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Old 01-03-2011, 05:02 PM
 
Location: charlotte,nc
6 posts, read 21,722 times
Reputation: 17

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I am relocating back to the Columbia area within the month. Although I graduated from USC and lived in Cola a short while during that time I did not have school-aged children. Now that I do, I want to be sure that I choose the best school district for them. I realize that there are decent schools in all the districts but I have heard that these two are the best.On top of that my son has been tested for learning disability and ADD and I am scheduled to get his test results on next week. Speaking with the counselor it appears that he will need additional assistance. Which district and/or school would be the best for him? I will be working from home and will have to visit PRMH and PBH 1-2 a week so the distance to work does not matter.

Thanks a lot from a fellow GAMECOCK!!!!
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Florence, South Carolina
253 posts, read 524,453 times
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I'm a USC grad myself and I am elated that you are moving back to Columbia. I live in Andrews (Williamsburg County) and just loving the rural vibe that it has to offer. I see myself more of a country kind of a guy rather than the urban/city type. I have experiences when I did my practicums, internship, and student teaching in Richland 2 and Lexington 5. Those two districts are great districts in the midlands so you can't go wrong choosing one over the other. If I were you I would definately give Lexington 5 a look especially schools that are zoned in the Ballentine and Lake Murray areas. Those two areas in my opinion which I know some of the people who are still in Columbia would agree with me that the Ballentine and Lake Murray areas are the best in the state as far as public education concerns. One more thing... both school districts are in partnership with USC.

Last edited by augusto29556; 01-03-2011 at 05:40 PM..
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
9,071 posts, read 18,068,318 times
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From what I've heard I think you should really be looking at also at Lexington 1(Lexington area) and Lex/Richland 5 which is Irmo/Chapin. I don't know that one is better than the other. Honestly, Irmo and Lexington are fairly similar but you'll probably get a little more home for your money in Lexington and have a few more conveniences a little closer in Irmo. I don't have any input on special needs in Richland 2, but I imagine they are also excellent.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:25 PM
 
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lexington 1 with lexington hs and white knoll is solid. lexington 5 with dutch fork, chapin and irmo is very solid as well. richland 2 is ok..... none of their 4 high schools really stand out but they're not horrid either. blythewood is decent as is spring valley. ridge view is ok, richland northeast is so so IMO.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:23 AM
 
432 posts, read 1,357,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenvillebuckeye View Post
lexington 1 with lexington hs and white knoll is solid. lexington 5 with dutch fork, chapin and irmo is very solid as well. richland 2 is ok..... none of their 4 high schools really stand out but they're not horrid either. blythewood is decent as is spring valley. ridge view is ok, richland northeast is so so IMO.
On paper it may look like some Richland 2 schools aren't quite "up to par" with Lex/Rich 5 & Lex 1. However, the district still offers high-quality education and great opportunities that don't always show up as the highest test scores.

For example, Spring Valley's math/science magnet program has students as high-performing as any at Dutch Fork or Lexington. It is arguably the most elite magnet program in the Midlands and can compete at any level this side of the residential math/science Governor's School in Hartsville.

Richland Northeast is a very diverse high school so "performance" is going to run the spectrum. The school houses the district's peforming & fine arts magnet program.

There are some top-notch elementary schools, particularly on the outer fringes of the district, like Lake Carolina, Round Top, and Bookman Road. These are as good as ones in Lexington like Lake Murray and Midway.

The district continues to grow rapidly becuase it is perceived as a highly desirable district. Yes, there are schools in the older, established neighborhoods in the southwest portion of the district that do not have the high-flying PACT/PASS scores, but they have fewer stable middle-class/upper-middle-class families and as such aren't always going to show up in those stats. Even Lexington/Richland 5 is experiencing more of these issues in the older areas in its southern portion (i.e., it's not all Dutch Fork/Chapin in that district).

Lexington 1 is definitely a very highly regarding district and deservedly so. However there are also areas in that district such as Gilbert and Pelion that don't show up on everyone's "must have school zone" radar. Gilbert is a fine school otherwise, no doubt, but I think it just demonstrates that most districts in the Midlands have a variety of test scores. We don't have tiny elite school districts like states up North do.

One thing we decided when moving here is that we weren't going to let raw test scores dictate where we live, especially if it meant a sacrifice in commuting time (we live in NE Richland and my work at the time was in NE Columbia). Richland 2, Lex/Rich 5, and Lexington 1 are all very good school districts, but unless someone has a particular attachment to some other variable (e.g., you really want to be on/near Lake Murray), I see no reason to choose a district on the opposite side of town as one's work.

I suppose since the OP is working from home mostly, they have a wider range to pick from (both Palmetto hospitals are centrally located enough that it's not a huge deal in terms of commute, although parts of Irmo and NE Richland might be marginally closer). That being the case, just visiting the schools and talking to parents and staff might be better than doing a "desktop" analysis.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:01 PM
 
Location: charlotte,nc
6 posts, read 21,722 times
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I would like to thank everyone for their response. To Chi2Midlands....WOW! Thanks for that great break down and information. I guess I am more partial to the Irmo/St. Andrews area because I lived in that area before moving to Charlotte. I don't have much time and on a limited budget for renting because I own a home in the QC that I am trying to rent/sell. Wish me luck!!!
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