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Old 04-23-2009, 09:01 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,275 times
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Hello all!

My family is panning to move out to Denver suburbs this summer.
We are still debating where we are gonna settle.
The shcool district will be a important factor (I have 8 & 6 y.o. boys).
We hear that cherry creek school district is the best, but according to my own research, the state annual report and other stat tell somewhat different stories.

I also looked at high schools as well, academic performance wise, they seem to be all fairly good schools, but I see more drugs, alcohol issues in more metro schools than suburbs (maybe it's not surprising).

IMO, highlands Ranch looks nice and safe area to raise a family with a peace of mind...

I'd like to hear some advices on that.
In case anybody is curious, we are Korean American family who got tired of huste and bustle CA life style. I am a self-employed professional looking into open up a office near centennial, Aurora, Greenwood village area.

Thanks for reading
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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Some info on Douglas County vs Cherry Creek Schools is here.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:03 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,892 posts, read 29,338,995 times
Reputation: 7095
You are right. The slogan for CCSD has been there so long, people just believe it without question. I think DCSD does a great job in schooling students. My experience is repeatable, there are others who have had issues with DCSD. In fairness, there are people who love CCSD and others who have had issues.

I like HR. I live in HR. I have kids here in school. I have had one graduate and off to pre-med at CSU.

What else is important to you & your family?

I like smaller schools, so I would avoid CCHS, but there are other CCSD high schools with smaller student populations. I would trade the variety of programs at CCHS for a smaller student population. But maybe that's important to you, so you would choose CCHS.

If your kids are 6 & 8 - who says you will still live in the same place for high school?
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Centennial, CO
156 posts, read 631,861 times
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We moved to Denver in late January, and our kids have been in DCSD schools (Highlands Ranch High School and Cresthill Middle School) since early February. Let's just say we are ALL counting down the days until the end of the year. Not impressed at all. We had originally planned to purchase a home in HR, but after only a week in the DCSD, we decided to switch our focus to buying a home in the CCSD, and I'm so glad we did. I've talked to staff at CCSD, and also other parents of students at CCSD, and feel it it will be a FAR better educational experience for my kids than DCSD. We bought a home in Piney Creek in Centennial...very nice area, and less than a mile to the exemplary rated high school (Smoky Hill) that my DD will attend next year (the middle school is even closer).
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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Thank you 2bindenver and sheridan1962 for your post
What is important for my family, especially for my children may be an environment with more diversities and cultural experiences since they were born and raised in northern CA. For them, I think academic performance is secondary at that age, not that is isn't important, but I want them to be comfortable and confident and enjoy daily routines. Although the school they are attending now isn't all that diverse as a CA school, it probably is more diverse than schools in DC (not quite sure about CCSD).

sheridan1962, I wonder what facts or your experience, or your kids' experience I should say wasn't meeting your expectation in DCSD?
And what aspects and why do you think your kids be better suited in CCSD?

Thanks for your time and help!!
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Colorado
346 posts, read 1,441,515 times
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We moved to Centennial from Southern California this past July. One of our main concerns was finding good schools. After much research, we chose to live within Littleton Public Schools. It is a smaller district, and is currently facing a decline in student population, which is resulting in two school closures for next year. However, part of the reason for this decline is the fact that people like the area and don't move once the kids are grown and out of the house. Our neighborhood is a great mix of young families and retired folks. We have been pleased with the academics, various activities offered, and the small-town feel of Littleton Public Schools. My children came from a school of over 1,000 students. Their current school has 350 students, and as a result, the principal and office staff know each child by name. I had heard that Cherry Creek was the "best" district in the state. We all have a different opinion of what constitutes "best". There is no doubt in my mind that Cherry Creek is a solid district. I just knew that down the road, my own kids would most likely be lost in a school as large as Cherry Creek High. I was specifically looking for a district that has maintained an excellent reputation for many years, based on academics as well as developing the whole child. And no, I'm not a spokesperson for the district! Just wanted to offer another possibility for you.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:53 PM
 
619 posts, read 1,957,360 times
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My daughter is just completing her first year of school in DCSD. We've been extremely pleased with her experience this year. I think education is such an individual fit - sometimes almost more so for parents than for the kids. From one classroom to the next within a given school things can be different. A new principal can change the entire spirit of a school in very short order. I suspect that most children in both school districts you are considering get very high quality educations and go on to greatness. (I know my daughter will )

Stats, tests, parents, teachers, students all tell different stories. I think as long as you find a neighborhood where you feel comfortable, then you'll do fine.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,600,753 times
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My family moved here 2 years ago and our #1 priority was finding a home within a good school district. We debated between Parker (DCSD) and SE Aurora (Cherry Creek SD) and finally decided on a home in SE Aurora.

Denver is fortunate because there aren't too many places that universally have bad schools. Most have decent schools depending on where you live. One elementary school might be ranked as "better" a few miles down the road, but the one your kids are at is considered excellent (but maybe not "superior").

I did lots of research and am fully aware that it's going to be my involvement in my childrens' education that will make a difference. However, what they are being taught is important too because my kids might be straight A students but realize they didn't learn what other kids her age should know by now. That's where the school districts come in. It's the curriculum that they are going to teach your child that will make the difference on how much they know and how they compete when they get to college.

That being said, Cherry Creek IS an excellent school district. With very few exceptions, the schools are very good (most considered above average and excellent). For example, there are things called "sight words" that your children start learning in Kindergarten. They are words that they should just know what they are on sight...not having to sound them out (ex: the, and, look, like, etc). My mom is an elementary school teacher in Washington state. She teaches in what is considered to be a very good school district. The list of sight words her Kindergartners should know is 45 words. At my daughter's elementary school (in CCSD), it's 101 words.

Another thing is not just the academics, but the school environment. My daughter's elementary school not only gives kids the opportunity to go to art, gym, music and computer lab, but they also have the opportunity to be in the marching band and choir (in elementary school). With all the talk of schools cutting down to the basic academic stuff, it's nice that at least in our school district, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Incidentally, the other huge thing about going to a school district that people specifically move into the area for is that you have a lot of parental involvement. Our monthly PTA meetings have an average of 50 people. Most schools consider themselves lucky if 10 people show up.

Finally, last Fall, there was a school bond/levy election. Schools needed money to pay for building improvements, classroom equipment and extra schools (to avoid overcrowding). CCSD's levy passed. Douglas County's failed. Currently, the school boards are trying to figure out a way to pay for the things they need. At last news conference, they were considering cutting the school week down to 4 days and combining the junior high and high school students on the same bus routes. With the state budget shortfall, the first thing to get cut is education. At our last PTA meeting, the school superintendent talked to us about how lucky we are that our bond/levy passed. Having a shortfall from the state AND no money from the bond/levy election is going to have some serious consequences for districts like Douglas County.

Don't forget that it's YOU who will make a difference in your kids' education. However, if your child is in a great school district which expects him to compete with kids around the country AND you are involved in their education, there is no limit to where they will go.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,600,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bindenver View Post
You are right. The slogan for CCSD has been there so long, people just believe it without question.
Not sure where you are going with this statement, especially since you are a real estate agent. CCSD is an excellent school district. The slogan (Dedicated to Excellence) is there because it has a reputation that it has kept for a number of years (my daughter's elementary school just celebrated its 10th anniversary). It also was just designated as “Accredited with Distinction,” the highest rating possible under the Colorado Department of Education’s new accreditation system

There is not a school district in the country that can claim that every single one of their schools is outstanding. Parents play a huge role in their kids' education. However, when a parent is getting ready to move to a new area, it helps (when they ask the question) to let them know where they have an above average chance of getting their kid in a great school.

While people shouldn't put too much faith in greatschools.net, I have found that it at least gives parents an idea of what they can expect. I also don't put too much faith in elementary school statistics...I look mainly at high schools because a good high school is rarely going to be good if a poorly performing elementary school and middle school feed into it. Also, a poorly peforming high school can affect the area around it. With that being said, according to greatschools.net, Cherry Creek SD has only 1 high school that ranks below a 7 out of 10. The exact same statistics are in Douglas County SD.

Cherry Creek SD is an excellent one. The chances of finding a poorly performing school is lower than nearly anywhere else in the city. I don't think it speaks well for Douglas County residents (some of the wealthiest in the state) that they didn't vote for a bond that was the equivalent of 3 cups of coffee ($11) per month. Cherry Creek SD does have wealthier areas, but most of it is firmly middle class. Perhaps the fact that they passed their bond/levy means that they actually CARE about the school district and quality of their neighborhood schools and moved into their neighborhoods specifically to put their kids in that district. Parents who chose this area specifically for the SD are going to make sure it's a good one, whether they volunteer at the school, attend PTA functions, or just vote for the bond/levies that come through.

Don't mislead a parent looking for a good school district in a new city because you have some unwarranted bias against it. HR has 3 main high schools (Highlands Ranch HS, Arapahoe HS and Thunderridge HS) which rate "excellent" and "high". In my area, the 3 high schools (Cherry Creek HS, Smoky Hill HS and Grandview HS) all rate "excellent" and "high" as well.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:03 PM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,892 posts, read 29,338,995 times
Reputation: 7095
Default seek first to understand

Quote:
Originally Posted by the3Ds View Post
Not sure where you are going with this statement, especially since you are a real estate agent.
I am not a real estate agent. I am a licensed real estate broker. Ask 10 people on the street - what is the best school district in CO and they will say Cherry Creek - without hesitation. It's a brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the3Ds View Post
Don't mislead a parent looking for a good school district in a new city because you have some unwarranted bias against it. HR has 3 main high schools (Highlands Ranch HS, Arapahoe HS and Thunderridge HS) which rate "excellent" and "high". In my area, the 3 high schools (Cherry Creek HS, Smoky Hill HS and Grandview HS) all rate "excellent" and "high" as well.
Say what? I am not misleading anyone here.

Arapahoe HS is in the Littleton School District. HR has 4 high schools. Add Rock Canyon & Mountain Vista All 9's or 10's.
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