We wanted a school that was flexible for our twin DDs special needs and academic skills.
We avoided anything that was academic. For prek, we did play-based with just touches of K readiness.
I will say that the PreK teacher ( my daughters 3 years to 4 years old) did differentiate for reading and writing. Both DDs were reading and instead of alphabet work, she had them read and talk with her about the text. Same with writing, instead of doing circles and lines, she had one DD write words that she was interested in. It was great because it was completely child-led (she read and worked on things my DD was interested in). The rest of the curriculum was play based and mostly social skills- which both DD really needed! AWESOME teacher and good program. It really was the teacher that made a huge difference because she also made unofficial accommodations for special needs for my DDs as well (outside of the IEP/504).
PreK (my daughters at age 4 to 5) with the next program was similar to HighScope and very child-centric. They did themes and the kids were allowed to explore on their level. Even though both DDs were reading, writing, doing math, etc it really was not a huge issue. They did help pass out papers and hand things out because they could read the names, but other than that- it was a nonconcern. They wrote in journals, read books in the classroom, and participated in all the activities. It had a heavy science weight so lots of hands-on experiments (making balls, listing was did/did not float, growing seeds, etc).
For Elem. We went straight to 1st due to a bunch of unusual circumstances (age 5 to 6). School did not have formal program, but had made accommodations. We are in an area with a lot of academic-y families so many kids think 'its cool to be smart' and they always had a peer group to work with ahead of grade level. Reading, spelling, and writing is differentiated. Math has enrichment groups. Science/Social Studies is hands-on. We've been happy for the most part. Accommodations have been made as needed for both GT and special needs. There a few things I would change, but overall it has been positive. The fact that they school is very very very anti-bullying and very pro-community building has been great as well.
What curriculum do they use?
What are examples of differentiation?
How many peers do you anticipate working at/above grade level?
What is the homework level?
What social supports are in place?
What after school programs do you have?
How do you match teachers & students?
Sometimes a curriculum and a student is a poor match, but the school can still be great. Or you can have a GREAT teacher and a curriculum that is not a good fit and vs versa. We have had super teachers so far, and honestly that makes a BIG difference.