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Old 08-19-2017, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Middle America
33,014 posts, read 34,702,831 times
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We are about three blocks from our assigned elementary school, two miles from our assigned middle school, and a mile from our assigned high school, which will be handy when my kids start school. We live in one of the most highly ranked public school districts in the state, so there's no real reason to shop around at the local private schools (several of which, my spouse is an alumnus of).
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Old 08-19-2017, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
13,686 posts, read 7,022,798 times
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I think it depends on what "better" and "fine" mean - and just how specifically you are using those terms in reference to your kids.

I live in an enrollment zone within my school district, which means that you don't automatically get assigned to the school nearest to your home. There are 5 middle schools in the zone, and we got to rank them in order of preference. Just about everyone gets into their first or second choice, with I think something around 85% getting their first choice.

The schools vary in educational approaches and styles, and people mostly try to make a thoughtful choice on the right fit for their child - in a number of families I know, that has meant that their kids go to different schools as the right fit for Child 1 wasn't the right fit for Child 2, etc. I think people would say there is a bit a of hierarchy with people ranking the schools, but that actually changes over time. And just about everyone I know is happy with their child's school - none of them are bad by any means, they just tend to cycle through opinions about which one is "the best" at any given time.

If the nearby school is a great fit for your kid, I'd go with it, even if the distant school is supposed to be objectively slightly better. But if you really feel like the distant school offers something your kid can't get anywhere else, then I'd figure out how to make it work - probably some combo of carpooling, hiring someone for some of the school runs, sucking it up and putting in a lot of time in the car. But there is a value to not spending all that time on a long commute every day, for you and for the kids, so the distant school needs to offer something special enough to make it worth it - and I'd say that is a pretty high bar.
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Old 08-19-2017, 03:40 PM
 
3,811 posts, read 9,386,384 times
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2 years ago I put my son in a charter school. It was 20 miles away. It would take about an hour and 45 min. R/T in the am and about an hour to an hour 15 in the afternoons.

Is there any way to carpool?
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Old 08-19-2017, 03:55 PM
 
Location: San Diego
417 posts, read 383,398 times
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Up to 30 minutes (which is how far the charter school is where they go). Anything more than that, I would seriously consider moving closer to the school.
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Old 08-19-2017, 04:22 PM
Status: "On Break" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,413 posts, read 91,857,189 times
Reputation: 28071
Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
I think it depends on what "better" and "fine" mean - and just how specifically you are using those terms in reference to your kids.

I live in an enrollment zone within my school district, which means that you don't automatically get assigned to the school nearest to your home. There are 5 middle schools in the zone, and we got to rank them in order of preference. Just about everyone gets into their first or second choice, with I think something around 85% getting their first choice.

The schools vary in educational approaches and styles, and people mostly try to make a thoughtful choice on the right fit for their child - in a number of families I know, that has meant that their kids go to different schools as the right fit for Child 1 wasn't the right fit for Child 2, etc. I think people would say there is a bit a of hierarchy with people ranking the schools, but that actually changes over time. And just about everyone I know is happy with their child's school - none of them are bad by any means, they just tend to cycle through opinions about which one is "the best" at any given time.

If the nearby school is a great fit for your kid, I'd go with it, even if the distant school is supposed to be objectively slightly better. But if you really feel like the distant school offers something your kid can't get anywhere else, then I'd figure out how to make it work - probably some combo of carpooling, hiring someone for some of the school runs, sucking it up and putting in a lot of time in the car. But there is a value to not spending all that time on a long commute every day, for you and for the kids, so the distant school needs to offer something special enough to make it worth it - and I'd say that is a pretty high bar.
I agree with all of this, particularly the bold.

As for carpooling, I'll just say this: be careful! I like to say they're the devil's work. I was in one for three years of middle school with my oldest. When my father died in another state, you'd have thought I was asking for time off from the carpool to go on a trip to Hawaii or something. And these were people I thought were friends! All sorts of little things come up, things you can't anticipate in advance. When my youngest went to MS, we had a smaller carpool in the morning (just two kids) and the public (city) bus in the afternoon.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:35 PM
 
4,767 posts, read 2,230,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
I agree with all of this, particularly the bold.

As for carpooling, I'll just say this: be careful! I like to say they're the devil's work. I was in one for three years of middle school with my oldest. When my father died in another state, you'd have thought I was asking for time off from the carpool to go on a trip to Hawaii or something. And these were people I thought were friends! All sorts of little things come up, things you can't anticipate in advance. When my youngest went to MS, we had a smaller carpool in the morning (just two kids) and the public (city) bus in the afternoon.
I carpooled when my kids were in elementary school until my daughter (who was in third grade) told me one of the other mothers "smelled funny" and "smoked" in the car.

I started paying closer attention when she dropped my kids off and realized her car reeked of marijuana. This was someone who was very involved with the PTA, and a "mother of the year" type in the eyes of many people in our community.

After that, I always drove my own kids where they needed to go, unless it was an absolute emergency.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:21 AM
Status: "Fallen " (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
2,595 posts, read 1,007,888 times
Reputation: 8040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia_Rose View Post
Getting there and back is just one part of it. Will you be willing to drive your kids to all their after school activities and to visit any friends they make at school. What if one wants to play a sport.

No kids but speaking as a kid who was a victim of forced busing I vote for the closer school especially since OP says its a fine school.

I missed out on a lot because my Mom worked and couldn't take me to after school activities etc.
Also Ive noticed that Moms tend to meet each other thru their kids. If most of your kids friends are far away then both of you will miss out. If your kids go to the closer school they & you will become more a part of the neighborhood.
This is very true; my kids go to school with a lot of kids that can't participate in anything because if they don't go home on the bus, nobody can pick them up until after 6pm when most activities will end 445-5pm.

During December-January; it's cold & DARK by 5pm.

During the late 1990's & early 2000's the MS's & HS's would have an after hours "sports" bus available to transport kids who wanted to do anything from Athletics, Academics & Arts. On game days, busing was available to & from games.

Post budget cuts; there is no after hours busing & game day busing is to game only. Parents are asked to sign forms saying that they are aware that their ability to pick up students after practice & games is required for student participation because the coaches can't leave the site until every student has been picked up. They are also not allowed to transport students in their personal vehicle so some coaches have said that they have been left waiting for parents until after 8pm.

Participation in these activities; IMO; is what keeps kids interested in learning. You can live in a low-income household with a struggling school district & still have high achieving kids if they are involved with like-minded peers & those teachers that are motivated to invest in them.
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:25 AM
 
Location: interior Alaska
3,051 posts, read 2,372,730 times
Reputation: 7948
Depends on what you mean by "better." For a slight bump in standardized test scores, heck no. For better programming that's relevant to my kid's interests or needs, absolutely.
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
6,990 posts, read 1,736,841 times
Reputation: 6997
No, I would not. I purchased a home based on the schools my children would be going to and made sure they were top notch. I do have a friends who's child gets on a train and spends an hour getting to s private high school as the sports program there brings in top scouts for colleges. I get that is their motivation! For elementary school and middle school I would move to make sure I had excellent schools nearby and send them there.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:04 PM
Status: "Kimo crack corn. Ainokea." (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Big Island of Hawaii
1,518 posts, read 459,212 times
Reputation: 3595
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
s no real reason to shop around at the local private schools (several of which, my spouse is an alumnus of).
Um, does that mean your spouse was kicked out of a bunch of them?
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