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Old 01-19-2012, 08:18 AM
 
19 posts, read 37,395 times
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Hello all,
I am just wanting a little feedback on these schooldistricts. The home I am moving to has the ability to choose from these three districts. I am going to go to the websites and try looking at differences in testing and teachers and such but i like personal to get personal feedback. So anyone who has something to share no matter how big or small. please chime in. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Lancaster, TX
1,462 posts, read 3,249,110 times
Reputation: 2180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo0523 View Post
Hello all,
I am just wanting a little feedback on these schooldistricts. The home I am moving to has the ability to choose from these three districts. I am going to go to the websites and try looking at differences in testing and teachers and such but i like personal to get personal feedback. So anyone who has something to share no matter how big or small. please chime in. Thanks in advance.
Hi Bo0523,

I would be glad to help you. I'm a product of DeSoto schools and my younger brother graduated from Lancaster High School in 2010, so I am very familiar with those two districts.

First, here are how the districts and schools are currently rated based on their standardized test scores. Exemplary is the highest, followed by Recognized, and Academically Acceptable. The lowest rating is Academically Unacceptable.

DeSoto ISD
District Rating: Academically Acceptable
Exemplary campuses: 1
--Cockrell Hill Elementary
Recognized campuses: 6
--Ruby Young Elementary, Amber Terrace Elementary, Northside Elementary, The Meadows Elementary, Moates Elementary, and Woodridge Elementary
Academically Acceptable campuses: 5
--DeSoto High School, DHS Freshman Campus, DeSoto East Middle School, DeSoto West Middle School, and McCowan Middle School

Lancaster ISD
District Rating: Academically Acceptable
Recognized campuses: 6
--Houston Elementary, Lancaster Elementary, Pleasant Run Elementary, Rolling Hills Elementary, Rosa Parks-Millbrook Elementary, West Main Elementary.
Academically Acceptable campuses: 3
--Lancaster High School, Lancaster Middle School, and Belt Line Elementary

Red Oak ISD
District Rating: Recognized
Exemplary campuses: 1
--Red Oak Elementary
Recognized campuses: 4
--Eastridge Elementary, Shields Elementary, Red Oak Elementary, and Wooden Elementary
Academically Acceptable campuses: 2
--Red Oak Junior High and Red Oak High School

Lancaster has a motivated superintendent, unique program offerings are continuously being added, and community/parental involvement has increased in the five years that I have lived here. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is offered at Lancaster High School, Lancaster Middle School, and Pleasant Run Elementary. A sixth grade campus opened this year that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects in addition to regular academic instruction. Performance at the elementary school level has been good.

DeSoto is the largest of the three districts. A College and Career Academies program will be available next fall that will give high school students the opportunity to earn college credit and explore potential career paths.

There are several public charter schools serving the DeSoto/Lancaster/Red Oak area as well. Life School has campuses in Red Oak (grades K-7) and Lancaster (grades K-6). Life School Red Oak is the most established of these campuses and carries a Recognized rating. Life School Lancaster opened a few years ago and is currently rated Academically Acceptable. Golden Rule Charter Schools has a campus in DeSoto that serves Kindergarten students. The Accelerated Intermediate Academy (AIA) opened a new elementary campus in Lancaster this year. Lancaster also has Vista Academy, a small charter school serving grades K-3. Finally, there is the Gateway Academy Charter School. It is located just north of the Lancaster city limits in far southern Dallas. That school is rated Academically Acceptable. I've included links to all of the aforementioned charter campuses since I'm generally unfamiliar with them.

Before I go, I would also like to point out that the southern suburb schools are frequently looked down on in this forum, regardless of performance or overall improvement, so please take any of the blanket statements about entire school districts with a grain of salt. Even when people like me, who live in the area and have direct experiences with the schools point out anything positive, such as high-performing campuses with great academic reputations and programs, nothing ever seems to be enough for some to change their perceptions. A motivated student with involved parents will do well in DeSoto, Lancaster, Red Oak, or any other school district.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, let me know, and I'll do my best to assist you further.

Last edited by Acntx; 01-19-2012 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:57 AM
 
19 posts, read 37,395 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acntx View Post
Hi Bo0523,

I would be glad to help you. I'm a product of DeSoto schools and my younger brother graduated from Lancaster High School in 2010, so I am very familiar with those two districts.

First, here are how the districts and schools are currently rated based on their standardized test scores. Exemplary is the highest, followed by Recognized, and Academically Acceptable. The lowest rating is Academically Unacceptable.

DeSoto ISD
District Rating: Academically Acceptable
Exemplary campuses: 1
--Cockrell Hill Elementary
Recognized campuses: 6
--Ruby Young Elementary, Amber Terrace Elementary, Northside Elementary, The Meadows Elementary, Moates Elementary, and Woodridge Elementary
Academically Acceptable campuses: 5
--DeSoto High School, DHS Freshman Campus, DeSoto East Middle School, DeSoto West Middle School, and McCowan Middle School

Lancaster ISD
District Rating: Academically Acceptable
Recognized campuses: 6
--Houston Elementary, Lancaster Elementary, Pleasant Run Elementary, Rolling Hills Elementary, Rosa Parks-Millbrook Elementary, West Main Elementary.
Academically Acceptable campuses: 3
--Lancaster High School, Lancaster Middle School, and Belt Line Elementary

Red Oak ISD
District Rating: Recognized
Exemplary campuses: 1
--Red Oak Elementary
Recognized campuses: 4
--Eastridge Elementary, Shields Elementary, Red Oak Elementary, and Wooden Elementary
Academically Acceptable campuses: 2
--Red Oak Junior High and Red Oak High School

Lancaster has a motivated superintendent, unique program offerings are continuously being added, and community/parental involvement has increased in the five years that I have lived here. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is offered at Lancaster High School, Lancaster Middle School, and Pleasant Run Elementary. A sixth grade campus opened this year that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects in addition to regular academic instruction. Performance at the elementary school level has been good.

DeSoto is the largest of the three districts. A College and Career Academies program will be available next fall that will give high school students the opportunity to earn college credit and explore potential career paths.

There are several public charter schools serving the DeSoto/Lancaster/Red Oak area as well. Life School has campuses in Red Oak (grades K-7) and Lancaster (grades K-6). Life School Red Oak is the most established of these campuses and carries a Recognized rating. Life School Lancaster opened a few years ago and is currently rated Academically Acceptable. Golden Rule Charter Schools has a campus in DeSoto that serves Kindergarten students. The Accelerated Intermediate Academy (AIA) opened a new elementary campus in Lancaster this year. Lancaster also has Vista Academy, a small charter school serving grades K-3. Finally, there is the Gateway Academy Charter School. It is located just north of the Lancaster city limits in far southern Dallas. That school is rated Academically Acceptable. I've included links to all of the aforementioned charter campuses since I'm generally unfamiliar with them.

Before I go, I would also like to point out that the southern suburb schools are frequently looked down on in this forum, regardless of performance or overall improvement, so please take any of the blanket statements about entire school districts with a grain of salt. Even when people like me, who live in the area and have direct experiences with the schools point out anything positive, such as high-performing campuses with great academic reputations and programs, nothing ever seems to be enough for some to change their perceptions. A motivated student with involved parents will do well in DeSoto, Lancaster, Red Oak, or any other school district.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, let me know, and I'll do my best to assist you further.

thank you so much for your post. thanks for the time you put inot it. i totally appreciate that. O.k. so.... let me first start off with a question. Because at this point I am totally confused. I will be moving to Glenn Heights. I am told this house in is Dallas County and when i called Red Oaks the woman told me that I could enroll my children in Lancaster, Desoto, or Red Oaks, but for Red Oaks I would have to put in a transfer application. Am i getting this right that I can choose from those 3 school districts? wow. Here in western NY they don't do that. Your school is decided from where you live and there really is not a choice of different districts. I'm sure because other school districts would be so far away from each other and in Dallas they are not but it's still weird to me. O.k. I guess I have lots of researching to do with all of these schools.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:00 PM
 
19 posts, read 37,395 times
Reputation: 16
Also another quick question. school transportation. Would I have to supply my children with transportation to these schools or would they be able to ride the school buses ? Red Oaks web site, i believe, states that transportation would have to be provided by parents.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:13 PM
 
1,162 posts, read 2,000,824 times
Reputation: 639
A motivated,intelligent student with involved parents will do well in almost any learning environment.

That being said, no one on this board states any information that is not factual about some of the southern school districts. Do some research and compare each of the three districts you mention. Try to be in the overall best of the 3...
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Lancaster, TX
1,462 posts, read 3,249,110 times
Reputation: 2180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo0523 View Post
thank you so much for your post. thanks for the time you put inot it. i totally appreciate that. O.k. so.... let me first start off with a question. Because at this point I am totally confused. I will be moving to Glenn Heights. I am told this house in is Dallas County and when i called Red Oaks the woman told me that I could enroll my children in Lancaster, Desoto, or Red Oaks, but for Red Oaks I would have to put in a transfer application. Am i getting this right that I can choose from those 3 school districts? wow. Here in western NY they don't do that. Your school is decided from where you live and there really is not a choice of different districts. I'm sure because other school districts would be so far away from each other and in Dallas they are not but it's still weird to me. O.k. I guess I have lots of researching to do with all of these schools.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo0523 View Post
Also another quick question. school transportation. Would I have to supply my children with transportation to these schools or would they be able to ride the school buses ? Red Oaks web site, i believe, states that transportation would have to be provided by parents.
Glenn Heights is located in two counties - Dallas and Ellis. The Dallas County portion is zoned to DeSoto schools, while the Ellis County portion is zoned to Red Oak. The woman from Red Oak might have been referring to the fact that Lancaster and DeSoto both allow transfers from outside of their districts to attend their schools. It is called open enrollment. I'm unsure if Red Oak offers open enrollment, but they probably do. Open enrollment transfers are decided on a case-by-case basis and factors taken into consideration include a student's disciplinary record, grades, and the availability of space available at the campus being applied to. Parents of open enrollment transfers must provide transportation to and from school (i.e. no bus service is available for them). The transportation issue keeps many from choosing the open enrollment option. Of course, bus service would be provided if the home you are looking at is more than two miles from the DeSoto ISD school you are zoned to.

I hope this clears up some of the confusion.

If you need anymore help, just let me know.

Last edited by Acntx; 01-19-2012 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Lancaster, TX
1,462 posts, read 3,249,110 times
Reputation: 2180
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREW747 View Post
AThat being said, no one on this board states any information that is not factual about some of the southern school districts.
I'm not trying to start an argument with you, but I have been a poster here much longer than you have and I know what I have seen posted over the years. You may know your area well, but your knowledge of the southern suburbs is quite weak, especially considering some of the comments you posted in other threads concerning them.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:35 PM
 
19 posts, read 37,395 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acntx View Post
Glenn Heights is located in two counties - Dallas and Ellis. The Dallas County portion is zoned to DeSoto schools, while the Ellis County portion is zoned to Red Oak. The woman from Red Oak might have been referring to the fact that Lancaster and DeSoto both allow transfers from outside of their districts to attend their schools. It is called open enrollment. I'm unsure if Red Oak offers open enrollment, but they probably do. Open enrollment transfers are decided on a case-by-case basis and factors taken into consideration include a student's disciplinary record, grades, and the availability of space available at the campus being applied to. Parents of open enrollment transfers must provide transportation to and from school (i.e. no bus service is available for them). The transportation issue keeps many from choosing the open enrollment option. Of course, bus service would be provided if the home you are looking at is more than two miles from the DeSoto ISD school you are zoned to.

I hope this clears up some of the confusion.

If you need anymore help, just let me know.
O.K. after much confusion, I spoke with each school district and what I found out is that I am "zoned" to the Desoto ISD.

So,
Moates elementary
McCowan middle
freshman campus

is what my children are zoned to due to street address. the elem and the middle are recognised and the freshman campus is not.. Not too happy about that freshman campus but hopefully it will be a good atmosphere and experience.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Lancaster, TX
1,462 posts, read 3,249,110 times
Reputation: 2180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo0523 View Post
O.K. after much confusion, I spoke with each school district and what I found out is that I am "zoned" to the Desoto ISD.

So,
Moates elementary
McCowan middle
freshman campus

is what my children are zoned to due to street address. the elem and the middle are recognised and the freshman campus is not.. Not too happy about that freshman campus but hopefully it will be a good atmosphere and experience.
I'm glad that you were able to clear everything up. Due to the differing requirements used at the high school level when determing school ratings, it is more difficult for them to achieve the higher recognized or exemplary rating. There is currently a new standardized test being introduced this year, so there will be no new ratings released until the next school year.

Best of luck in your move.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 5,791,659 times
Reputation: 2284
IMO, DeSoto ISD is the best of those three, so I guess it all works out for you.

I wouldn't sweat the freshman campus ranking. For single-grade schools, those test results get skewed by the fact that "flunkees" often get to spend a second year at that school (depending on just how many classes they flunked). Meanwhile, the normal and high-performing kids move on to the high school. In effect, you get double the bozo population, compared to a typical school.
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