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Old 05-16-2011, 08:59 AM
10 posts, read 25,166 times
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Hello! We will be relocating to the Cincinnati area from Southern California in early August with our two daughters, ages 9 and 12 (grades 4 and 7 in the fall). We are coming out next week to tour some schools so our daughters have a feel for what the schools will be like. We are touring Mason, Madeira and Indian Hill Elementary/Intermediate and Middle Schools during our trip. My question is this: Does anyone out there know the quality of the honors programs in the middle schools I have listed? If we were to have stayed here my oldest daughter would have been place in honors classes in Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science. I did speak to a counselor at Madeira Middle School last week and he said they only offered Math honors classes. If anyone has any other schools for us to look at that would be great. The school will then dictate where we chose to live and purchase our home. My youngest daughter also qualified for GATE here in California so if you have any information regarding that in 4th grade that would be wonderful as well. I would assume they would both have to be tested according to Ohio standards. Thank you in advance for any help you can give.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:58 AM
Location: Mason, OH
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It does not surprise me Madeira has limited honors designated programs due to the small size of the district. Mason, being much larger, likely will have more offerings in this area, though they may be labeled gifted rather then honors and require testing into. I would expect Indian Hill to offer a fair amount of advanced programs since number one it can afford to, and number two is in competition with private schools.

While Madeira consistently ranks high, its physical plants are much smaller and older. Mason is a large district with quite new or remodeled physical plants since its growth is recent. Indian Hill maintains its physical plants quite nicely since it can afford to.

Please relate back you and your daughters' impression of these schools compared to those in California.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:22 AM
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I definitely will report back when we return home. My biggest concern is what I have heard from other families who have transferred from other parts of the country to California. That is their children are far behind our children here academically. I have a few friends who have transferred in recent years from Michigan and Wisconsin and they are appalled at how much homework we have and how behind their children are when they get here. They spend months trying to catch up and in addition to moving it is frustrating for the child. I don't want my kids to lag behind. On the other hand, I wonder does everything "even out" once all these kids get into high school. I have always thought California schools push to teach our children what I learned in 7th grade to my 3 grader. Not sure if what I am thinking is coming across here.

If anyone has any recommendations for schools/districts I would appreciate it.

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Old 05-16-2011, 11:34 AM
Location: Cincinnati
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I would recommend also looking into Mariemont, Wyoming and Sycamore school districts. Between those 3 and the 3 you mentioned, you will hit the top 6 in Cincinnati.

Madiera is the smallest of the districts. Wyoming, Indian Hill and Mariemont are all medium sized districts. Mason and Sycamore are both large districts.

You should be able to find something that works for your kids in one of the mentioned 6 districts. If you want to see the breakdown of the districts, you can check out the Ohio Report Cards out on the State website. They rank all the districts/schools in the State.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:59 AM
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I can't speak for other school districts, but we have been very pleased by the accelerated/gifted classes in the Sycamore school district. You do have to test into these classes and acquaintances who come from other school districts tell me that Sycamore has higher standards than others (95% on both the individual subject (i.e. math) plus 95% on the comprehensive portion (i.e. all subjects). In addition, they have to test at a minimum standard on the intelligence/logical test. DD qualified for double accelerated math, which means she is learning 7th grade math while in the 5th grade. She is about to have a test on probabilities - combinations and permutations. I find it astounding they are teaching these concepts to 5th graders as I didn't learn anything like this subject matter in 5th grade. Her accelerated language arts class is also rigorous as she often reads 2-3 books simultaneously (for class). I have no doubts whatsoever that your child will be properly challenged in the accelerated program in Sycamore.

Also, in Sycamore, once you reach 7th grade, parents can override teacher recommendations and enroll their children in accelerated classes without having to test into these classes. In 7th grade and beyond, they have the full gamut of accelerated classes (science, social studies, math, language arts, foreign language). Grades 3-6 only have accelerated math and language arts classes.

Hope that helps. PM me if you have any additional questions or concerns.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:40 PM
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Thank you for all of your input. We visited Mason Intermediate/Middle Schools, Indian Hill Elementary/Middle Schools and Madeira Elementary/Middle Schools. We liked the areas of Madeira and Indian Hill, but I am not sure it has the neighborhood we are looking for. We come from Southern California where we live in a large subdivision where there are 4 pools, activities for the kids, etc. Also, by living in the subdivision there are CC & R's where people can't have 5 cars in their front yard, a motor home in their front yard 24/7, etc. While driving in Madeira and some parts of Indian Hill (not the mansion areas) I saw many homes with many cars in front, boats, etc. While in Mason, we felt that the area was very "non-descript" (flat, not unique looking). Plus, Mason feels so far removed from everything. Almost like its own little entity.

Just wondering what you all think of the Milford and Loveland School Districts? We liked both areas, but we weren't able to get to the schools during our short trip. Does anyone have children in these schools? My girls will be in 4th and 7th grades in the fall. I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks again.
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