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Old 08-04-2010, 08:45 AM
 
40 posts, read 117,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momonthemove View Post
Biggest let down for me would be the schools. We have been in (Middletown) De for almost one year having moved from central NJ. Enjoying the overall lower cost of living, less congestion and friendly people. Adjusting to driving more to reach places/shopping/activities and the slower pace in general.
Momonthemove, we are from monmouth county and schools are our biggest concern, we r moving in spring to de or md, what let downs have u experienced with schools in comparsion to NJ?
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Toms River NJ
347 posts, read 733,390 times
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I want to stress that the schools are not "bad", just different. My children had wonderful teachers last year. We moved to this area bc we wanted our children in public school system. Our children had been in gifted and talented and participated in many school clubs and activities. They loved being involved in chess club, band, chorus, intermural sports, etc. In the appo schools they attend there are not opportunities for before/after school activities at the elementary school level and very limited at the middle school level. Their prior schools hosted many in-school assembly programs and had a strong character education program. Students enjoyed watching their classmates perform in chorus, band or drama, the science fair etc. All of that created a very respectful school/community spirit enviroment for the children. The school does provide a talent development program in which the children may select areas they are interested in ie: portrait drawing, vocal, robotics and they will participate in an actual class of that interest during the school day - which they are not graded on. Most of my concern was from the lack of timely communication/poor communication at the elementary level as well as the lack of discipline I observed in children (that seems to be accepted and not addressed or perhaps poorly addressed) while volunteering at the school or attending a school trip etc. - even on the bus. It was also sort of "mute"...no talk of holidays, how people/families are different, no sharing of cultures, etc. The middle school did a wonderful job with communication. The admistration seemed to address any student issues/concerns. The middle school also encouraged student leaders and did an outstanding job of holding regular assembly programs to recognize students for grades (including academic improvement), good citizenship, etc. The schools offer a sampling of many languages. It is very, very basic and each lasts just a few weeks. The program seems to be repeated year after year. While it is nice to learn about culture, count to 10 and say a few phrases imo it would be better to focus on one language for a longer period of time. My children had been having Spanish on a regular basis for years. Certainly at the middle school level the "sample" should go and one language should be focused on. Having advanced math, language, etc would be welcomed before the 7th grade. I truly believe there are plenty of able students that are up for more advanced learning. Eh....I guess everyone will have different opinions as everyone has different needs and expectations. We are looking forward to a 2nd school year here. Already working on the Summer reading and buying the required school supplies!
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:30 PM
 
377 posts, read 990,767 times
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I think it does depend on your feeder pattern too.

My daughter is at Appo and she was in morning/afternoon activities. She was in newspaper and this year yearbook. She did choir and band for a little while. There are activities in our elementary school. I hear very good things about our Middle School too.

The biggest drawback for me is that there are no gifted and talented programs.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Toms River NJ
347 posts, read 733,390 times
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Yes to the feeder pattern! The elementary schools seems to have differences in how they are run. I have noticed that many families in our neighborhood "choice" their elementary school aged children to another Appo elem school. It seems that our development may been part of a re-districting move. The Appo schools do seem to be concerned with the growth of their district and make an effort to expand programs. I noticed that at the middle school level activities were often combined (all of the middle schools) into District wide programs/activities.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:13 PM
 
445 posts, read 1,284,639 times
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May I be so bold to ask "momonthemove" what Elm. school they are choicing out of?
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:48 PM
 
381 posts, read 1,227,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandee1213 View Post
I think it does depend on your feeder pattern too.

My daughter is at Appo and she was in morning/afternoon activities. She was in newspaper and this year yearbook. She did choir and band for a little while. There are activities in our elementary school. I hear very good things about our Middle School too.

The biggest drawback for me is that there are no gifted and talented programs.
My son goes to a different elementary school, but I've been very happy with the one my son attends as well. There seem to be plenty of activities, and there are also frequent evening events for students and their families.

One other thing to note in terms of schools is that Appo SD (not sure about the rest of the state) hasn't been hit hard in terms of budget cuts. The school district we were in before we moved (in VA) had to cut over 50 million dollars from this upcoming year's budget. The Spanish program was completely cut in the elementary school, teachers were let go all over the place, administrators who hadn't taught in 15 years were going back to classrooms (b/c of seniority, in positions where admins had seniority over teachers and the admin job was cut...). Appo SD is doing well enough to open the new schools soon (that my children will attend) without increasing taxes.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Toms River NJ
347 posts, read 733,390 times
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I am not "choicing out" of the school. I mentioned that other families in our neighborhood have done so. My youngest child will attend again this year as a 5th grader. We hope that the things that "bothered" us will improve. jdoll...I will pm you the school. I didn't mean to sound so negative...just wanted to voice my "regret".
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:10 AM
 
445 posts, read 1,284,639 times
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Thanks for all your great posts camrynh . I thought I should add this info on Appo School funding for all the folks that might not live here or that may be looking for info if they are considering joining us here in MOT.

1) The current building remodeling program, purchasing the land for the East Side campus and building the new ECD & Elementary school is funded primarily (75%) by the state. While our local RE taxes in Appo did not increase, last years referendum did approve them not being lowered; we replaced expiring bonds with new bonds to fund the local portion.

2) Our taxes did take a pretty large jump with the 2006 Operating Budget referendum. Compared to our neighbors’ in NJ, RE and local school taxes are a bargain. But much of what is visible today in the classroom got funded with that tax increase.

3) Appo plans a new referendum in 2012 or 2013 to build the East Side middle school, high school and finish the campus (Enviro and Aquatic centers). And if planned growth continues another referendum in 2014/2015 for another new Elementary school. Again, new school building in DE is funded 75% at the state level and 25% local.

Whew. And why do I have all this info? LOL. The Odessa Campus (that is what the sign says on the land now) is literally in my back yard, so I’ve taken an active interest in all of this. I hope this post helps both local folks and any that may be considering joining us here.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:11 AM
 
377 posts, read 990,767 times
Reputation: 104
Appo needs to build more schools above the canal. This is just my opinion. haha. We only have an elementary school, all the other schools are in Middletown.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:43 AM
 
381 posts, read 1,227,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoll View Post
Whew. And why do I have all this info? LOL. The Odessa Campus (that is what the sign says on the land now) is literally in my back yard, so Iíve taken an active interest in all of this. I hope this post helps both local folks and any that may be considering joining us here.
We must live very close to each other. I've been waiting to see some activity, but so far it's just that sign.
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