Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. Since you and your husband both work, you can first look on line for schools in your neighborhood vicinity and check out their websites now. However, you can not really tell too much about a school from the website because the sites are usually glorified and visually appealing. Then since many schools are about to begin the school year, you can visit their back to school nights and get a general feel for the ambiance of the schools. Just call the school up and ask when their back to school event is. Take a look in the PK and Kinder classes especially
Additionally, you may need to take some time off from work and attend a particular school's events. You may even want to schedule a personal visit at the school. Just call the school and tell them that you are interested in having your daughter attend there. You will probably have to visit more than once. You and your husband can visit to get different perspectives. Ask if you could have someone show you around the school on a tour. Make sure you see the PK, Kinder, and first grade classes. If there is a library, computer lab, auditorium, multipurpose room, gymnasium, after school center, lunchroom, playground etc., ask to see those areas as well. You want a clear picture of the entire school. When you visit the classrooms, see if the students are actively engaged in learning. Are the classrooms bright and cheerful full of lots of manipulatives and lots of student work displayed? Do the students seem to know what to do or is there complete chaos? When you walk into a class room, is the teacher welcoming and do you feel accepted? Is there evidence of an organized schedule?
Then see if you can speak to the principal, assistant principal, or coordinator. Have whoever you talk to tell you about the curriculum in PK and Kinder. Ask how do the teachers challenge high achieving students and differentiate instruction to accommodate different levels. Ask how can parents become involved in the school. Ask how do teachers communicate with parents about student progress and how often. Ask how does the school compare to other schools in the neighborhood. Ask how does the school rank on the state standardized tests. Those are some key questions that can assist you. There might be other things that you may want to ask after your tour.
If you cannot possibly take off work and neither can your husband, see if another relative or friend can go in your place and take copious notes. The only way to actually learn about a school first off and develop your own opinion is to visit the school.
Hope this helps. Have a great day.