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Old 10-20-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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If I had kids in school, Wyoming and Sycamore would be on my short lists. I'd also look at Beechwood over in Kentucky and maybe Oak Hills, which hardly ever gets mentioned on this board.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,365,633 times
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Madeira is a district I would have concerns about. I grew up in Madeira and went all 12 years to school there, I am talking 40s and 50s. It was great then, primarily due to so many people who came to Cincinnati to work at GE Evandale electing to live there and build out the town. It was definitely upper middle class and those people demanded and were willing to pay for good schools. My class was the first class to also graduate from IH High for all 4 years, as when we were freshmen half of my class at Madeira left for the new school in IH. I continued to live in Madeira after marriage for 13 years, and my parents continued to stay there for 50 years.

My current concerns are the housing stock in Madeira is showing its age, was always a bit on the smallish side, and in my opinion is over priced and over taxed for what it is. There are a few newer pockets in Madeira carved out of gullies which are very nice homes, but I feel they may take a harder hit in value as the entire city declines according to the current market. The property in Madeira has always been maintained quite well by the owners. Obviously I have a soft spot for Madeira having grown up there, lived there for part of my married life, and returned there frequently as my parents lived out their days. But I just do not see a rosey future for it. Perhaps its biggest current asset is being close to downtown relative to commuting, but not part of CPS. Like Mariemont, that may be what carries it through.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
171 posts, read 295,105 times
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Sycamore is great right now. I would have no worries about their school system over time.

What we personally didn't like over there was the size of the school district as well as the housing stock. We wanted something older/historic, and Sycamore was filled with a housing stock from the 50s-90s (when I think they went through rapid growth), with pockets of new builds. We looked at so many houses with the low 8ft ceilings, little character with white kitchens that just felt "tired". Blue Ash has a nice downtown, but the housing didn't work for us in that area. I didn't love the feel of Montgomery or Symmes Twp (felt too suburban sprawlish to me personally). Great schools, though...i would say that Sycamore (to relate back to Boston), is going to feel like a Needham (my brother in law lives there and fits the sterotype to a T). Wealthy to upper middle class, little diversity, soccer mom feel. Nothing against it, as that's what a lot of people want, and you get an amazing eucation there, but wasn't what our family wanted...

For Wyoming, you do have Glendale & Finneytown very close (and Amberly & Blue Ash are not far either), so you are not completely isolated over on this side of town. I think people think of Wyoming as so Western, but it's really just due North of downtown (75 cuts East after getting out of downtown, so people don't realize that it's actually located above downtown). For finding a niche, I would imagine it would be similar to what you find in IH, Mariemont, Madiera or any smaller district. If you don't find your niche, you are within a short car ride to tons of other areas. Sounds like IH mixed in with Wyoming and other districts, and I would assume that still occurs. I could ask around if that was a concern of yours. Many of our babysitters are in HS right now and I could get their opinion.

My oldest is only in K right now, so we have not had to worry about intermixing with other districts yet to find a niche. He's just so excited that we run into his classmates all around town. It's so nice to head out to a street festival or a store, and run into someone he knows. I do have to say, though, that my son's school has a nice mix of kids (religious, ethnic, economic and diverse family structure), so I hope he is able to find a nice group of kids with like interests.

Last edited by Jen35; 10-20-2011 at 01:47 PM..
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,365,633 times
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Jen35... From your comments in this thread and others it is obvious you feel very comfortable with Wyoming, and I think that is just great. But you also realize not everyone can live in Wyoming.

A small district can be great if the residents support it. When I went to Madeira, my high school graduating class was the same size as the year, 57 in 1957. But I never felt deprived going to a small school as our curriculum and faculty were superb. When I got into college was when I realized just how good a base education I had received. While others struggled I just sailed through since most of the college freshman material I had already been exposed to so it was just review.

I previously posted concerns about Madeira's future in this economy. I hope I am wrong. This much I know, if you cannot afford Terrace Park or Mariemont, consider Madeira. They have maintained a excellent standard of education for the last 50 years. The town will not thrill you, the housing will not thrill you, but the quality of life there will thrill you.

People relocating to work downtown should consider, Terrace Park, Mariemont, Madeira, Montgomery, Blue Ash as their limit of residence. Any further out and you are just wasting too much time and money in the daily commute. If it were me I would also consider NKY just for the commute time and expense.

I moved from Madeira to Mason 35 years ago while I was still working in Norwood. At that time, it was not the stretch it is today, since the traffic was extremely different. I could drive from Mason to our plant in Norwood in an easy 20 minutes. As time went on it became more and more of a hassle. Then I absolutely lucked out, my company moved from Norwood to Mason, less than 3/4 mile from my house.

I still advise anyone relocating to the Cincy area to consider: (1) Employment and how stable you feel it may be, (2) Housing and remain close to the employment so you do not chase money down the drain, (3) If you are a family with young children the schools. Sometimes this combination is not easy to come to grips with.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
171 posts, read 295,105 times
Reputation: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Jen35... From your comments in this thread and others it is obvious you feel very comfortable with Wyoming, and I think that is just great. But you also realize not everyone can live in Wyoming.
OP specificially said they were interested in Wyoming, so I posted about it. I never post about my area if someone is asking about suburban (Mason like districts - one of your favs) or asking about downtown. Why should I not mention that I live here when OP specifically said they were interested in Wyoming but had concerns about the location? Also, I often post that Wyoming is not for everyone (which it is not).
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:33 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,952,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen35 View Post
OP specificially said they were interested in Wyoming, so I posted about it. I never post about my area if someone is asking about suburban (Mason like districts - one of your favs) or asking about downtown. Why should I not mention that I live here when OP specifically said they were interested in Wyoming but had concerns about the location? Also, I often post that Wyoming is not for everyone (which it is not).
Cost of housing is probably a little higher in Wyoming than for comparable properties in less desirable areas. I don't think it precludes living there even for people of modest means, if they're determined enough to get into the school district. Especially if one factors in the cost of a comparable private school education.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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Lakota Schools in West Chester are rated "Excellent" so that's the reason many mortgaged their souls to build oversized (and overpriced) McMansions, ran up their credit card debt and then complain that the teachers are overpaid and that they have no money to vote for school levies.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,365,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
Lakota Schools in West Chester are rated "Excellent" so that's the reason many mortgaged their souls to build oversized (and overpriced) McMansions, ran up their credit card debt and then complain that the teachers are overpaid and that they have no money to vote for school levies.
There is no doubt the banking practices requiring low down payments, variable rate mortgages, etc. encouraged people to buy beyond their means. The housing industry is also to blame for building ever increasing sized houses for appeal, but dubvious construction quality and escalating prices.

I cannot overly fault people for desiring to live in a comfortable house, in a safe neighborhood, and having good schools for their children. Perhaps if those same schools had more classes on managing finances in general and specifically family finances, which they do not, things would be better.

West Chester, Liberty Township, Mason, Deerfield Township, Milford, Loveland, Springboro, Centerville, just about every school district which has improved over the last decade or two has the same problem. Housing development was explosive, requiring explosive school expansion. When we were flying high, no problem, just pass another levy, the people will pay it.

But the gong has rung, those days are gone for awhile, maybe quite awhile.

The schools expanded like everyone else. The simple fact, which is coming to a head with the Issue 2 vote this November, is public sector employees are now averaging a better pay scale than private sector employees. So yes, in this down economy people are not likely to vote for new school levies when over 80% of a typical school's expenditure is labor costs. The scare tactics which schools use, eliminate busing, charge for sports, etc. is wearing thin. Do what businesses do in down times, reduce labor costs. Class sizes may go up, but guess what, most will still survive.

I personally believe the schools have been overburdened with regulation and the requirement to be all things to all people. The special-ED courses, the AP courses, and all of the rest are a big drain. At a risk of being mauled, I say remove the special-ED courses and consolidate them in central locations, like the vocational high schools were years ago. As far as AP courses, let the local community colleges, which seem to be everywhere these days, provide them and let the parents pay tuition to achieve them. No one said you should be provided AP courses as part of your public education. If you feel your vote for the levy was enough - NO!

Pay attention to what the colleges say are the deficiencies in the qualifications of their incoming students requiring remedial courses and address that. The colleges and universities are reducing their remedial class offerings. The very name, remedial, implies the students should have received this education during their primary and high school days, but did not, therefore it has to be remediated. To me that means the core curriculum has been sacrificed to cover the rest of the ground. If the colleges are expecting too much, tell them so.

If the problem is simply students not paying attention and applying themselves through the primary grades and high school, reduce the subsidies for their remedial education. Pay the price to get ahead. We seem to be a subsidy oriented society. Not surprising to me since we Americans are a very caring society. We should be caring, but not gullible.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Oxford, Ohio
901 posts, read 1,951,493 times
Reputation: 691
Saw this article in the Enquirer this morning, which might be of some help to the OP:

Who Pays the Most School Taxes? | Cincinnati.com | cincinnati.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Perry View Post
If I had kids in school, Wyoming and Sycamore would be on my short lists. I'd also look at Beechwood over in Kentucky and maybe Oak Hills, which hardly ever gets mentioned on this board.
I agree with you about the Oak Hills district. The only thing is the OP seemed to indicate a preference for older housing stock, which usually implies anything built before the mid-1950s. The bulk of housing in the Oak Hills district was built after that between the 1960s-1990s. Sure, you can find some older homes in the OH district....I grew up there in a house that was built in 1929. But there aren't any substantial blocks of it.
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:26 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,886,806 times
Reputation: 9894
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
There is no doubt the banking practices requiring low down payments, variable rate mortgages, etc. encouraged people to buy beyond their means. The housing industry is also to blame for building ever increasing sized houses for appeal, but dubvious construction quality and escalating prices.

I cannot overly fault people for desiring to live in a comfortable house, in a safe neighborhood, and having good schools for their children. Perhaps if those same schools had more classes on managing finances in general and specifically family finances, which they do not, things would be better.

West Chester, Liberty Township, Mason, Deerfield Township, Milford, Loveland, Springboro, Centerville, just about every school district which has improved over the last decade or two has the same problem. Housing development was explosive, requiring explosive school expansion. When we were flying high, no problem, just pass another levy, the people will pay it.

But the gong has rung, those days are gone for awhile, maybe quite awhile.

The schools expanded like everyone else. The simple fact, which is coming to a head with the Issue 2 vote this November, is public sector employees are now averaging a better pay scale than private sector employees. So yes, in this down economy people are not likely to vote for new school levies when over 80% of a typical school's expenditure is labor costs. The scare tactics which schools use, eliminate busing, charge for sports, etc. is wearing thin. Do what businesses do in down times, reduce labor costs. Class sizes may go up, but guess what, most will still survive.

I personally believe the schools have been overburdened with regulation and the requirement to be all things to all people. The special-ED courses, the AP courses, and all of the rest are a big drain. At a risk of being mauled, I say remove the special-ED courses and consolidate them in central locations, like the vocational high schools were years ago. As far as AP courses, let the local community colleges, which seem to be everywhere these days, provide them and let the parents pay tuition to achieve them. No one said you should be provided AP courses as part of your public education. If you feel your vote for the levy was enough - NO!

Pay attention to what the colleges say are the deficiencies in the qualifications of their incoming students requiring remedial courses and address that. The colleges and universities are reducing their remedial class offerings. The very name, remedial, implies the students should have received this education during their primary and high school days, but did not, therefore it has to be remediated. To me that means the core curriculum has been sacrificed to cover the rest of the ground. If the colleges are expecting too much, tell them so.

If the problem is simply students not paying attention and applying themselves through the primary grades and high school, reduce the subsidies for their remedial education. Pay the price to get ahead. We seem to be a subsidy oriented society. Not surprising to me since we Americans are a very caring society. We should be caring, but not gullible.
kjbril, I certainly think every American has the right to live in decent housing in a safe neighborhood with good schools. And there is PLENTY of personal financial information out there for everyone to soak up (as well as what's being taught in schools) It's called "personal responsibilty. We bought a house fitting of our station in life. Our mortgage is FAR less than what our credit union was willing to lend us. But we knew that we wanted to be able to do things besides sit at home and eat Beanie Weanies. We also wanted to have some wiggle room for taxes and levies.

Without hijacking the thread to a discussion of issue 2; School employees bargain in good faith and have taken a lot more in cuts than the other side is willing to admit. Nobody in the private sector runs down to their local government office to share large pay increases & bonuses when times are good but now they want the public sector to share in THEIR poor judgement & misfortune???

I'm not comfortable with across-the-board public/private wage comparisons. Many government jobs have no real equivalent in the private sector, so that's like comparing apples & oranges. FWIW, I make better money hauling groceries than a lot of teachers. And I still think that they're underpaid.

I can also tell you about plenty of parents that want every possible service for their Special Needs or Gifted child. But of course THEY don't vote for school levies...
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