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Old 06-11-2012, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Plano, TX
2,058 posts, read 3,431,480 times
Reputation: 1776
Quote:
Originally Posted by carroll4628 View Post
When your 6th grader moved from elementary school to middle school ...
Forgot about this point, which would be a big deal for the OP's situation of a 6th grader and a 5th grader. There's a critical difference between RISD and PISD. Last I looked, RISD keeps the kids in elementary school through 6th grade, rather than 5th grade. How that plays out will depend on their current system. (Also, whether they are rising 5th/6th graders, or just finished those grades.)

Let's suppose the OP's kids just finished 5th and 6th grades, and that their old system is a K-5, 6-8, 9-12 system. If they move to RISD, all of a sudden the younger kid, who is expecting to begin middle school, gets an unwanted extra year of elementary school, relative to big brother/sister.

On the flip side, suppose the old system is K-6, 7-8, 9-12 system. If they move to PISD, now BOTH kids begin their first year of middle school at the same time, only the older one is lost in the sea of kids with a year of MS under their belt.

In either case, one of the kids gets the short end of the stick. The OP might want to make his/her district choice based on how that aligns with the way things are now for the kids.

Last edited by Big G; 06-11-2012 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:04 PM
 
3,313 posts, read 1,769,327 times
Reputation: 2752
Thanks to everyone for the info so far!

My older children both make friends easily and are happy kids.

My oldest would be fine anywhere. He's very easy going. My middle one likes to know everyone and likes to have a set group. I think she would be happier in a smaller environment.

They both have IEPs for gifted which here really only matters in elementary where they are given an individualized lesson plans. In middle school, they don't do as much with the IEPs. My oldest is on a math track to finish high school math as a sophomore. My middle one should also end up on the track. So we will need a school with multiple AP math options.
By great school, I mean strong academically with good extracurriculars and no major discipline problems.

We are coming from a K-5, 6-8, and 9-12, but I would love a school with 6th grade in elementary school. So that's not a problem.

I knew Keller was a FW suburb, but was hoping for maybe a good suburb to the west of Richardson to get a little closer. I did some reading here on Carrollton and Coppell. Looks like Carrollton may not be the right choice for us. Is Coppell too far? Ultimately we will pick based on the job location and schools, but if it happened to be closer to my sister, that would be great.

We are coming in a few weeks to look around, so I appreciate all the help so we can narrow it down.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:34 PM
 
345 posts, read 307,774 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by brentwoodgirl View Post
Thanks to everyone for the info so far!

My oldest is on a math track to finish high school math as a sophomore. My middle one should also end up on the track. So we will need a school with multiple AP math options.
By great school, I mean strong academically with good extracurriculars and no major discipline problems.
This is where Plano ISD starts to offer more than other districts. A lot of students here are on those tracks to finish math early. Both districts offer all AP courses in math (Calc AB/BC, Stat, and Computer Science if you consider that math). However, Plano is in the process of implementing a program called math rocks, which finishes precal in 9th grade, and then goes into a collegiate track which includes stuff along the lines of abstract algebra and multivariable calculus. At this point, PISD is the only one, public or private, to offer this in-school. If your middle one is a rising 5th grader, she could still qualify for this if she does well on district tests; your eldest would have to continue on with the AP track though.
Here's some info on the program if it interests you: http://www.pisd.edu/staff/districtdi...Math_Rocks.pdf. Note that it has since expanded to be housed at more campuses.

If you do end up in PISD, it might be nice if your middle child ends up in orchestra/band; the kids in there tend to form very close groups of friends.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Plano
545 posts, read 419,790 times
Reputation: 360
I would say that with you school requirements ,PISD would be a better fit for your family. I also second the idea of band/ orchestra .
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
6,532 posts, read 10,272,707 times
Reputation: 3620
Quote:
Originally Posted by brentwoodgirl View Post

I knew Keller was a FW suburb, but was hoping for maybe a good suburb to the west of Richardson to get a little closer. I did some reading here on Carrollton and Coppell. Looks like Carrollton may not be the right choice for us. Is Coppell too far? Ultimately we will pick based on the job location and schools, but if it happened to be closer to my sister, that would be great.
That commute from Coppell would get really old... It's about 45 minutes each way on a toll road which adds up quickly. (I will let another poster add up the tolls exactly, but I will guess about $100 a month with a toll tag.) as others have said, you will only be going to Keller a few times a month, but driving to Richardson every work day, so it makes sense to live closer to your work.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:00 PM
 
3,313 posts, read 1,769,327 times
Reputation: 2752
Unfortunately my kids' musical skills max out at "Hot Cross Buns" so no band or orchestra for them.

That math program looks really cool.

Christie, thanks for the info. That's what I needed to know. We'll focus our visit on looking at Plano and Richardson.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:54 PM
 
Location: Plano, TX
2,058 posts, read 3,431,480 times
Reputation: 1776
Quote:
Originally Posted by brentwoodgirl View Post
Unfortunately my kids' musical skills max out at "Hot Cross Buns" so no band or orchestra for them.
That might be a strike against PISD. There, you HAVE to take a year of music in 6th grade - band, choir, or orchestra.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:37 AM
Status: "Friendly Neighborhood Jew" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Richardson, TX
15,347 posts, read 13,051,175 times
Reputation: 12298
Quote:
Originally Posted by brentwoodgirl View Post
Thanks to everyone for the info so far!

My older children both make friends easily and are happy kids.

My oldest would be fine anywhere. He's very easy going. My middle one likes to know everyone and likes to have a set group. I think she would be happier in a smaller environment.

They both have IEPs for gifted which here really only matters in elementary where they are given an individualized lesson plans. In middle school, they don't do as much with the IEPs. My oldest is on a math track to finish high school math as a sophomore. My middle one should also end up on the track. So we will need a school with multiple AP math options.
By great school, I mean strong academically with good extracurriculars and no major discipline problems.

We are coming from a K-5, 6-8, and 9-12, but I would love a school with 6th grade in elementary school. So that's not a problem.

I knew Keller was a FW suburb, but was hoping for maybe a good suburb to the west of Richardson to get a little closer. I did some reading here on Carrollton and Coppell. Looks like Carrollton may not be the right choice for us. Is Coppell too far? Ultimately we will pick based on the job location and schools, but if it happened to be closer to my sister, that would be great.

We are coming in a few weeks to look around, so I appreciate all the help so we can narrow it down.
Coppell to Richardson would suck as a commute.

I think you should stick to looking in Plano and Richardson. People talk up Plano schools and they are good, but they're not for everyone. Look in the 75080 zip code in Richardson, which is zoned to Richardson High School (south of Arapaho) and J.J. Pearce High School (north of Arapaho). Both are outstanding schools; when playing the numbers game, Pearce often beats RHS on paper, but only by a very very small margin. Much of north Dallas near here is also zoned to Richardson schools, though I don't know where the boundaries are. A good realtor can help you with that.

I'd say visit both, see if you like either city. They are both great places to live.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Junius Heights
1,245 posts, read 1,914,709 times
Reputation: 880
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
I'd say visit both, see if you like either city. They are both great places to live.
Absolutely, spending some time in the neighborhood you might live in is critical. Sit in a coffee shop and eavesdrop on some conversations. Go to the local park and watch some folks. This will give you a much better idea of the ACTUALL culture of the neighborhood, and the people you will be living with than anything you might read, or that we can say.
Ditto for the schools. I know it might be tough now because it is summer, but try and talk to some kids and parents form the schools after you have narrowed it down. What shows up in paper, especially in the metrics, is not the whole story. Even if the metrics matter to you (I find them mostly meaningless) you have to parse them forever. Even if each school is equally rigooorus and well taught, you have to start parsing numbers by parental education level(as best yo can), economic background, etc to get any real idea. Talk to people in the system.
We looked at two neighborhoods with two schools. One better on paper than the other. When we visited that school our interactions with parents, especially some pta parents, were terrible. We chose the other school, and were very happy.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Texas
108 posts, read 203,136 times
Reputation: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by brentwoodgirl View Post
I knew Keller was a FW suburb, but was hoping for maybe a good suburb to the west of Richardson to get a little closer. I did some reading here on Carrollton and Coppell. Looks like Carrollton may not be the right choice for us. Is Coppell too far? Ultimately we will pick based on the job location and schools, but if it happened to be closer to my sister, that would be great.

We are coming in a few weeks to look around, so I appreciate all the help so we can narrow it down.
We live in Richardson, and my DH works in Coppell. Can be a heck of a commute - and he refuses to drive on the toll roads. We are currently looking to buy a house.

Our daughter goes to an RISD elementary school. RISD goes all the way west to Preston road north of 635, but the addresses west of Coit Road are Dallas addresses. I am not sure of Plano's boundaries, but it is too far for DH to drive from Plano to Coppell every day.

Good luck on finding what you are looking for.
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