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Old 05-12-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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We are a family moving to Fargo and would like to know where the best public schools are. Also what parts of town are good places to rent,we will be looking for a house that is reasonably priced and we don't have a clue what parts to look in, are they all good?
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:14 AM
 
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You should provide more information about the home that you're seeking. In this part of the country, it's generally better to have an apartment than a house (are you prepared for the exterior maintenance?).

As for schools, it doesn't get any better than Montessori
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Fargo, ND
418 posts, read 1,185,440 times
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So much depends on:
1. Where in the FM metro your jobs are
2. What type/style of house you are looking for
3. What you define as a good neighborhood

In terms of schools, my kids went to the paired Clara Barton/Hawthorne Elementary (1 principal, grades k-2 at the Hawthorne building, 3-5 at Clara Barton). It is in the historic area of South Fargo, so if you're okay with older homes, I would strongly recommend it and it's a neighborhood close to downtown, if that is where employment is. On the south side, Jefferson Elementary probably has not as strong of reputation due to dome of the socio-economically challenged neighborhoods it serves. Lincoln Elementary also has a good reputation. Clara Barton/Hawthorne, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Lewis & Clark elementaries all feed into Carl Ben Eielson Middle School, and then into South High. Our older son is finishing at Carl Ben and has had a very positive experience.
Farther south in Fargo--Centennial, Bennett, and Kennedy elementaries feed into Discovery Middle School, and then in 2011 will feed into the new Judge Davies High School. Many of those are newer schools and have somewhat less established reputations. Centennial is very large--over 800 kids so for some families they feel that their kids get lost. Some of the most affluent areas of south Fargo are included in this area, so it will be interesting to see how this shakes out when South High school splits into two schools. If your job is with Microsoft or some other employer on the SW edge of town, these may be more appealing options.
On the North side of town, Longfellow is the most highly regarded school and neighborhood--but again, these are all perceptions. The most at risk kids are probably at Madison Elementary. McKinley, Horace Mann/Roosevelt (another paired school) and Washington are all solid schools, but don't have the cache of Longfellow.
All in all, we've been very pleased w/ Fargo Public Schools, and in particular their support of gifted/talented programs and music education. My older son plays string bass; when I talk to people in other states/districts, they are amazed that for a relatively small insurance fee he has the use of a bass year-round at home, and then there are additional instruments at school so that vehicle size/ability to transport was not a factor in being able to play in the instrument he wanted to play.
Right now, West Fargo Public Schools (which does serve some areas that physically w/in the City of Fargo limits) just hired a new superintendent; there have been communication/morale issues in the past years and two proposals for building new schools to handle increased population have been voted down. On the MN side of the river, Moorhead Public Schools, like all districts in MN, is struggling to cope w/ the results of the MN budget mess. Their class sizes at the elementary level have really increased in the last couple of years due to teacher layoffs.
Long-winded, and like any school situation--the reality on the ground all depends on the teacher in the classroom who makes all the difference.
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:24 PM
 
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I work for the Fargo Public School district and concur with the above poster. However, I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the schools if it comes down to it. Madison DOES have the most at-risk kids and is Title 1 but it's 'distinguished' and has a really nice feel to it. You probably wouldn't want to live in its cachement area, however. Jefferson has a bad rep due to the socio-economic status of its cachement area but it is a brand new, beautiful facility. As for the rest of the schools mentioned above, they are all good schools but you may not liek the idea of having your children switch schools halfway through elementary school. The upside to that is the separate schools are small and friendly.

All three middle schools are very nice and any one of them would be good for your children.

I disagree with the poster who suggested Dakota Montessori. I'm a former employee, and it's fine, but unless you're determined to pay out the nose for a private school and are a strong advocate of Montessori philosophy (I'm not), I wouldn't bother.

No one has mentioned West Fargo, which as its own district, but I'm not familiar with the area or the schools.

Regarding rentals, the farther south you go the newer everything is, but less established with less personality. The futher north you go the older the houses are but the area is prettier with more trees and has more character.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:21 AM
 
19 posts, read 44,820 times
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Originally Posted by dutchinnd View Post
On the North side of town, Longfellow is the most highly regarded school and neighborhood--but again, these are all perceptions.
Hmm, I went to Longfellow and didn't know I was so lucky! It was a great experience though, so maybe there is something to it. I don't live in that neighborhood anymore, but it's a frequent target for bike rides and it really is a great part of town. But most parts of town are pretty good.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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As far as the north part of town, I've not met any public daycare children who were anywhere near the caliber of the those who attended Oak Grove.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:46 AM
 
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The original posted question was from 2008. Does anyone have new insight 4+ years later? We are relocating to Fargo and I am a NERVOUS mother of an 11year old boy.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Fargo, ND
418 posts, read 1,185,440 times
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What are some of the things that you are looking for in terms of education for your son? Sports? Arts? Sci-tech enrichment?
I would say that some of the points from the earlier posts are still correct:
All three middle schools in Fargo are really solid. The Fargo Public School board is just finishing up its long-range facilities plan for the next 10 years. They've made a commitment to keep all the neighborhood elementary schools open, even those with student populations around 300 (many of the new schools are built for 600-700 students). They're a little concerned about the enrollment numbers for the North side schools not staying high enough to be able to offer multiple electives, AP courses, etc., but that's a longer term view.
West Fargo is still grappling with close-to-exponential growth. If the current population trends continue, they would have enough new kids moving into the district to fill an additional elementary every 18 months. They've opened a new elementary, are starting a new high school next year, a second elementary is currently under construction, and they are considering a third. West Fargo has a formalized STEM program that has had a waiting list of kids to get into the limited number of slots.
Moorhead's fiscal situation is getting a little better with the improvement to the State of MN's financial health and payments from the state being restored. This district is also experiencing growth and is planning to add classrooms to existing buildings.
They have had a long-standing fabulous theater program and have been recognized as a Grammy-award high school for excellence in music education.
My two sons are at Fargo South, which does probably make me biased. Davies High School (far south & southwestern Fargo) has a slightly higher socio-economic level, which can make for more student participation in sports & music ensembles, which can make for stronger teams. I would note, however, that in terms of academics, Fargo South took first in the Tri-College Math competition last year, qualified for Nationals in the Academic Knowledge teams competition, and continued its winning streak in the Tri-State (ND, SD, & MN schools) Economics Challenge (over 10 years running at this point).

Any specific needs or wishes for your son that you have questions about?
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:00 PM
 
511 posts, read 767,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoGirl1 View Post
I work for the Fargo Public School district and concur with the above poster. However, I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the schools if it comes down to it. Madison DOES have the most at-risk kids and is Title 1 but it's 'distinguished' and has a really nice feel to it. You probably wouldn't want to live in its cachement area, however. Jefferson has a bad rep due to the socio-economic status of its cachement area but it is a brand new, beautiful facility. As for the rest of the schools mentioned above, they are all good schools but you may not liek the idea of having your children switch schools halfway through elementary school. The upside to that is the separate schools are small and friendly.

All three middle schools are very nice and any one of them would be good for your children.

I disagree with the poster who suggested Dakota Montessori. I'm a former employee, and it's fine, but unless you're determined to pay out the nose for a private school and are a strong advocate of Montessori philosophy (I'm not), I wouldn't bother.

No one has mentioned West Fargo, which as its own district, but I'm not familiar with the area or the schools.

Regarding rentals, the farther south you go the newer everything is, but less established with less personality. The futher north you go the older the houses are but the area is prettier with more trees and has more character.

Hope that helps.
It looks like I will be moving up in Mid December. My wife, may or may not move up in the summer. If she does she may want a job at a school district. Today she is the Technology Director at a small school here in Texas. It is a very poor district, something like 85 percent qualify for reduced or free lunches.

She is about burned out being the sole technology person for the entire district and would like to be someones assistant. Ideas for where to look would be nice.

For myself I am tempted to look for something in downtown a pay a little premium for it, but getting a cheap studio in West Fargo appeals also. I like old downtown areas, but I am not a partier and am way too old for the college crowd. (My first grand baby is on the way, and my baby boy has graduated college and is finding himself, or something in Central America.)

Thanks in advance
Qazulight
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:00 AM
 
4,230 posts, read 5,737,784 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qazulight View Post
It looks like I will be moving up in Mid December. My wife, may or may not move up in the summer. If she does she may want a job at a school district. Today she is the Technology Director at a small school here in Texas. It is a very poor district, something like 85 percent qualify for reduced or free lunches.

She is about burned out being the sole technology person for the entire district and would like to be someones assistant. Ideas for where to look would be nice.

For myself I am tempted to look for something in downtown a pay a little premium for it, but getting a cheap studio in West Fargo appeals also. I like old downtown areas, but I am not a partier and am way too old for the college crowd. (My first grand baby is on the way, and my baby boy has graduated college and is finding himself, or something in Central America.)

Thanks in advance
Qazulight
I'd start looking for a studio ASAP they get spoken for pretty quick. I've found a lot of them don't have garage unless you want to wait. I ended up renting a 1 bedroom in South Fargo just because I wanted a garage. I'm hoping to be out of Fargo in a year and half. I don't think the area is for me.
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