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Old 10-21-2009, 11:32 PM
2 posts, read 4,956 times
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I am currently interviewing for a position at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. If the job pans out, I would be looking to relocate to Cincinnati by January. I have several concerns/questions. Any help is appreciated.

I have a daughter that is of mixed race so I would like to move to an area that is accepting of this and has a diverse population. However, I also need to be in an area that has a good school system. Unfortunately, I have been reading the other threads and all the suggested suburbs seem to have a mainly white population.

Is there any suburb with a mixed population and good school system? I know the hospital has several locations- I do not know where I would be working at this point.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:43 AM
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Hello Jenjer2. I wanted to chime in with my opinion, since I think my experience might help you and your daughter.

I am a college student in Cincinnati now, and I grew up on the East Side of Town. I, like your daughter, am of mixed races. My father is black, my mother white. They live in two different cities and I've had some interesting experiences in both places.

Here in Cincinnati I attended a school that was overwhelmingly white, and one of the city's top performing districts. I did so from an early age, and I have to say that I rarely noticed how few black students there were. Also, my mother made sure that when ever there was an issue, I was taken care of. Her intervention, however, was never really necessary since the administration didn't tolerate racism of any kind.

My family would talk about ethnicity and how we look like each other, but race (black or white) was largely not a big issue for me. I remember as a child in preschool, sometimes having my feelings hurt when white kids would ask dumb things, like to touch my hair. But in time I learned that it was simply curiosity and was actually quite healthy, if only for the other child.

Unfortunately, most of the best school districts in town are in relatively expensive areas. A lot of cities have an area where numbers of black professionals have moved in and have helped build good schools. In Cincinnati however, the affluent black community is moving into "white neighborhoods", but not any one in particular, so they are spreading out.

Perhaps Wyoming Schools could be an excellent choice. The Village of Wyoming is very charming and the homes are beautiful. It offers a rich community life and is one of the more diverse suburbs. I know many Jews, Asians and Black people who live in the area. The black student population is just over ten percent, lower than the state average but still diverse.

Wyoming is a fairly reasonable commute to the Clifton Children's Hospital Location but could be far from Mason or some of the others. Then again, it shouldn't be more than about twenty minutes from almost any part of town.

It's difficult to think of districts that meet your criteria. I think sometimes mixed-race kids are more resilient about their race than you can imagine. I can't imagine that you'll have to much trouble in any quality district.

Also, school quality can be subjective. I've been hesitant to mention Princeton Schools since I know some people aren't big fans. I am an advocate of Princeton, but it has an old reputation for being ruff. But I think this could be more a perception of white people about the mixed race district (around 60/40) than fact. It might be worth a look, I have been very impressed with the number of languages and student activities they offer.

Princeton School District covers huge areas including moderately priced areas like Sharonville and Springdale. The District also boasts the beautiful, but expensive, Village of Glendale; the whole of which is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are sections of the affluent communities of Deerfield Township, West Chester and Blue Ash are also in the Princeton School District.

I hope you'll look around, but I think what's most important is finding the right kind of community for your family. I think you'll find that race isn't such a big issue, so if you find a neighborhood you like an that has good schools I would suggest you consider it no matter what the racial makeup.

My experience, beginning about fifteen years ago and still in progress at College is that even in a 95% white area, a mixed race student can succeed and find themselves.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:15 PM
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Here's a quick summart a few school districts...

Princeton- great diversity, decent schools
Sycamore- decent diversity, great schools
Wyoming- so-so diversity, great schools
Finneytown- good diversity, decent schools
Northwest- decent diversity, so-so schools
Fairfield- decent diversity, good schools
Lakota- decent diversity, great schools

If you want more urban living, Cincinnati Public has some very good schools with great diversity including Kilgour, Clark Montessori, Walnut Hills and School of Creative and Performing Arts
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:21 PM
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Thanks for your input. I just really want her to be exposed to both sides of her heritage. But I know sometimes the major cities - we live outside Kansas City- don't always have the best school systems with the best opportunities.
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:10 AM
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 10,665,956 times
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If you want a great school for your daughter pick a district that has an excellent rating from the Ohio Dept. of Education. All of the ratings are online.
The Cincinnati area has a lot of public schools that are excellent. Check out districts you are considering at: Ohio Department of Education Interactive Local Report Card
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:28 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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An odd aspect of Greater Cincinnati is that its "moneyed" AA population is still disproportionately represented within the city limits, mainly within the Paddock Hills/North Avondale and Kennedy Heights enclaves. Both of these communities, particularly the former, also are comfortably and stably in the status of what used to be called integrated. The down side of them is that they're also both on the expensive side to find housing in. In Paddock Hills, there's no in-between: either you live in a rambling Tudor or Colonial with no less than three bedrooms, or you're in one of the "brick box" apartment houses that parade up the Paddock Rd hill for several blocks from Tennessee Ave. Within adjoining North Avondale, many of the dwellings make those of Paddock Hills look puny - we're talking Tudors with 5+ bedrooms, and mansions that live up to the true meaning of the word. It's only in the western sector, along Clinton Springs Ave, that you'll find a two-person-scale residence in the form of small ranch houses which were constructed in the 1940's and '50s. Kennedy Hts is considerably more affordable over much of its area, but the majority of its paler populace dwells between Montgomery Rd and I-71 and Woodford and Red Bank Rds. And (wouldn't you know it), cozy lil' houses are few and far between on its blocks of spacious Colonials and Victorians. No matter what their complexion, most of the families who live there have kids who either passed the entrance exam for Walnut Hills or SCPA, or are in private or parochial schools.
I'm a fan of Roselawn's "garden" and "gaslight" sections, with brick-box buildings strung all along some streets and tidy Capes and/or stately Tudors (yep, still more Tudors lol) lining others. But this part of town falls short in the diversity department. Though it wasn't "blockbusted" through radical and violent demographic turnover, the Jewish professionals who once comprised a large percentage of its population did bail out at a rapid clip during the '70s especially. Between the turmoil and blockbusting not far down Reading Rd and the steep decline in the local Cincinnati schools, they figured Wyoming and Amberley Village in particular were better and safer places to raise families in. As a consequence today, White faces are not a rare sight in Roselawn by any means but the sight of a young one certainly is. [BTW I'm as well aware as the next person of what happened on one of Roselawn's brick-box boulevards a few days ago. The fact that the neighborhood was appalled and fired-up by the senseless murder of an elderly woman out for a walk on a sunny afternoon should speak more for it than the crime itself. In an apathetic community there's no way the suspect could've been hauled in the next day.]

I've highlighted parts of Cincinnati, despite the schools' major shortcomings, because kids shouldn't only be around people who "look like them." Those people should also be potential role models of well-lived if not prosperous existences. An observant child will be quick to notice that none of her Black classmates in Wyoming have an attorney or physician as a parent, though a robust middle class does reside there. Similarly, in the Sycamore district a significant proportion of its small AA population dwells in the "Jim Crow" and low-to-middle-income High Point area of Blue Ash. Over in the Princeton schools, the poor and working-poor kids represent all-Black Lincoln Heights and Black-majority Woodlawn while the offspring of Caucasian parents hail from middle-class Sharonville + middle-to-upper-middle-class Evendale and uber-rich Glendale. Springdale is the only one of the six towns of that district which has income parity and a "mixed" ethnic composition. Mason and West Chester also house a diverse cross-section of humanity, but here again "the darker the skin, the lighter the pockets" is the rule.

Finneytown sprang up seemingly overnight after WWII, and was a draw for a long time as the "anti-Wyoming" - neat and affordable houses along with respectable schools but minus the overstated but real snobbery. However, as the first decade of the second millenium ends that area is at a crossroads. The ranches, Capes, and split-levels which exemplified American suburbia between the 1940's and '70s are showing their age. A good many homebuyers are opting for new McMansions or Drees developments - or snapping up quality older homes. The "S" word of these times is Section 8; a growing quantity of apartments and single-family houses is being settled in by voucher holders. Between the increase in residents "of color" (low-income and otherwise) and perceived incursions of subsidized housing, the natives are getting restless. And Finneytown's schools have slipped a notch in the state ratings, for what that's worth (and I don't think it's worth much.)

No one has yet mentioned the Winton Woods school district, but it bears bringing up. One of its member communities - Forest Park - was founded in the 1940's as an "intentionally integrated" city. There were no housing "covenants" barring Black or Jewish families with the means to purchase a home from doing so. Sixty years down the line, Forest Park maintains a diverse population, albeit one that is now roughly 2/3 AA with a noticeably larger pale-faced presence in its western sections. The other town, Greenhills, was one of three planned "greenbelt" (surrounded by woodland) cities in the country during the FDR years. In contrast to its neighbor to the north, realtors actively steered non-WASP "undesirables" away from Greenhills - often up Winton Rd to Forest Park. To this day, Greenhills remains staunchly lily-White. Though open housing opportunities are the law of the land it's one of those places where outward resistance to those of darker skin tones would be unusual but ostracizing and dirty looks would be an everyday occurrence. In an effort to ease social barriers, it was decided during the late '80s to merge the two towns' public schools and form the Winton Woods district. Greenhills responded by filling the coffers of parochial and private schools, or home-schooling, while numerous Caucasian parents up the road did the same. My snarky comment about Winton Woods Middle School (the former Greenhills High) is that "it's the school where none of the kids resemble the neighbors." Belying Forest Park's overall makeup, the White student body at Winton Woods High School (the former Forest Park High) is said to be in the single digits percentagewise. The academic quality is on par with "better, but not best" districts i.e. Anderson and Finneytown.

So...after all that...my #1 vote would be for the TO to narrow home searches to Kennedy Hts and adjoining Pleasant Ridge (the latter with a brand-new public Montessori school that already has a waiting list, and a populace that's diverse but not by street.) It's there where it's best illustrated that Black doesn't equate with poor and White doesn't equate with rich. Paddock Hills/North Avondale comes in second only because there's little in the way of living arrangements for a two-person household. Wyoming and Springdale counterbalance each other (school quality and income/racial variety) for third, with the Sycamore district not far behind. Trailing but still in the running would be Finneytown, Forest Park, and Roselawn, not necessarily in that order.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:24 PM
Location: Silver Spring,Maryland
884 posts, read 2,311,222 times
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Go Guy you are amazing with your facts!.
100% spot on with the neighborhood choices.
I chuckle b/c now that I live in MD outside of DC what is Cincy expensive--I would LOVE to pay those prices and get a nice house. You can't find nice tudors around here. Even the 60's sprawling ranches of Amberly Village--don't exist here.
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:28 PM
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^ He's pretty close, but off on certain topics.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:08 PM
Location: Chandler
2 posts, read 5,626 times
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MASON MASON MASON. We just move out of Mason (NE Sub. of Cinci) to Phoenix. The schools here suck. I digress. MASON has award winning schools, nice diversity, and w/ the housing market as such, for instance, we sold our 7 year old home, 4,000 sq feet (in perfect condition, just sayin'... ) for $290. That's w/ a third acre backyard fully fenced. My point - great house for your money.... great school district.... two thumbs way up for Mason from this new Phoenix transfer'd family.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:48 PM
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^ Mason is the last thing that should come to mind regarding diversity...

The city is 95% white.
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