimore in the short term who'd prefer to have their children continue studying the curriculum of their home country should consider international schooling options in Washington, DC. International schools provide a more familiar environment and allow students to associate with other expat children. 

Baltimore is just over an hour's drive from Washington, DC, and many people commute between the two cities. That said, the capital is home to a large expat community and, as a result, the demand for international schools is quite high. This means that expats living in Baltimore who wish to send their children to one of these schools should apply ahead of time to secure a spot.

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Special-needs education in Baltimore

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In Baltimore, students with disabilities are entitled to free specialised education from birth to the age of 21. The support structures in Baltimore for such students are extensive. There are a few different options with bespoke programmes designed for children suffering from a variety of developmental and behavioural issues as well as those with physical disabilities. 

Where possible, students with special needs will be accommodated at mainstream public schools in Baltimore. If the severity of the disability restricts this, there are several special education centres and private special education facilities in Baltimore that offer more extensive support. 

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Tutors in Baltimore

For struggling students or those in need of some extra support to tackle university entrance exams, private tuition could help strengthen comprehension, boost confidence and give students that extra edge. 

For students in need of extra academic support, there are several reputable tutoring companies in Baltimore. Some well-established companies include Streamline Learning and Varsity Tutors. These companies offer one-to-one tutoring services for various subjects and for a range of different grades from elementary to high school.

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Expat Health Insurance

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