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Old 05-25-2009, 11:41 PM
15 posts, read 39,010 times
Reputation: 15



We are looking at a house in Southlake and are currently doing research. We’d like to know your opinions and appreciate your comments on Carroll ISD schools.

Our son is currently in 2nd grade. He is at the top of his current school (also an exemplary North Tarrant school) and is a very fast learner. We’d like to send him to a public school that best fits his talent. We’ve pretty much made up our mind in Carroll ISD due to many factors. So other ISDs aren’t an option for us at this point.

The house we’re currently interested in is north of Southlake Blvd and feeds into the following schools: Durham Elementary, Durham Intermediate, Carroll Middle, and Carroll High. However, we’ve heard that schools south of Southlake Blvd are generally better. I did some research and find that basically, Rockenbaugh Elementary is the best in terms of TAKS passing rate and commented performance. Durham Elementary on average has 5 percentage points less in commented performance area. It’s even more so among the intermediate and middle schools with Eubank and Dawson noticeably better than Durham intermediate and Carroll middle in these two areas. So my questions are as follows.

1.With the understanding that all of the Carroll ISD schools are rated “exemplary”, is there really that much of difference in these schools in terms of learning environment and potential academic achievement for top students (i.e., schools north of Southlake blvd v.s. schools south of Southlake blvd) as shown in these statistics?

2. I don’t worry about my kid passing the exams and getting commended scores. But should I be concerned with him not being able to maximize his academic potential if he attends those less ranked schools (because these schools may have to slow down to accommodate the slow kids)?

3.Do you observe that houses are priced differently in Southlake just because of different school zones assuming everything else is the same (I know sometimes it’s hard to judge, but please give your opinions anyways)?

Thanks for your patience in reading through all of these. We appreciate your inputs.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:23 AM
424 posts, read 1,631,867 times
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Why don't you find a gifted and talented program instead of basing a whole school ISD off one TAKS test taken throughout the year? After the TAKS test is completed, the district basically does nothing academically (I have several relatives in this ISD). All of Carroll ISD is good at passing TAKS tests. It is all about passing the test, not learning above and beyond the material. Carroll ISD is predominately a homogenious institution. They do not deal with ESL, etc. that most other schools deal with. It does not mean the teachers are the cream of the crop, it means the teachers can basically move at the same pace and do not have to accommodate for ESL, and/or lower income families. Highland Park is a better ISD (if that is your priority) based on their TAKS tests.

There have been controversies in the past about Carroll ISD and TAKS testing.

My advice: find a gifted and talented program. I don't know if Carroll ISD offers that, so hopefully others can chime in. They do offer "honors" type classes as most schools do.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:52 AM
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Catluvr has a great suggestion. If he is TAG - he may not enjoy a regular classroom no matter how highly rated the school is.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:00 AM
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,446,196 times
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^ I agree.
and for all the excellent ratings Carroll ISD SHOULD have more National merit scholars etc...
Yes, it's a very good school district, but given the demographic of the area they don't have to try very hard to be good. You have and upper middle class area with most 2 parent house holds and loads of stay at home moms that are very involved in making sure the kids get homework done etc... IT's VERY easy to achieve high passing rates in that environment.

Besides having moved here from northern VA all my kids think the TAKs test are a joke and wayyy easy.

look at Westlake Academy... it offers IB programs etc..

Or go private if you are that concerned with the small varience in the passing scores from one explemary rated elem to another. save the money you would spend on the southlake house and put it towrds tution.

The reason some say that south southlake is better than north is that the north part is the older part, you actually have some *gasp* trailer houses and little 3 bedroom houses left.

AND...once he is in HS when the tough work begins.... He will be in the same HS as everyone else since there is only one HS in Southlake.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:30 AM
Location: The Village
1,622 posts, read 3,884,765 times
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Carroll is a great school district academically, one of the top two in the Metroplex, but when it comes down to it football is more important than school. If you don't want that culture, you probably are going to want to look somewhere else.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:24 PM
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Thanks all.
My son is already in Talented and Gifted program in his current school. But it's only one day per week thing. So i don't know how much it's going to help.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:06 PM
440 posts, read 959,600 times
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We saw a lot of schools and met councellers including Carroll ISD and i am not impressed with Caroll ISD, I think ther are overrated and doing well only because of educated/ high income parents. Not sure about 2nd grade gifted program but we did'nt like their gifted program for Middle/ High School. Suggest don't go on TASKS score- these are basic and a few % here and there will not make any difference. For kids with exceptional abilities you should see their gifted program and performance of high performance kids compared to other schools, meet councellars and find out what they are strong into(sports/ music/ academics...etc).
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:39 PM
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,286 posts, read 79,469,982 times
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My feeling, having 2 gifted kids and a few gifted grandkids, they will do well without a great gifted program. If, along with being gifted they are well rounded they will achieve and be happy. Just keep them busy, involve them in extra activities and don't expect the schools to do this for you. Our oldest daughter was in a gifted program, she did fine and younger daughter was not, she did fine, our 2 oldest granddaughters had lots of outside activities, but no gifted program (heck, probably half or more of their friends were also gifted) all reached adulthood with great educations, mostly good careers and seem to being just fine. As my oldest daughters kindergarten teacher told us, after she had blown the Stanford Banet test off the charts, it doesn't really matter when she reaches adulthood what her score is, no one will ask her at a cocktail party about it. That was many years ago, but I still remember this wise teacher.

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Old 05-26-2009, 09:38 PM
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 5,793,717 times
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I have to chime in and say that I, respectfully, largely disagree with the previous post.

I do agree that if you have a gifted child, you should definitely "keep them busy, involve them in extra activities and don't expect the schools to do this for you."

At the same time, the school has a responsibility to provide an appropriate education for your child. If your child had learning difficulties, you would certainly expect them to provide needed accomodations. Well, your child probably does have a learning difficulty - he/she quickly gets bored working at the pace of the class as a whole.

At the level your child is presumably operating at, you can safely ignore minor differences in TAKS percentages. Instead, you should be shopping for G/T programs. One of the frequent posters on here has her child in the CFB ISD to take advantage of their program for the profoundly gifted, which consists of a completely separate classroom for those students.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:04 PM
Location: The Village
1,622 posts, read 3,884,765 times
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CFB has an excellent TAG program for the K-8 grades. It's called LEAP, and the K-5 kids are at McCoy Elementary and the 6-8 kids at Perry MS. They are in seperate classrooms for the entire day. I believe it takes a top 1% or even higher score on a national norm-referenced test to get the child into the program.

The only district that does TAG better is the Dallas ISD. Its magnet programs are really second to none in the entire country. The Arts magnet is nationally renowned, the Talented and Gifted Magnet and Science and Engineering Magnet are some of the best public schools in the country, the Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School is at the forefront at a growing trend for young women, and the elementary and middle school magnets like Travis TAG and Dealey Montessori are also top notch. There are areas of the district that are very close to Southlake in culture and quality--particularly the Preston Hollow and Lakewood neighborhoods. However, if being in North Tarrant is a concern for you, it won't work very well. Garland ISD also does magnet schools for talented and gifted kids VERY well, with schools like Kimberlin Academy (elementary), Austin Academy at the middle school level, and the IB program at Garland High.

Southlake is an excellent district overall--it's probably one of the top two overall districts, with sports and academics and other extracurriculars put together, in the state, matched only by Highland Park. However, if your children are incredibly gifted, they aren't going to have great programs for these kids because the districts are small compared to other districts in the area. The larger districts, like Dallas, Garland, CFB, and Plano, will do G/T education much better.
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