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Old 05-18-2011, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati near
2,507 posts, read 3,351,758 times
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This past weekend my wife hosted a baby shower and essentially kicked me out of the house for a day. I didn't really feel like going to work, and all of my family and friends seemed busy. Rather than sulking in the basement watching TV or browsing the internet, I decided to go on a bike ride. The roads were damp and I am lazy, so I decided to make the ride the vintage motorized kind. Typically if I am going to take a 2+ hour ride, I make a beeline for country roads and get out of the city by cutting through Madeira and Indian Hill to the East, take the I-71 to Kentucky to the South or I-74 to Indiana to the West. That would have been my plan, except that I noticed that the tires on my old Yamaha Radian were getting a little bald on the sides, and I really didn't want to be flying around corners at high speed on the wet roads with washed out gravel everywhere. I did have my heart set on getting the old bike some exercise, though, so I decided to take a more urban low speed ride with the intention of seeing some parts of the city that I haven't seen in years.

I snaked my way through about 100 miles of side streets, and revisited a lot of my old running routes when I was still a competitive distance runner. Finally, after I had filled my backpack with goodies from Jungle Jim's, I headed home. My route home caused me to pass through some of the back streets along Sharon Road through Glendale, Springdale, and Sharonville, and I saw some really nice areas that I never knew existed. In particular, the sidestreets parallel to Sharon Road between 747 and Chester Road are just beautiful, and the neighborhood seemed to have a walkable feel as well with some small restaurants and development at significant intersections. All in all, the area seemed to be a very desirable neighborhood, at least equal to a place like Mariemont, Wyoming, Terrace Park, or Amberley Village as far as safety, quietness, property maintenance and charm.

My question is this: When people come onto this forum saying that they are looking for a house in the 250K+ range and want x, y, and z from a neighborhood, why do Springdale and Glendale never seem to come up? Is it the school district? I would assume it is Princeton. Is it the location? Is the area overpriced? Is the area just lacking an advocate in this forum? Any insight would be appreciated.

P.S. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Sharon Woods Historical Village. My parents actually met there over thirty years ago and my dad was a volunteer historical consultant on 19th century agriculture there for a long time, but I have not visited it in years. I am happy to see that the place is still so well maintained.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
171 posts, read 295,018 times
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Schools. Those areas all go to Princeton schools. Most people on the forum moving into the area have young kids or school aged kids and are looking for top notch schools. The other areas mentioned (TP, Mairemont, Wyoming, etc) all have top caliber schools.

A few times people who don't have kids or are sending kids to private ask for nice areas and those areas are mentioned. Also, people looking to rent who work up that way are directed to Woodlawn, Springdale, Sharonville, etc...
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:13 PM
 
Location: West Palm Beach
620 posts, read 991,347 times
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Glendale and Sprigdale are my stomping grounds. I was raised in this area, and yes, it's one of the nicest suburbs in the Cincy area. I find the whole Tri-County area to be pretty nice, sans some parts of Lincoln Heights. Alot of people give Princeton crap for being a sub-par school, but it's ranked the same as Lakota, Sycamore and Wyoming, and has graduation rates nearing the same also. The main difference is, Princeton is a VERRRRY mixed district that takes kids from all socio-economic backgrounds, races and religions. I'd say the highschool is 50% black, 50% not black, and it's a reflection of the Tri-County area. They're also rebuilding the highschool and middleschool, which will soon become a community center as well.

Even Glendale has a significant black population, and it's elementary school is predominatley non white. There's soooo much history in that little village it's unbelievable. The book 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' took place in and around Glendale (the property now owned by Landmark), and nearly every other house in the village center was a part of the underground railroad. Alot of rehab has taken place in the town center area as well. If interested, you should check out the Taste of Glendale this summer.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:06 PM
 
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I would have to agree that it is the Princeton School system. I have lived in Springdale for several years now and I have really enjoyed the community. There aren't many high-end homes in the area that I'm aware of. I think people seeking that type of price range would be more likely to move to either West Chester or Wyoming.
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Last edited by Yac; 05-19-2011 at 01:25 AM..
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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I know the area well. I grew up there. I graduated from Princeton. I still have relatives in the Springdale/Glendale area, and my family goes back 4 generations there.

I agree to extent about Princeton schools, but there is really no basis to it. At the high school level, Princeton offered not only a strong advanced placement program, but also International Baccalaureate classes. They offered foreign language in German, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and French. The high school course catalog would put many schools to shame, and there were more extra-curriculars than you could count.

Long before I went there, in the early '70s Princeton earned a reputation as sort of a rough school, and as I understand it there were some racial tensions when Lincoln Heights was added to the district, and the schools have always had a hard time shaking that off. My personal experience was that it was a highly integrated school by the numbers, but the races tended to keep to themselves (for right or for wrong). I remember the high school cafeteria being split almost down the middle by skin color.

It's probably the most economically diverse school district in the area, outside of Cincinnati Public. At the low end you have Lincoln Heights and Woodlawn. Springdale is mostly lower middle income, and Heritage Hill and High Point are on the low end also. Sharonville is solidly middle class, with a blue-collar flair (if there is such a thing), and on the upper middle income side you have Evendale (which nobody talks much about anymore) and, of course, Glendale.

I think Springdale suffers from a generally unappealing housing stock. Areas like the Terrace mushroomed in the late '50s and early '60s, corresponding with the construction of Tri-County. Those small ranches don't hold a great deal of appeal to many people. The city has long emphasized retail and office development as a way to fill their coffers, and the residential aspect of the community has been something of an afterthought. I for one don't care much for living in the proximity of all that retail rat race.

Glendale is Glendale and will always be Glendale. Many people have a perception of Glendale as "pocket", hemmed in by the (undesirable) explosive growth of Springdale and its traffic, Forest Park and Woodlawn. Glendale's commute to downtown is also a detractor, and I-75 is no picnic at any time of day. I find that a bit ironic since Glendale was founded by people who commuted to downtown by rail over 150 years ago. Recently, my wife and I very nearly bought a house in Glendale, and the big negative for her was the commute. On the plus side, Glendale is a bit of a tax haven since there is no village income tax. They have their own water utility as well.

My two cents.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,931,493 times
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I've advocated for Glendale here before - when a single person or couple without kids is seeking a place to reside. Just about every residential street in the entire village (particularly east of 747) is gorgeous. And the Grand Finale in the center of town has been a favorite Goyguy family dining destination since 'way back when they first opened in the '70s.
But yeah, the Achilles' heel of the area is the school district. Princeton does rank toward the higher end of the scale but is still behind the perennial leaders everyone here is well aware of. I happen to like the district because of its level of racial AND class diversity, and not all Glendale kids are sent to private/parochial schools due to that either. The teachers and staff also apparently work well with their disparate charges, for I know of a gifted student from Lincoln Hts who went on to be a physician. Other kids of my acquaintance who went there formed deep and lasting friendships across all sorts of social boundaries, for the extent of the diversity is such that nobody feels left out or compelled to only associate with "their own kind." All the same, Princeton stays an also-ran in those all-important rankings. And when zigzagging across social boundaries can be accomplished in the Wyoming, Sycamore, and increasingly Lakota, districts (without too much more effort) there goes its main selling point.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati near
2,507 posts, read 3,351,758 times
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Because I took so many back roads, I was not really sure where one neighborhood started and another ended, but from the comments I guess that the area that impressed me so much was Glendale. I guess the thing that impressed me so much about the houses was that they are big and beautiful without being ostentatious, and the plots are big enough that that the houses are built more in tune with the lay of the land than the more modern construction where the upscale subdivisions are essentially built on a grid with as many possible desirable architectural features incorporated into the front of the structure as possible. It is this property that attracted me to the older postwar development in my neighborhood more so than the newer, bigger houses built in the 90's. When the weather gets better I will definitely add the area to my shortlist of bicycle rides and stop at some of the local restaurants.
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:22 PM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,023,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
But yeah, the Achilles' heel of the area is the school district. Princeton does rank toward the higher end of the scale but is still behind the perennial leaders everyone here is well aware of. I happen to like the district because of its level of racial AND class diversity, and not all Glendale kids are sent to private/parochial schools due to that either. The teachers and staff also apparently work well with their disparate charges, for I know of a gifted student from Lincoln Hts who went on to be a physician. Other kids of my acquaintance who went there formed deep and lasting friendships across all sorts of social boundaries, for the extent of the diversity is such that nobody feels left out or compelled to only associate with "their own kind." All the same, Princeton stays an also-ran in those all-important rankings. And when zigzagging across social boundaries can be accomplished in the Wyoming, Sycamore, and increasingly Lakota, districts (without too much more effort) there goes its main selling point.
I'd argue that in the case of Princeton Schools, the district has as much to offer and as any of those others and will produce graduates who apply themselves on par with Wyoming, Sycamore, and Indian Hill. I think too often people forget that the school is not the only influence as to whether or not a child acheives academic excellence. There are a lot of kids who go to Princeton whose families are not as engaged as they should be, and yet the school gets all of the blame for test scores, etc. There are plenty of other kids who do wonderful and take full advantage of what the school has to offer. My Princeton graduating class had people who went to Brown, MIT, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, West Point and other elite schools. I was one of about 25 or 30 from my class who went to Miami (which in retrospect wasn't such a great thing since it was like high school all over again!).
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
171 posts, read 295,018 times
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I'm sure you can get a great education at Princeton, but it's no way on par with the Indian Hills, Wyomings, Sycamores, etc. Sorry, but when you only meet 19 or your 26 state indicators, and score below 100 in performance index, it's just not the same as those other districts. It doesn't mean that there are not smart kids there, it just means there are more kids that are struggling than a lot of parents want to expose their kdis to. Princeton is also going through some major struggles around funding, which always brings up concerns about what programs will be cut in the future.

On a side note, honestly, it's just easier to send your kid to a great district and surround them around other kids who have involved parents. It may be the path of least resistance in my case, but with education being what my husband and I value as #1 it just made sense to come to a top district. Being in a great district, I don't have to worry about staying on top of my kid's educational needs as the system will provide a wonderful education for them (although I'm sure I will still be very involved).
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:02 AM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,023,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen35 View Post
I'm sure you can get a great education at Princeton, but it's no way on par with the Indian Hills, Wyomings, Sycamores, etc. Sorry, but when you only meet 19 or your 26 state indicators, and score below 100 in performance index, it's just not the same as those other districts. It doesn't mean that there are not smart kids there, it just means there are more kids that are struggling than a lot of parents want to expose their kdis to. Princeton is also going through some major struggles around funding, which always brings up concerns about what programs will be cut in the future.

On a side note, honestly, it's just easier to send your kid to a great district and surround them around other kids who have involved parents. It may be the path of least resistance in my case, but with education being what my husband and I value as #1 it just made sense to come to a top district. Being in a great district, I don't have to worry about staying on top of my kid's educational needs as the system will provide a wonderful education for them (although I'm sure I will still be very involved).
I'd agree with you if you were making an apples to apples comparison, but you're not. Even the playing field by looking at subsets of kids who are demographically similar, and I'll bet the results are similar. The educational resources at Princeton are excellent...if you take advantage of it. Besides, how many other high schools in the area have their own natatorium? I mean, come on!

Where I do agree with you is that Princeton's budget is strained, but that's not unique these days. Where I think they've made a huge mistake is falling into this trap of thinking that shiney new school buildings are the royal road to academic success. I think that's the biggest boondoggle ever presented to taxpayers. And now that we have all these brand new high tech buildings in many districts, not just Princeton, the schools are still struggling to deliver a quality education. It never ends.
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