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Old 06-24-2021, 07:35 AM
 
Location: North of Birmingham, AL
813 posts, read 673,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varun Sharma View Post
Does someone know how are public schools in Birmingham or Mountain Brook area, from the perspective of inclusive education. My 6 yo daughter is autistic and we are considering moving there, but have some concerns around bullying in school. Any suggestions would be very helpful
I don't know anything about their inclusive educational services, but Homewood, Vestavia Hills, and Hoover are all close-in, well-established suburbs in very nice settings with higher Asian populations than Mountain Brook. They all have excellent school systems. Mountain Brook is the "old money" wealthy suburb and almost entirely White. It's gorgeous, but I would check it out thoroughly. Homewood is very expensive by Birmingham standards (probably not by California standards so much) and is very trendy with a younger-ish professional population.

One thing about moving into the city of Birmingham proper is that housing costs tend to be lower, no doubt because the school system is not great. However, coming from California and with the lower housing costs, you may be able to look into a private school with the services you seek. You can still find beautiful old, large homes in very nice Birmingham neighborhoods for reasonable prices:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...5/964880_zpid/
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:44 AM
 
10,179 posts, read 5,873,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varun Sharma View Post
Does someone know how are public schools in Birmingham or Mountain Brook area, from the perspective of inclusive education. My 6 yo daughter is autistic and we are considering moving there, but have some concerns around bullying in school. Any suggestions would be very helpful

A bit of geography that might help your decision. There's Birmingham City and then there is the arc of suburbs along Birmingham's southern flank, known in general terms as Over The Mountain.

There are a lot of things to love about Birmingham proper. Lots of things to do, fantastic restaurants, and a more easygoing lifestyle than what you're likely used to. However, the City of Birmingham's school system isn't one of those things. We lived in the city limits of Birmingham for 14 years, but the schools just weren't up to snuff. So we ultimately moved to Mountain Brook until our kids earned their diplomas, then moved back into the city once again.

Yet, in the Over The Mountain Area, there are some amazing school systems that compare well to just about any in the country. Mountain Brook is certainly one of them, and typically sits at the top of the rankings. However, I would offer that Homewood is also a really good place to look. Having put three kids through the Mountain Brook system--and not regretted doing so--its superb special needs program makes it a mecca of sorts. But Homewood is right up there with Mountain Brook in terms of educational attainment and these kinds of offerings.

At the same, while bullying does not seem to be a problem any more than any other school system, Mountain Brook can be a wee bit insular with the old money kind of vibe. We did fine, chiefly because our kids already knew kids in the system, etc. etc. But I could imagine that it would be more difficult for a family moving in from another part of the country. Not because there's a desire to exclude outsiders per se, but it's just because most of the kids in that system already have their social circle baked in through their church, the country club, et al.



A lot of that can be mitigated in involvement. It is axiomatic that the more things you involve your kids in--And yourself, for that matter--the more people you meet and the more relationships you forge. But there is still Country Club Mountain Brook and The Rest Of Mountain Brook.


Homewood on the other hand, is more diverse, has a superb school system, and isn't wrapped up in the weird cultural issues that Mountain Brook gets dinged on. Plus, I think Homewood is an easier community in which to live. Plus if you own a hosue in the Bay Area, you'll be shocked at what you can get for the money in even the priciest neighborhoods compared to where you live right now. There's no substitute for coming here and driving around with a real estate agent in that regard.

One other thing I'll offer. Mind you I'm about as whitebread as it gets, but there is a significant Asian community in Birmingham. Certainly nothing on the scale that you'd find in the Bay Area, but UAB and the burgeoning tech industry has nourished a growing community. As one example, one of my lifelong friends is Indian, and the community here is sizable.

Here's a resource you should consider. The Exceptional Foundation in Homewood does an amazing job with special needs kids. Might be worth a call to them to get a more informed view of what different school systems in the area have to offer. Good luck!

https://www.exceptionalfoundation.org/

Last edited by MinivanDriver; 06-24-2021 at 07:57 AM..
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:44 AM
 
Location: 35203
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As long as your child's goal is to learn and get an education, they will be fine anywhere.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:23 PM
 
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Thank you so much for your kind replies and guidance.
We will make a few visits to Homewood and Mountain Brook and discuss with Real Estate Agents before deciding.
Thanks again! We truly appreciate the guidance.
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Old 06-24-2021, 02:37 PM
 
346 posts, read 210,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varun Sharma View Post
Thank you so much for your kind replies and guidance.
We will make a few visits to Homewood and Mountain Brook and discuss with Real Estate Agents before deciding.
Thanks again! We truly appreciate the guidance.
The Exceptional Foundation is a really great local organization (in Homewood) that you may want to check out as well.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:27 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing info about Exceptional Foundation (https://www.exceptionalfoundation.org/). This is really helpful and reassuring. It is motivating to see the work being done by this organization.
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