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Old 08-06-2012, 06:28 PM
 
45 posts, read 187,270 times
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Please help me!! We just moved to Mason and are looking to buy a home and get our children registered in Mason schools. WE have high school and middle school aged children. However, the Mason high school is REALLY large, like obscenely so. haha It seems large enough to accomodate all the students but is it still growing? Do the kids just feel lost there and just one of the crowd? I would think it would be hard to make friends as you would see someone one day, but then never again and there are over 3000 kids.

I stumbled upon an area of Liberty Township called Four Bridges. Looked at the club, and discovered some nice homes in the area. Upon further investigation it seems that the Lakota school district is highly rated, albeit with some financial problems. Every school district goes through this so it doesn't overly worry me. (although maybe it should)

Is Mason a better area that Liberty Township? Is one more convenient to grocery stores, and shopping/amenities in general? Is one more affluent? Also what are the differences between those two and West Chester which also go to Lakota schools? I know about the city versus township advantages but i want to know more about town 'feel', more families?, more social atmosphere?, better sports and amenities? etc

Are the schools better in one district over the other or are they comparable?

Thanks in advance. I have 2 weeks to get my kids registered somewhere
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:33 PM
 
1,556 posts, read 1,461,700 times
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Aren't the Lakota schools just slightly smaller than the Lakota schools?
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,358,349 times
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The Mason schools appear so large because they are clustered together. But consider this, Mason is pretty well built out in terms of property. So the schools have likely seen their peak. In fact one of the older elementary schools is being shuttered next year as they determined the school population will peak below their original estimates and they can save money closing it.

Four Bridges is a nice enough area. But also consider Lakota is perhaps the largest non-city school district in the state, covering West Chester and Liberty townships. That is the reason they have two high schools, Lakota East and Lakota West. And if you look closely at both West Chester and Liberty Twps there is still plenty of buildable land so I feel the school growth is still not peaked. This would concern me from a finance standpoint.

From a shopping and such viewpoint, I see virtually no difference. You will be going all over the area anyway, with much of your shopping in Deerfield Twp at the Deerfield Towne Centre and surrounds. Far as affluent, each has their areas. You probably don't get much more affluent than the Heritage Club in Mason. But then Four Bridges and Wetherington County Club are not exactly pikers either.

Note however, there are plans for a very large open air styled shopping center off the new Liberty Way interchange with I-75. This should be breaking ground the coming year and will change the whole dynamic of that area considerably, particularly the traffic. You may have noted Butler-Warren County Line Rd is being rebuilt and widened along with Hamilton Mason Rd west across the expressway. This is just a beginning.

I prefer Mason, obviously because I live there. I just feel Mason as a city delivers more in the area of services. We have several nice large parks, a fine municipal center, and the city is doing a lot to improve the appearance. The rebuilt Tylersville Rd and Mason Montgomery Rd within the city limits are pleasant roadways, and similar work is going on with Route 42 (Reading Rd) through the south side of the city. Route 42 in the center of the city was rebuilt a few years ago.

There is no doubt competition for positions in activities in the schools has increased, whether it be sports or band. This is an undeniable result whenever a school becomes as large as Mason.

But remember, you are not moving into an area which has had such large schools for years. This is mainly a lot of new growth. So the majority of students are on the same plane. They are all new looking for friends. I feel this is an advantage. Just reach out and you will likely encounter somone in the same situation as you - please be my friend.

Also, you have to compare what the schools are offering in their overall curriculum. I advise you to compare Lakota's curriculum to Mason's. Don't get me wrong, Lakota is a very strong school district. I just doubt whether their cirriculum is stronger than Mason's. I lament you feel this pressure.

I am not directly experienced in this area, but I have heard Mason uses a pod orientation in the lower grades. This is apparently an attempt to keep the same students together during the school day so they do not feel dislodged and abandoned.

Good luck in your determination and please let us know the result.

Last edited by kjbrill; 08-06-2012 at 09:40 PM.. Reason: expansion
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,358,349 times
Reputation: 1919
Quote:
Originally Posted by flashes1 View Post
Aren't the Lakota schools just slightly smaller than the Lakota schools?
Huh?
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,725,886 times
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i have some friends that moved to Madeira because they really didn't care for the school size at Mason. I think there were something like 400 kindergarteners! Other options are Wyoming and Mariemont among others. I have another friend that transferred her son from a well-rated suburban dayton school to the CPS magnet north avondale montessori. Her son receives far more personal attention than he did before. Private schools are also an option. Still debating between Catholic and public for my little one, who will be in school before I know it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,358,349 times
Reputation: 1919
I grew up and spent the first half of my life in Madeira. 65 years ago it was a very nice place to live, sleepy and quiet, walkable and all the things people now pine for. My high school graduating class was the same size as the year 57 in 1957. After going to UC, commuting from home, and marrying stayed in Madeira for 13 years in a small 3-bedroom ranch. Our two youinger children were doing fine in Madeira schools.

Suddenly, after 13 years in 1976 number 4 is on the way and the wife exclaims I want a larger house this one does not work. Next thing I know I am looking around in Mason because land and house prices were so much less. So that is how we ended up here. Being #4 the last one came much quicker than anticipated, being born in our upstairs bedroom on Dec. 23, 1976. After the life squad transported them to Bethesda Base where they were put in a hallway on a gurney due to the baby being born outside of the hospital, our doctor on the 24th said I have examined them, they are fine, come down and take your wife and new baby home and Merry Christmas.

To Madeira, my parents continued to live in Madeira. My mother finally moved in with me in Mason at age 93 and passed away at age 95-1/2 in a nursing home. Madeira obviously holds a fond series of memory for me. But compared to Mason - No Way! Madeira has a large volume of 1940, 1950, and 1960 cheap housing. These places are beginning to fall apart. I know becase I lived in one. Madeira has survived for many years based on one thing - the strength of their schools. But as the downtown housing structure continues to decline I do not believe they can maintain the tax structure for the schools.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:09 AM
 
1,556 posts, read 1,461,700 times
Reputation: 1626
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Huh?
Whoops. Meant to say aren't the Lakota schools just slightly smaller than the Mason schools? The OP stated this might be a reason why Lakota is preferable....but I think the schools might be pretty close in size....something to look into.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,358,349 times
Reputation: 1919
Quote:
Originally Posted by flashes1 View Post
Whoops. Meant to say aren't the Lakota schools just slightly smaller than the Mason schools? The OP stated this might be a reason why Lakota is preferable....but I think the schools might be pretty close in size....something to look into.
Lakota split into two high schools - East and West. But as a district it dwarfs Mason. Look at the number of elementaries in the Lakota district - stupendous. As I look forward, and consider the amount of buildable land in both West Chester and Liberty Twps., I cannot forsee anything other than school expansion in Lakota. They should have dividied the school district years ago. Why did they not? The same lack of mentality which comes with township government in the first place. We want to govern our own destiny. Well they now have full control. And I predict they will sink due to lack of township control over what factors impact their lives the most - schools being right at the top of the list.
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