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Old 07-06-2010, 09:25 PM
 
79 posts, read 254,622 times
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Statistics don't tell the whole story, but you might find SchoolVIEW.org - Changing ConversationsTM about school performance interesting to look at. It's put together by the CO Dept of Education and has a lot of good information.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,013,351 times
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Generally it's not the quality of the schools that varies so much as the quality of the students. Amazing coincidence that the higher scoring schools are normally found in higher income areas. When people ask about the quality of the schools, they should really be asking about the types of other students they'll find at those schools. It's pretty much demographics that determines school performance. Also, just because you send your child to a "better" school doesn't mean it will improve the prospects for how he or she does.

If you want to see this topic debated ad nauseum, come over to the Northern Virginia forum.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:40 AM
 
33 posts, read 80,043 times
Reputation: 11
All of your comments are helpful! My husband is just beginning the search - looking at possible jobs in Lakewood, Lafayette, and a few other places that I can't think of their name right now.

I've been looking a little more at Lakewood, Littleton area - how are the schools in this area? What about southwest Littleton area.

We would love to live in the foothills if he ends us with a job that isn't a bad commute from there. What about the schools in Golden, Morrison and Conifer area?

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Under the lovely Southern sky
389 posts, read 635,803 times
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Lakewood? Hmm, not a great area in some places. The Jefferson County (Jeff CO School District) I think has more bad schools & neighborhoods than good. Lumburg Elementary (not sure exactly how to spell it) is jam packed with students who get into gang violence & sex. It was pretty bad when I was going to school. I have a few family members in that school who I hear get beat up quite a bit. I guess there's a lot of fights between little boy gangs & crap like that. That's just the bad stuff though. I haven't heard much good stuff, but I'm sure there is some.

You might wanna stay away specificly from the Weat Ridge area. That's also in Jefferson County, neighboring Lakewood. It's South of Denver as far as I know, & from what I can remember, that's where some of the roughest areas are. A lot of people used to consider the Jeff CO area as "The Gheddo."

Weat Ridge Middle & High School might not be too good, as well as Jefferson High, but I'm sure you can find some better places around that area. I don't know all of it, but from face value, it's more bad than good. Look a little closer to Denver if you're lookin' in that part. If you get northernish Lakewood or Southern/southwestern Denver, it's not too rough.

I only know a lot about the character of most people in different parts of Colorado, not much about jobs or money. If you wanna know more about actual people & students & what most of 'em are usually like, I know all about it.

Down in the Lakewood/Weat Ridge area, there is a lot of gangs & the kids are generally kinda way too sexual & violent & what not. Jefferson high school in Lakewood had a couple shoot outs in the past & there's a lot of competition between other high schools that cause the majority of them. That doesn't speak for all of the area, but generally that's what I've seen when I lived in Colorado as a child. There is good everywhere, though. Research it a little bit, but that's the information I can give you about the overall streets & schools.

Jessie
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:22 PM
 
33 posts, read 80,043 times
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OK - remembered some of the other places - Lone Tree, Boulder, Highlands Ranch, Aurora and Castle Rock. Like I said earlier it's a pretty broad area - so just wondering of places we might definitely want to look into more and areas that we might should steer clear of. Thanks again!

I'm sure once we narrow it down to an area I'll be back with LOTS more specific questions and questions about where to live!!
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
22,052 posts, read 10,266,157 times
Reputation: 20101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Look'inCO View Post

In most places there are schools that just aren't as good as other schools - whether it be the teachers, administrators, the quality of teaching lots of behavior issues at the school which interferes with learning, etc. I'm looking for a school to challenge my son (looking for a good gifted program) and daughter and is an enjoyable place to attend. As a former teacher and administrator I know that there are schools that "people" would not want to send their kids to if possible. I'm also wanting to be welcomed as a volunteer at the school as well.
I think it's very valid that you ask this question, and I see that you are a former educator yourself.

My reaction is a general one -- and due to your professional background, perhaps more for other readers.

While getting such recommendations is valid, take them with a grain of salt.

I was the principal of a middle school back in Virginia. If a public middle school can have a pedigree, we had it. Dan Quayle, Strom Thurmond, Governor/Senator Chuck Robb and LBJ's daughter, were all parents at our school. Virginia (or at least our district) was not an open enrollment system, and there wasn't a year that there weren't attempts to bribe me or threaten me with a frivolous lawsuit in order to get me to sign a transfer request. I stood my ground; I knew the law.

Were we as good as most of the parent community thought? On balance, yes. But all of our teachers and administrators weren't top of the line...you can't hire the best people 100% of the time. Our PTA had a sterling reputation because of their fund raising abilities, but there were periods of time they were also cliquish and not always welcoming to our minority families on the "other side of town" (so to speak). Our building was very old and desperately in need of a renovation (it's finally getting one now after 50 years!). We had our supporters and our detractors, and it was often some rather minor incident that would lead a supporter to become a detractor.

I have always said that, as a rule of thumb, the faculties that best work together for the benefit of kids -- and their own survival -- are often those faculties at the schools that don't have the best reputations. Take a school that is "near the top" reputation-wise, and you'll often find a faculty that thinks every little problem that needs to be solved is a crisis, where staff morale if often less than ideal, even though other teachers are banging on the doors to get in.

Of course, no one wants to be in a school at the bottom of the barrel, but different schools have different attributes. A parent in our school district wrote a nationally published book comparing their neighborhood high school (which didn't have a sterling reputation) with the county's "magnet" high school for science and technology (which is nationally recognized). The book painted an interesting picture of how enriching a school can be that is not necessarily well regarded.

Best of luck in your hunt!
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
22,052 posts, read 10,266,157 times
Reputation: 20101
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Generally it's not the quality of the schools that varies so much as the quality of the students. Amazing coincidence that the higher scoring schools are normally found in higher income areas. When people ask about the quality of the schools, they should really be asking about the types of other students they'll find at those schools. It's pretty much demographics that determines school performance. Also, just because you send your child to a "better" school doesn't mean it will improve the prospects for how he or she does.

If you want to see this topic debated ad nauseum, come over to the Northern Virginia forum.
How well I know...having been a principal there!

We had a gem of a band teacher at our NOVA middle school for a while. He led our band to national prominence. But I always gave him a great deal of credit, because when he was getting all the pats on the back he invariably got, he was always quick to remind parents and colleagues that many, if not most of the students in his award-winning band had already taken band at the elementary level, as well as private lessons. He would point out that many of his students owned their extremely high quality instruments. He would take some credit for perfecting their abilities, but he always pointed out that he started out with "raw material" at a level that most band teachers could only dream about.

As you point out, the same is often true for an entire school...not just a band program.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:53 PM
 
33 posts, read 80,043 times
Reputation: 11
Totally agree with several of the previous posts - I was an assistant principal in a very low-socioeconomic school. We didn't have much parental support, issues with behavior and typically scored on the lower end of the state tests. BUT those teachers one some of the most dedicated teachers and worked TOGETHER.

That being said - I also know the effect behavior issues had with other students' learning.

Still wondering about some of the other towns' schools as well as other viewpoints about Lakewood.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:17 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,739,753 times
Reputation: 4502
Regarding Jefferson County Schools, be aware that it is an enormous district (I believe it's the largest in the state) with neighborhoods and schools that run the gamut. Some are extraordinary (e.g., D'Evelyn, a JeffCo option school located in Lakewood, has ranked as one of the best high schools in the nation), while others, well, not so much.

Also, please note that Littleton addresses occur in three different districts: Littleton Public Schools, Jefferson County Schools, and Douglas County Schools.

I wish it was possible for us to say, "Here is where your children should go to school," but you've given us such a wide range of possibilities without any inkling of your housing needs or budget that it makes giving you suggestions extremely difficult.

You've written that you like the idea of living in the foothills. There are certainly plenty of places that fit that description. Douglas County has schools in Roxborough Park, while Jefferson County has schools stretching from Ken-Caryl Valley up through Golden and Evergreen. You might also consider Boulder Valley Schools.

Have you visited Colorado yet? If so, what areas appealed to you?

Last edited by formercalifornian; 07-08-2010 at 09:28 AM.. Reason: added links
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:52 AM
 
33 posts, read 80,043 times
Reputation: 11
Yes, we've vistited several times. Unfortunately we weren't really thinking at the time that we would move there so didn't really think in terms of we'd like to live here (except in the mountains - that's why we've thought the foothills might be a good fit for us). As for housing budget - we're thinking around 350,000 but could go a little higher if we found the perfect place! We would like a larger yard (possibly even a couple of acres as we have 2 golden retrievers who currently have 10 acres to run on!) Age of home isn't a big factor (tend to not like newer homes because they usually don't have trees). Don't necessarily have to be "real" close to shopping - a grocery store would be nice. Hope that helps some.

I wish you could tell me this is the perfect school too!!! ;-) But formercalifornian your comments about the different counties and schools being in different districts is a big help.

I'll be giving more info as we find out more. He's about to begin interviewing for some of the positions that have come up so far so then we'll know what jobs look like a good fit for him professionally.

Thanks again!
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