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Old 01-02-2009, 09:36 PM
 
5 posts, read 15,197 times
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Hi,
My family will be moving to Cincy in May/June and we're trying to figure how good the schools are. I've read the other posts and know that some of the suburbs have great schools (Wyoming, Anderson, Sycamore, Loveland, Mariemont, etc...) but was wondering about the magnet schools.

Specifically interested in Schiel and the Montessori schools but open to the language schools as well. We have 2 daughters - one old enough to start preschool now (age 3).

As far as housing goes, we're looking in the $225K - $300K range ideally with a walkable downtown area or wooded area/park. We lived in Madison, WI for the summer and loved being able to walk to downtown, the free zoo and several parks. Of course we know that it won't be exactly the same here.

Thank you for your suggestions in advance.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:12 PM
 
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the magnet schools of CPS are great. Walnut Hills is objectively the best public school in the region, ranking 36th overall in the country. (wyoming was second in the region).

Suburb wise: No to Anderson, Sycamore, and Loveland as too suburban an non walkable. Wyoming and Mariemont are great little villages, but almost zero diversity in mariemont.

In the city proper, with two young girls and a desire for bilingual education, Clifton-Fairview German Language school is in Gaslight Clifton, an old streetcar suburb of the city with literally everything you could want in walking distance and a lot of young families. Three wooded parks within walking distance. I think it sounds perfect for you.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,938,347 times
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Cincinnati's Montessori schools have been well-regarded for a long time and now a couple of them go all the way through 12th grade. Besides Walnut Hills (public, but one has to pass an entrance exam) the other sought-after secondary school is SCPA (School for the Creative and Performing Arts, not the animal shelter lol.)

Schiel is located in Corryville, a neighborhood with issues, but is just across the UC campus from Clifton. The Fairview school isn't in the gaslight district, but in the southwestern sector of the Clifton area that's also known as Fairview Heights. This is an area where a lot of the views are better than fair, as it's at the crest of the hills ringing downtown. It's also more affordable than the gaslight district (north of Ludlow), being comprised mainly of rowhouses and small single-family homes. Every large city has neighborly and virtually crime-free enclaves tucked inside not-so-nice surroundings; Fairview Hts is one. Downhill are the sketchy (and partly expressway-obliterated) communities of Mohawk and Brighton, eastward along McMillan St lie more dangerous parts of Clifton (moneyed White suburban kids with money and electronics and cars have always been crime magnets), and Clifton immediately to the north isn't so great either. But around Fairview Ave and upper Ravine St it's great, an "undiscovered jewel."

Cincy's first Montessori school, still going strong, is North Avondale Elementary in the neighborhood of the same name. This community is famed for maintaining diversity in its population while every surrounding area is heavily segregated, and also for being one of THE safest parts of town despite major crime problems close by. (When someone was murdered there a few years back, it made headlines for weeks, and in Cincinnati that's saying something.) Your housing money wouldn't buy one of the mansions along Rose Hill Ave or Lenox Place, but the portion of North Avondale with more "affordable" family-style houses should offer possibilities. The principal - and major - drawback to this locale is that its business districts are essentially dead. It's a short hop over to St Bernard, Hyde Park, Norwood, and Clifton for grocery and other shopping, but you can't run around the corner at 1 AM for a quart of milk. The neighborhood does offer its own swim club along with a stimulating collection of residents (CSO musicians, professors from nearby Xavier University, buppie families, etc.) And you wouldn't be far from the Cincinnati Zoo, one of the world's best and now with a new cheetah cub.

My suggestions, then, for places to zero in on for your house hunt are:

1. Clifton, specifically Fairview Hts and the more expensive (north of Ludlow Ave) gaslight district
2. North Avondale and Paddock Hills, adjoining communities usually listed on realtors' sites under Avondale. Cincinnati's streets all follow the same numbering system - in this area, concentrate on houses with addresses higher than 700 on the east-west streets or higher than 3800 on the north-south streets.
3. Hyde Park and Mt Lookout, adjacent east-side neighborhoods lacking in diversity but with great shopping districts and lotsa nice middle- to upper-middle-class housing
4. Oakley, "everybody's" less expensive alternative to Hyde Park, with a bomming commercial area along Madison Rd and neat houses galore.
5. Pleasant Ridge and Kennedy Hts, also abutting one another and with similar homes although some are not so nice. They're safe, "integrated" areas with one of Cincy's larger concentrations of Presbyterians (!) but are shopping-challenged to an extent. (You can't go for chili at all hours, or want to browse used-record bins, every day...)
6. Northside and College Hill, next to each other along Hamilton Ave just across the Ludlow viaduct from Clifton. Urban communities with urban issues but with varied and quality housing stock and "happening" businesses.

I need to also put in a pitch for Wyoming, since I grew up there lol. Some of its snooty reputation is well-earned, but in reality the demographic mix is one of the best in the area. There's no need for "magnet" schools since the town is so small, but due to past patterns of segregation there's a small voluntary busing program to help diversity the elementary grades. Housing styles run the full gamut, from Victorian mansion to 1940's brick Cape to 21st-century trophy home. The main thing to watch out for when real estate shopping is for proximity to the railroad tracks which separate Wyoming from Lockland. Trains are rolling through at most times of day, the law requires the engineer to sound the whistle ahead of each crossing, and the crossing gate equipment is of course loud in and of itself. It's the kind of noise one soon becomes accustomed to (and misses when it's not there) but not everybody likes that kind of ambient sound. Having the railroad's presence be the main thing to be aware of should tell you about the quality of life in Wyoming compared to, say, North Avondale. The cops drive around bored 99% of the time, between answering false burglar alarms and breaking up parents-out-of-town house parties.

BTW Wyoming's football "fight song" stole its tune from "On, Wisconsin!"
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:21 AM
 
4 posts, read 23,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlrosen View Post
the magnet schools of CPS are great. Walnut Hills is objectively the best public school in the region, ranking 36th overall in the country. (wyoming was second in the region).

Suburb wise: No to Anderson, Sycamore, and Loveland as too suburban an non walkable. Wyoming and Mariemont are great little villages, but almost zero diversity in mariemont.

In the city proper, with two young girls and a desire for bilingual education, Clifton-Fairview German Language school is in Gaslight Clifton, an old streetcar suburb of the city with literally everything you could want in walking distance and a lot of young families. Three wooded parks within walking distance. I think it sounds perfect for you.
I couldnt have said it better myself. As an alumni of both Walnut and Fairview I highly recommend each!
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:24 AM
 
4 posts, read 23,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post

Schiel is located in Corryville, a neighborhood with issues, but is just across the UC campus from Clifton. The Fairview school isn't in the gaslight district, but in the southwestern sector of the Clifton area that's also known as Fairview Heights. This is an area where a lot of the views are better than fair, as it's at the crest of the hills ringing downtown. It's also more affordable than the gaslight district (north of Ludlow), being comprised mainly of rowhouses and small single-family homes. Every large city has neighborly and virtually crime-free enclaves tucked inside not-so-nice surroundings; Fairview Hts is one. Downhill are the sketchy (and partly expressway-obliterated) communities of Mohawk and Brighton, eastward along McMillan St lie more dangerous parts of Clifton (moneyed White suburban kids with money and electronics and cars have always been crime magnets), and Clifton immediately to the north isn't so great either. But around Fairview Ave and upper Ravine St it's great, an "undiscovered jewel."

Fairview moved recently to the Gaslight district. Its new address is the corner of McAlpin and Clifton avenues, both north of Ludlow. I believe it's the site of the old Clifton Elementary.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:51 PM
 
5 posts, read 15,197 times
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Thank you for all of your detailed responses (especially goyguy - the specifics on which areas to look - including street numbers for houses really helps). A couple more questions:

1) How difficult is it to get into the magnet programs? I've read about parents camping out overnight to get a spot. If it's very difficult to find a spot at the better regarded programs, I'm not sure we want to take the risk of living within the city limits.

2) Clifton Fairview German school - are the classes only in German or is it just more of an emphasis on this language? It's funny that this school is recommended because we lived in Germany for 3 years and never thought we'd have to speak the language again back in the US.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Hartwell--IN THE City of Cincinnati
1,055 posts, read 3,562,797 times
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Here is a link to the Fairview German school that should help answer some of your questions. I have neighbors across the street that have 3 children there .:Fairview German Language School || Cincinnati, Ohio:. or the cps web site can answer more questions about all the schools Cincinnati Public Schools

Hartwell is also a great neighborhood in the City and located just south of Wyoming...just as many things to offer here just a lot less out of your pocket to move in.
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Ogden, Utah
60 posts, read 130,447 times
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The new Pleasant Ridge elementary school is now a Montessori school. No need to go through the magnet school application process; just live in the neighborhood.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:43 AM
 
Location: East Walnut Hills
189 posts, read 601,318 times
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^ You might want to call CPS and find out what your neighborhood school will be. This changes, but @ 10 years ago, when my son was moving back & forth between me & his father, I reenrolled him, and, at the time, they were bussing all new children to Porter Jr. High in the West End, no matter where you lived. Of course, those of Jr. High age. Bad neighborhood, bad school. It was a bad experience for my son AND myself. The school is now closed & bull-dozed, but not before losing my son's records & other things.

My grandchildren go to Dater Montessori, which was their neighborhood school, but they have to start there in pre-school to be eligible to stay there in kindergarten, or have a sibling in the school. Otherwise, their neighborhood school was Carson {not a magnet}.

So, as an FYI, you may want to call & find out what CPS's current policies are on neighborhood schools.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,938,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagacity View Post
Fairview moved recently to the Gaslight district. Its new address is the corner of McAlpin and Clifton avenues, both north of Ludlow. I believe it's the site of the old Clifton Elementary.
Much appreciated.
It's good to know about the new P-Ridge Elementary also.
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