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Old 10-13-2021, 02:02 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,971 times
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We live in Allen Park, which is a great location for work (we travel all over metro Detroit), family (most of our family is downriver). But we are concerned with the direction of Allen Park. We have small kids who have not started school and we are not confident that AP will have the same schools, demographics, etc in 15 years. We are reluctantly looking to move. Has anyone moved from Allen Park to Plymouth, Northville, South Lyon area? Any regrets or was it a great decision? We like the walkability in Allen Park and how the neighborhood is maintained. But we do not seem to have a lot in common with some of the new residents moving in, and I am not talking about race. We just have not found anything that has been a slam dunk. Many of the areas in Northville for instance, are just not worth the money in my opinion. And downtown Plymouth is super nice, but there are still a lot of junky houses and the neighborhood seems really dislocated. Same goes for Northville. The Schools in AP are still really good, and I am not sure my kids would get a significantly better education in Plymouth-Canton. Or maybe they would?
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Old 10-15-2021, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,306 posts, read 75,197,082 times
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Plymouth and Northville are both great places to live - if you live within walking distance of downtown. If not - still a great place to live but not worth the premium that you pay compared to adjoining townships. Both places are quite expensive. South Lyon is an odd place. It grows and grows but there are still almost no decent places to eat. Instead it gets fast food and autoparts places. (I grew up there and our family home is still there). There is a downtown, sort of, but there is almost nothing in it. You may want to look at Brighton, Milford and Farmington as well.
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:58 AM
 
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As always, what's your budget?

Regarding school ratings, keep in mind that they mostly reflect student test scores not teacher quality. The biggest predictor of academic success is having parents who value it. Northville and Plymouth are home to a lot of well-educated, upper-middle-class people who value education and instill that in their children. Allen Park on the other hand is generally lower-middle-class and blue collar. Not a bad place to live of course, it's just that not as many parents have college degrees and so their kids generally don't do as well in school. There's no guarantee that the quality of your kids' educational experience is going to be better in Plymouth-Canton than in Allen Park (although I suppose schools are likely to be better funded due to greater wealth in that district). People with class aspirations tend to move to areas with "good schools" and that desirability makes them rather expensive to live in. Which may or may not be more than you can afford. Sociological rant over.

What I'm trying to say is that it basically comes down to what environment you want your kids to grow up in and what you can realistically afford.
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Old 10-22-2021, 09:09 AM
 
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Thanks for the feedback. I have often considered the fact that some average income communities that have high performing schools, might actually be better than the schools that are at the top. Basically as you have said, that the parents play a large role in their childs education.

We can basically afford to live anywhere in Metro Detroit, but moving to an outer ring suburb is a big step. Also we are not a fan of urban sprawling suburbs and heavy traffic. Our main concern is that in 15 years, the people in Allen Park will no longer be a middle class community. We were hoping that it would be the opposite, and Allen Park would go the route of Berkley, for example. Allen Park has better schools, better houses and nicer looking neighborhoods than a lot of those bedroom communities in Oakland county. We also have heard of people moving from Royal Oak because they could by the same price in Allen Park for half the price. However, being "Downriver" always is a negative selling point, even with the proximity to white collar jobs.
Its unfortunate, we love our neighborhood, but not liking the majority of the new neighbors.....
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Old 10-23-2021, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,306 posts, read 75,197,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secondbreakfast View Post
As always, what's your budget?

Regarding school ratings, keep in mind that they mostly reflect student test scores not teacher quality. The biggest predictor of academic success is having parents who value it. Northville and Plymouth are home to a lot of well-educated, upper-middle-class people who value education and instill that in their children. Allen Park on the other hand is generally lower-middle-class and blue collar. Not a bad place to live of course, it's just that not as many parents have college degrees and so their kids generally don't do as well in school. There's no guarantee that the quality of your kids' educational experience is going to be better in Plymouth-Canton than in Allen Park (although I suppose schools are likely to be better funded due to greater wealth in that district). People with class aspirations tend to move to areas with "good schools" and that desirability makes them rather expensive to live in. Which may or may not be more than you can afford. Sociological rant over.

What I'm trying to say is that it basically comes down to what environment you want your kids to grow up in and what you can realistically afford.
While I agree with this premise. There is another factor at play in the higher performing schools and that is peer pressure. IF your kids go to school with mostly kids who at raised with an emphasis on academic performance, they will be more included to skip a party to study, or play. Their friends will understand because they do the same thing. This has some impact as well. How much is unknown, but there is an impact there.



However school rankings are more a tool for real estate persons than for determining which school is best for your kids.



Some of our kids went to schools in California that are considered "bad" or even "terrible" However when we moved to Michigan on a top school district, they were ahead in some subjects on pace in some and a tiny bit behind in some. Our kids who went all the way through school in an excellent rated school district did nto do any better than their sibling who initially went to "terrible" schools. It is more about you, your kids and their friends than what schools they go to.



The other thing we learned was that some of our kids thrive in competitive schools while others do better when in less competitive schools. Do they strive to keep up or surpass their peers, or do they realize they will never be the top student and just say to heck with it I will not bother? Alas, that is determined by what your kids are actually like, not by what you want them to be like to imagine them to be like. Our kids were a mix. Some hyper competitive and needing to be driven, some chill.
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Old 01-06-2022, 06:47 AM
 
2,209 posts, read 3,271,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mintdent12 View Post
We live in Allen Park, which is a great location for work (we travel all over metro Detroit), family (most of our family is downriver). But we are concerned with the direction of Allen Park. We have small kids who have not started school and we are not confident that AP will have the same schools, demographics, etc in 15 years. We are reluctantly looking to move. Has anyone moved from Allen Park to Plymouth, Northville, South Lyon area? Any regrets or was it a great decision? We like the walkability in Allen Park and how the neighborhood is maintained. But we do not seem to have a lot in common with some of the new residents moving in, and I am not talking about race. We just have not found anything that has been a slam dunk. Many of the areas in Northville for instance, are just not worth the money in my opinion. And downtown Plymouth is super nice, but there are still a lot of junky houses and the neighborhood seems really dislocated. Same goes for Northville. The Schools in AP are still really good, and I am not sure my kids would get a significantly better education in Plymouth-Canton. Or maybe they would?
I can give you some perspective on this as we moved from a blue collar community very similar to Allen Park to Novi because of the schools. I'm guessing when you say you don't "fit in" its due to your neighbors' education and professions. I get that, and we felt the same way in the first community we lived in.

Given its proximity to Northville and Plymouth, Novi is very similar to those 2 communities in regards to income, education and school rankings. Novi's schools are consistently ranked top 5 in the state every year. The advantages over other school districts here are what you would expect -- affluent community that funds its schools very well. That results in the district being able to attract a lot of great and dedicated teachers who stay here. There is a lot of extracurriculars and programming in our school district which allows kids to find whatever their interests and hobbies are. Out of everything in the district, we have been the most impressed with the dedication of the teaching and administrative staff.

My son is in middle school and is very engaged in school. He does well but is definitely not one of the super achievers of which there are many in Novi. Testing into a higher level math is a very big thing in his school which he wasn't able to do. My wife and I don't really care and think he should be in whatever math he is supposed to be in. But it is a huge deal among some kids and parents. I hear the academic competition ramps up considerably once they get into high school. But my wife and I do not put that kind of pressure on him and never will. So whatever kind of district you are in - competitive or not - its going to come down to your influence on your kid.

My son is very athletic and plays travel sports. One thing I find amusing in Novi is that the jocky kids like him are NOT the cool kids. In fact, he's gotten down occassionally because the ultra high academic achievers are at the top of the social hierarchy in his middle school. The high school sports teams are all pretty bad but the school has several robotics teams that compete on a national level. Revenge of the nerds, I suppose. But my son has found the other sports-oriented kids in his school and they are great friends.

Overall, I'm glad we moved here. My son is very engaged in school and has made a lot of friends. There are a lot of parents who are like us and we've made some great friends here. There are plenty of kids who are outside of the super achiever bubble and my son has found a healthy niche. But I can see how the overly involved parents can make life difficult for their kids at this school. In the end, its all about how you want to raise your kid. No school environment is going to fit them perfectly which is a pretty good metaphor for how they will encounter life.
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:54 PM
 
1 posts, read 940 times
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Default Shout Out for the Village of Dixboro

@Mintdent12 - Some thoughts, FWIW

Since you mentioned South Lyon, you may want to find a school district map, like the one I found on the Washtenaw Community College site. It's a bit confusing, as it is labeled the WCC District boundaries map, but I think it really is a public school district map, which is what you will be looking for. Also, I'm not certain how current this map is, as it leaves off a 'newer' high school in Ann Arbor called Skyline.

Note how far Ann Arbor Schools district runs north east of Ann Arbor.

[url]https://www.wccnet.edu/webfiles/about-us/transparency/web/wcc-district-boundries.pdf[/url]

I myself, and my wife, currently reside in Superior Township, in the heart of the unincorporated Village of Dixboro, and also in that part of the Ann Arbor schools district, NE of Ann Arbor. Taxes not as high as city of Ann Arbor proper, but we observe the neighborhood kids getting onto the bus to get to the Ann Arbor schools they attend. Our Ann Arbor District Library cards come along with being in the school district ( an excellent resource ).

Our mail is addressed Ann Arbor, 48105.

In addition to the school district boundaries, be aware of the zip code map, in particular the zone of 48105, as compared to the zones for 48197 and 48198. There are some those higher codes who were working actively to be moved into 48105. My opinion is they are concerned their property values don't reflect an Ann Arbor address, even though they live very close to Ann Arbor. But then, "Who knows what is in a man's heart." - Maddy Ross

We haven't been blessed with children, so I cannot comment on bringing them through one or more school districts, but you may want to research the policies the school districts have had during the pandemic. At least to see if the temper of the school district's leaders will align with your own leanings. i.e. Remote school vs in-person education. I have heard some horror stories from colleagues about children suddenly needing adult supervision at home since they are suddenly changed to remote learning.

One last plus, that I wish I could take more advantage of. Dixboro is adjacent to East Ann Arbor Medical Center ( Michigan Medicine ). Michigan Medicine has a gratis bus service from there through UM North Campus and to the main medical campus on the edge of downtown Ann Arbor and the UM Main Campus if time is of no object. It takes a bit of time to get there and back again, but it can be a good option if you don't like dealing with traffic.

Our housing experience - We both grew up a lifetime ago in blue collar families, near Joy and Telegraph, she in Redford Twp, and I in Dearborn Heights. We have enjoyed some upward mobility due to educations in state universities ( Wayne State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder ).

In the 30 plus years we have been married we have lived in far-away Boulder County, Colorado; downtown Whitmore Lake, Dearborn Heights, near Ford and Outer Drive; and then bustling Kerrytown in Downtown Ann Arbor, and now in Dixboro.
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