I keep reading that school is different now than when I attended 20+ years ago. Can you give some examples?
Having taught Montessori for the past 22 years and being myself out of the public school sector gives me little more information than you have. I suggest you go visiting. Principals and teachers at public, charter and private schools would welcome the opportunity to tell you about their programs and discuss the changes over the years. Not only would you become more knowledgeable, chances are great that with all the wonderful choices we have here in Nevada County you’d find the perfect match for you and your family.
P.S. Whenever visiting a preschool or elementary school during the “shopping” phase it’s best to go without your child. That way you will really be able to see the environment, the group of children, the teacher and how they interact rather than being concerned with what your child is doing or feeling. Once you’ve narrowed your choices, plan and schedule a second visit to introduce your child to the teacher and give them time to get to know each other.