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Old 08-20-2008, 12:05 PM
 
7 posts, read 23,496 times
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As we are researching a possible move back to Cincinnati, I have a question or two about the "best" school districts. I think we've narrowed down our choices to Mason or Kings (Lakota seems just too big and their recent report card wasn't stellar).

My question - it seems that several of the elementary schools in Mason are k-2, 3-5 etc. I had imagined my kids would be in school together in a more traditional k-6 setting. Can anyone tell me if I'm understanding the elementary school structure correctly?

Also seems kindergarten is half day in both districts, correct? And finally, preschool programs....we currently have kids in daycare but they would be of preschool age when we move. Can someone let me know how the school district programs work (how you are eligible? etc)

Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:29 PM
 
33 posts, read 129,703 times
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Don't discount Lakota just yet. They are undergoing some serious growing pains right now, but I think it's going to be OK. We don't live there anymore (our move was not school related!) but my kids attended K-2nd and 4th grade, respectively. I was always very happy with their experience there. It's big, yes, but they do their best to maintain small-town atmosphere in the individual schools. My kids went to Cherokee, FWIW, and though we're happy in Springboro too, they still miss their old school.

Kings is OK, it's up and coming - Mason is the elite, though. There's a lot of "new money" in Mason, and it shows in the schools.

I can't tell you details about Mason & Kings schools except that they're both good choices. I can tell you about Lakota though. In Lakota SOME kids get full day kindergarten, but those are the ones that are determined to need extra help for some reason. They have preschool but there are limited spots available and I think it's done by lottery, and it's not free, it's comparable to private, though there's probably a sliding fee scale. There are numerous quality private preschools available; my daughter went to a church, my son went to the YMCA.

One thing you do need to keep in mind, since you mentioned the importance of attending a traditional K-6 school, is that nothing's guaranteed, they switch 'em around year to year. For example, when my kids began school, K was at LECC -- a separate building just for preschool and kindergarteners all over the district (though some elementaries still kept K in there) and grades 1-6 went to the same elementary. But then they built a new elementary school and sent half the kids to the new one, splitting up a lot of friendships (and making my daughter very sad because her best friend went to the other). And three years ago due to overcrowding they sent 6th graders to the (brand new) middle school, upsetting a lot of kids because the "6th grade parade" at the end of the year was an honored tradition. Now I hear they've built another elementary and split it further.

So even if you move to an area that promises a certain distribution, that could change.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:54 PM
 
7 posts, read 23,496 times
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Thanks for the info Juniper in this post & your other one. I didn't mean to imply that school report cards would be the only way I'd be judging. We are currently in an Ohio school district that "needs improvement" but if my husband's job wasn't taking us back to Cincinnati, we'd be staying in the district. Parents in our neighborhood with kids in the elementary are very involved and very, very happy with their experience.

You raise some great questions about what to look for! I'm new at this so am trying to make the best decision for my kids, whatever that may be, at this point in time. Any recommendations on where to find some/most of those answers - are district sites the best? PTA sites?

We had previously lived in Oakley & Hyde Park and with this move we'll be looking at living in the burbs, which in & off itself frightens me a bit :-). I'm hopeful we can find the right place for the next 10-15 years to raise the kids.

Thanks again for the info!
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:19 PM
 
33 posts, read 129,703 times
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They just posted the new school report cards TODAY at the Ohio Dept. of Education website (I know because my kids' school announced their ranking in an e-mail):

Ohio Report Card

Lakota, Mason, and Kings all received the highest rating: Excellent With Distinction.

Also look at schoolmatters.com for some reviews.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 10,665,956 times
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Here's a site where you can plug in the name of the school district you're considering and it will tell you how it's rated according to the Ohio Dept. of Education. If quality education is your priority go with an excellent or excellent with distinction district.

https://dnet01.ode.state.oh.us/DistrictRatings/Districts.aspx (broken link)
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