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Old 12-10-2014, 09:20 AM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,876,294 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
THERE IS NO MONEY FOR THESE FANTASIES!
Small class sizes? Most well off districts have them. Maybe not 18 kids per class, but the low 20's is pretty common. Foreign language in elementary school? Not uncommon at all in 2014. And the STEM programs are being developed throughout the suburbs, including technology and engineering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Even places a lot more affluent than Oak Park or Wilmette simply have no such offerings. You would be lucky to find a rare public ELEMENTARY school that even offers foreign language instruction of any quality / consistency.
Simply not true. I can find dozens of districts that have foreign language instruction at the elementary level. Wilmette elementary students can learn MANDARIN, for Pete's sake, along with several other options. Check it out:

http://www.wilmette39.org/index.php?...29&Itemid=1130


Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Heck, I don't know of even any COSTLY PRIVATE SCHOOLS in the region that offers any kind of real athletics programs let alone "architecture or engineering".
Once again, STEM programs are gaining momentum. Athletics are almost always handled quite well by park districts at this age, which is just a different diversion of property tax revenue. Lack of funding is CLEARLY not an issue.

Last edited by Lookout Kid; 12-10-2014 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:38 PM
 
28,384 posts, read 68,028,377 times
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WOW!

So now Lookout Kid can read the web. WHAT A WONDERFUL THING.

Does this new found skill substutite for having colleauges that have worked in the districts in question?

There are over 3500 students in D39 and fewer than 100 take Mandarian, none of whom are at any of the FOUR elementary schools in D39, their language program is offered ONLY in the 5-6 MIDDLE SCHOOL and 7-8 JUNIOR HIGH...

GO AHEAD AND CALL -- THE STAFF THERE WILL SAY THE SAME THING!

The bizarre boosterism that some folks on these boards display to try to hide the train wreck of Illinois politics is frankly EXACTLY what fuels the continued dominance of polticians that line their pockets with funds that could be ensuring a high quality education for all.


BTW -- There is some truth to the funding not being the ONLY issue that prevents athletics and foriegn language being more offered. I know from when other districts have tried to expand language offereing the response from administrators has been that there are just not enough hours in the school day to include all the MANDATES of the State of Illinois, which incluide things like Anti-Bullying -- Illinois Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies | StopBullying.gov and other "Social nand Emotional Learning" as well as daily PE -- 105*ILCS*5/*School Code.

Illinois Learning Standards for Social/Emotional Learning(SEL)

Last edited by chet everett; 12-10-2014 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:41 PM
 
145 posts, read 150,662 times
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Lookout Kid--thanks very much for the perspective. The counter balance is much more encouraging and we will be visiting the schools next week.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:48 PM
 
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I frankly am shocked that LK or anyone that understands how Illinois wastes tax dollars would be trying to make a case that folks in this state get a good value for their tax dollars -- property taxes in Oak Park and Wilmette are much higher than anything in Florida.

If the OP does not mind paying a little extra for extracurriculars because Florida has no income tax they will also have to BUDGET for these things in Illinois as Park District programs ARE RARELY FREE -- Winter 2015 Leisure Guide | Wilmette Park District
How to Register - Related Information | The Park District of Oak Park

Further, unlike the situation that the OP seems to enjoy in Jacksonville FL / St John County, with many of these programs being right at school, in Illinois the OP will need to arrange transportation from school to the park district facilities -- not a deal killer from a family with only one working parent BUT a whole lot more stressful than having kids cared for at one site...


Frankly between the higher housing costs, higher taxes and general hassle factors I would caution that the OP really needs to be realistic and get some BALANCE about how messed up Illinois really is ...
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,981,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmtSF View Post
Thanks in large part to the detailed posts on this forum, we have narrowed our search to Oak Park and Wilmette. We will be touring the elementary schools in both areas and we've already analyzed the reviews on Great Schools and test scores, etc. (for what they're worth). I was hoping for first hand experience and insight. Our preference would be a school with small class sizes, strong science and math programs, and extra activities (e.g. after school programs) that offer language, sports, architecture or engineering. I know that's probably asking for the moon, but if we can come close, that would be good enough. Does anyone have a particular school in either Oak Park or Wilmette that they particularly love?

Thank you!
Regarding Oak Park schools, Mann School is the perennial top performer because it has the best demographics/lowest percentage of low income students. The average for D97 is 25% low income. I'm sure Wilmette's percentage is significantly lower.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:16 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 1,610,318 times
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I love St. Johns County and would move to Ponte Vedra Beach in a heartbeat. No income tax, lower property costs, lower property tax, lower COL, sales tax holidays, better schools and beautiful weather year-round...
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:25 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 1,610,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
Regarding Oak Park schools, Mann School is the perennial top performer because it has the best demographics/lowest percentage of low income students. The average for D97 is 25% low income. I'm sure Wilmette's percentage is significantly lower.
This is true. And despite the added socioeconomic diversity of D97, the average non low income student in Oak Park performs at a level comparable to the average non low income student in Wilmette.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:41 PM
 
145 posts, read 150,662 times
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I very much like St. Johns County except in the summer when it is so hot, it feels like you're wrapped in a wet wool blanket atop a bed of burning asphalt. There is a lot to enjoy in St. Johns (Move on Down!), but Chicago is more cosmopolitan and offers so many great big, but friendly, city things -- museums, theatre, architecture, universities…The grass is always greener, eh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by holl1ngsworth View Post
I love St. Johns County and would move to Ponte Vedra Beach in a heartbeat. No income tax, lower property costs, lower property tax, lower COL, sales tax holidays, better schools and beautiful weather year-round...
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:28 AM
 
1,231 posts, read 1,326,882 times
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Compare each school on Illinois Report Card. It shows you how students score in each individual subgroup, not just all together. To see what types of programs they have look on each schools' website.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:48 AM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,876,294 times
Reputation: 4548
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
I frankly am shocked that LK or anyone that understands how Illinois wastes tax dollars would be trying to make a case that folks in this state get a good value for their tax dollars -- property taxes in Oak Park and Wilmette are much higher than anything in Florida.

If the OP does not mind paying a little extra for extracurriculars because Florida has no income tax they will also have to BUDGET for these things in Illinois as Park District programs ARE RARELY FREE -- Winter 2015 Leisure Guide | Wilmette Park District
How to Register - Related Information | The Park District of Oak Park

Further, unlike the situation that the OP seems to enjoy in Jacksonville FL / St John County, with many of these programs being right at school, in Illinois the OP will need to arrange transportation from school to the park district facilities -- not a deal killer from a family with only one working parent BUT a whole lot more stressful than having kids cared for at one site...


Frankly between the higher housing costs, higher taxes and general hassle factors I would caution that the OP really needs to be realistic and get some BALANCE about how messed up Illinois really is ...
Chet, you are not being helpful. I understand your concern about our state's finances. But a person came on here asking about specific programs at specific school districts, and it was NOT the time for one of your rants. And calling things like sports and foreign language programs "fantasies" is pretty ridiculous. The amount of recreational offerings for kids in most Chicago suburbs is pretty staggering.

MOST states have sports for elementary-aged kids as part of the Park District. There is nothing unusual about this.

And the truth is that schools in Wilmette and Oak Park have plenty of money for various enrichment programs. A bigger issue is that realignment with Common Core standards is eating up most of the school day, which is too short to begin with (which is an Illinois problem for sure). But this is not a funding issue. If foreign language starts in fifth grade for most elementary districts, it is because this is when it make sense to offer it for that particular district. I personally have my kids starting Spanish in first grade as part of their regular school day. I can't imagine we are the only district that offers this.

Last edited by Lookout Kid; 12-11-2014 at 09:56 AM..
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