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Old 07-14-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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So we are moving to Cincinnati soon and are searching for a house in a great school district, close to downtown.

We'd love to find something in Wyoming or Kilgour Elementary/WHHS, but were a bit discouraged on our house-hunting trip by the island feel of Wyoming and the congested feel of Mt. Lookout. We are wondering about BlueAsh/Montgomery and Anderson. We know the schools are both rated "excellent w/distinction" and seem to have good reputations.

We're wondering is one area more desirable than the other? Is Blue Ash/Montgomery more desirable than Anderson? Blue Ash/Montgomery seemed to feel more connected to Cincy in general, maybe b/c of it's close location to Kenwood which seems to be a major center. But Anderson/Forest Hills Schools seem to do better than Sycamore, Anderson HS and Turpin HS were recently listed on Newsweeks top 500 HS where Sycamore HS was not listed at all.

Just wondering what the real Cincinnatians (what do you call native Cincinnati residents?!) think of these two areas....
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,725,886 times
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i think the answer to the question is "no," but i guess i don't understand the world desirable. i'd prefer blue ash or anderson over montgomery but none would be particularly desirable to me. perhaps if you could give us a sense of what you are looking for. in terms of schools, they are all the same, more or less.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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I went to Turpin so I'll try to be as unbiased as I can.

I'd say academically Turpin and Sycamore are the best looking at 5 year avg. performance index scores. Anderson is a bit behind. Turpin has a better avg. but Sycamore has phenominal AP program and does very well on standardized tests. I'm very confused how Anderson got rated above both looking athe numbers from the ODE and AP scores in Newsweek.

If sports mean anything to you I'd say Anderson and Turpin are ahead of Sycamore, though Sycamore and Anderson are in D. I for all sports and Turpin varies sport to sport.

Turpin has recently had top ten in the state teams in Lacrosse, Baseball, Football. Its soccer program is one of the best in the city year in and year out and has one the most state championships 3 for boys and 4 for girls than any other school in the area I beleive. The cross country team has also historically been good. When I was there albeit, a couple of years ago, Turpin was much better at tennis and golf than Anderson. Neither FHSD is a basketball powerhouse.

Anderson has a phenominal football program, though both AHS and THS are declining a bit as of late. Both have great coaching staffs.

Sycamore is really good at tennis I believe. They used to be dominant in lacrosse but D.II schools beat them and Turpin is nipping at their heels.

If you want infor on the student body and such at Anderson and Turpin just let me know. Don't really know a lot about the body at Sycamore
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
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I would give the nod to Blue Ash for one simple reason - money. The Reed Hartman Business Park along Reed Hartman Highway, a windfall from a failed Cincinnati Airport prior to CVG, is a major revenue resource for the city. It helps finance a number of the amenities the city offers. The Anderson area has no equivalent, just some dilapidated shopping malls and strip centers along Beechmont Avenue/Ohio Pike.

For its size, Blue Ash sponsors a number of events which draw residents from surrounding areas simply because it has the coffers to do so. My daughter and SIL's army reserve band comes from Fort Knox, KY every Memorial Day to march in the parade in Blue Ash and play a concert for one simple reason - Blue Ash pays their lodging and meal costs. The army only has to provide transportation. This years Red, White and Blue Ash Fireworks display on July 3rd was one of the biggest in the area, also providing a day of live entertainment, and all free.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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I'd say academically Turpin and Sycamore are the best looking at 5 year avg. performance index scores. Anderson is a bit behind.


How is Anderson behind? Anderson and Turpin share many teachers.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
I would give the nod to Blue Ash for one simple reason - money. The Reed Hartman Business Park along Reed Hartman Highway, a windfall from a failed Cincinnati Airport prior to CVG, is a major revenue resource for the city. It helps finance a number of the amenities the city offers. The Anderson area has no equivalent, just some dilapidated shopping malls and strip centers along Beechmont Avenue/Ohio Pike.

For its size, Blue Ash sponsors a number of events which draw residents from surrounding areas simply because it has the coffers to do so. My daughter and SIL's army reserve band comes from Fort Knox, KY every Memorial Day to march in the parade in Blue Ash and play a concert for one simple reason - Blue Ash pays their lodging and meal costs. The army only has to provide transportation. This years Red, White and Blue Ash Fireworks display on July 3rd was one of the biggest in the area, also providing a day of live entertainment, and all free.
An excellent point about Blue Ash's financial situation. And kjbrill didn't mention the absolutely incredible municipal recreation center. It has to be seen to be believed.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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Good point from KJ, Blue Ash has followed the "recipe" for a successful suburb, as has Mason. The recipe is lots of business parks because residential development is a fiscal drain on any community. I agree that the long term municipal health for these places looks good, quite unlike anyplace ending in Township or some of your more bedroom-type suburbs.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by progmac View Post
Good point from KJ, Blue Ash has followed the "recipe" for a successful suburb, as has Mason. The recipe is lots of business parks because residential development is a fiscal drain on any community. I agree that the long term municipal health for these places looks good, quite unlike anyplace ending in Township or some of your more bedroom-type suburbs.
I like Blue Ash's little commercial town center, too. It's not exactly picturesque, and it's often jam-packed with traffic, but it's somewhat walkable and seems to be always overlooked when people ask about that kind of thing.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:01 AM
 
800 posts, read 616,144 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram2 View Post
I'd say academically Turpin and Sycamore are the best looking at 5 year avg. performance index scores. Anderson is a bit behind.


How is Anderson behind? Anderson and Turpin share many teachers.

I graduated rather recently and can not think of one teacher that we shared with Anderson. I think recently they began sharing a gym teacher but thats it.

Turpin's AP programs are consistently better than Anderson's too. The culture at each school is more different than you think and most Andersonians would agree with me on this.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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I live in Montgomery, but on the edge near Blue Ash, so my children attend a school drawing from both areas. Blue Ash recreation center is pretty awesome. Several times, DH has asked me why we live in Montgomery and not Blue Ash, based on the excellent city services. For example, in the fall, when this area is overrun by the falling leaves, Blue Ash residents can just rake their leaves near the street and a service comes and vaccuums them up. Us Montgomery residents need to bag (or have a nice wooded lot you can dump your leaves into). That being said, I personally think the housing stock in Montgomery is nicer. You have a better chance of getting a lot with some mature trees and a decent size. I believe Montgomery also has a lower "days on market" for real estate selling purposes.

Re: schools. Sycamore schools (Montgomery, Blue Ash and parts of Symmes Township) are fantastic. Don't get me wrong -- Forest Hills Schools are great too. When we were moving here, I downloaded all raw data from the state Education website. I shoved everything in Excel and just started slicing and dicing the data, creating an algorithm based on our weighting of math, science, reading and writing test scores. We almost bid on a house in Anderson Township. The schools are great and you get a lot more house for your money. However, the biggest drawback for us was the lack of diversity. I'm sure I'm going to get some eyerolling from some frequent readers on this forum, but in the three days househunting, the only person of color (any color --- red, yellow, brown) I saw in Anderson Township was in the mirror and sitting next to me.

And although Forest Hill Schools have a good reputation, I'd guess that most real estate experts around here would recommend Sycamore Schools over Forest Hills. I'm frankly surprised that Sycamore schools weren't in the Newsweek listings while Forest Hills Schools were. The accelerated/gifted program is excellent. My daughter is enrolled in double accelerated math courses which most school districts don't even offer. As I wrote in another thread, as a fifth grader, she was being tested on probabilities using permutations and combinations.

Ultimately, if academics are the end all - be all, I don't think you can go wrong with either choice. For us, diversity was a big issue. Proximity to other amenities (restaurants, shopping, tennis club) were other factors. I'd also talk to your realtor about resale value. My realtor strongly implied that a house within the Sycamore school system had better resale (5 years ago, at least).
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