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Old 02-22-2012, 11:27 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,230 times
Reputation: 15

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We are moving to Houston with our young children and have been debating on which neighborhood to live in. We are planning on going to public schools and have all of the test score data but, of course, that doesn't always tell the entire picture. I am looking for insight and comments on bullying, homework amounts per evening (elementary thru high school), teen pregnancy rates, drug use rates (amongst middle school and high school students), parent/pta involvement and any other helpful information. The neighborhoods we are considering Memorial (spring branch isd), West University (west u elementary), the Heights (harvard and travis elementary), Upper Kirby (poe elementary) and Bellaire (condit and horn elementary) (don't want to be any farther out due to commute times).

Any insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:40 AM
 
3 posts, read 5,653 times
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Poe Elementary and West University Elementary are both highly regarded. You would want the middle school to be Lanier and the High School to be Lamar. Buying into the West U. school district will cost more than buying the Poe Elementary district.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:02 PM
 
2,140 posts, read 3,124,243 times
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If you can afford West U why not just go private and live where you want?
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:11 PM
 
613 posts, read 855,661 times
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Because for many people it is a choice between an expensive house and public school or a less expensive house and private school. It is not a given that everyone who lives in West U can afford to live there AND afford to send kids to private school. Some can, some can't.

In any case, to the OP, my kids go to West U Elementary. As far as public schools go it is very good. The school manages to avoid the intense focus on "studying the test" for the standardized tests that many public schools have. No notable bullying that I have seen. My kids like it.

Downsides of any public school are funding cuts and the resulting need to eliminate certain programs like the art program (gone). Unlike other schools, West U parents can generally afford to fund these things themselves, so we have a monthly parent sponsored and led art program, for example.

Middle schools and high schools are an issue. West U zones to Pershing with an option for Pin Oak and Lanier based on waiting list (no waiting list for Pershing). Where you have 200+ kids at the kindergarten level at WUES over 10 classes, by the time you get to middle school only a small fraction of that will go to Pershing. The school is generally okay but draws from a larger area which creates some issues West U parents are wary about. Most try to get into Pin Oak or Lanier and many switch over to private school for middle school.

As noted above, housing in West U is far more expensive than in the Poe District. Average listed price right now in West U is around $800k. $1-2 million is pretty common.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Houston - Willow Meadows
15 posts, read 32,532 times
Reputation: 26
Default Avoid HISD

Of the neighborhoods you mentioned I would only recommend Memorial because it's NOT HISD. Unfortunately, the reason that so many young families have to live in the suburbs is specifically for this reason - there are no GREAT schools in the Houston City limits, even the best ones are not that great anymore. It's sad and it used to not be that way when I was in school. A lot of the families I know chose to live in close and sacrifice the prestigious neighborhoods for the private schooling. There are many close in neighborhoods that are MUCH more affordable than those you mentioned such as Meyerland, Willow Meadows, Braeswood and I'm sure a few others that don't come to mind (not as much cache but just as convenient). I would never recommend HISD. The only public school I would definitely consider is Memorial High School but you are a ways from that decision. Many Memorial kids went to private schools for elem and middle. Well I wish you the best but you will be much happier with Spring Branch. Just ask around when you get here. The good news is that while our housing market hasn't crashed it is still more of a buyers market than a sellers one so you will get a good deal on a home wherever you decide to settle. Best of Luck to you!!
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Knob Hill
2,053 posts, read 3,094,915 times
Reputation: 2241
Quote:
Originally Posted by dehouston View Post
The good news is that while our housing market hasn't crashed it is still more of a buyers market than a sellers one so you will get a good deal on a home wherever you decide to settle.
Except, of course, in Memorial.

Stratford is good too, I know parents who have chosen Stratford over Memorial and private.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:18 AM
 
10 posts, read 50,997 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dehouston View Post
Of the neighborhoods you mentioned I would only recommend Memorial because it's NOT HISD. Unfortunately, the reason that so many young families have to live in the suburbs is specifically for this reason - there are no GREAT schools in the Houston City limits, even the best ones are not that great anymore. It's sad and it used to not be that way when I was in school. A lot of the families I know chose to live in close and sacrifice the prestigious neighborhoods for the private schooling. There are many close in neighborhoods that are MUCH more affordable than those you mentioned such as Meyerland, Willow Meadows, Braeswood and I'm sure a few others that don't come to mind (not as much cache but just as convenient). I would never recommend HISD. The only public school I would definitely consider is Memorial High School but you are a ways from that decision. Many Memorial kids went to private schools for elem and middle. Well I wish you the best but you will be much happier with Spring Branch. Just ask around when you get here. The good news is that while our housing market hasn't crashed it is still more of a buyers market than a sellers one so you will get a good deal on a home wherever you decide to settle. Best of Luck to you!!
This is so completely wrong that it's sad. First, at the ES level River Oaks Elementary, TH Rogers and West U Elementary are stronger than any of the Spring Branch schools you listed. And ROE as an International Baccalaureate-Vanguard magnet school did not lose funding last year, (or more accurately, they lost a little, added two new kindergarten classes and so made up the difference and kept class sizes small). Moreover TH Rogers also did not lose funding due to its status as a strictly Vanguard school. In contrast, all of the Spring Branch schools lost funding. Last time I checked, SBISD is publicly funded by the state of TX. Turning to middle schools, TH Rogers is the highest rated public MS in the state of Texas. You can look it up if you don't believe me. One has to test in but so too does a child have to test in to be in the Vanguard programs at Lanier or Pin Oak. And all 3 of these schools are academically superior to the Spring Branch Middle Schools. I will grant you that for the average intelligence child, the SB middle schools are on par with the non-Vanguard program at Lanier. Otherwise it's not even a close race. At the HS level, Carnegie Vanguard, Bellaire and the IB program at Lamar are all hugely competitive. Bellaire had something like 4 perfect SAT grads last year alone. So please stop trashing HISD. There are pathways to Tier 1 education thru HISD; you just have to know where to apply.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Westbury
3,283 posts, read 4,905,975 times
Reputation: 2922
dehouston has made a virtually exact same post before. memorial hs principal? didn't know you all had to advertise for students


and yeah dont listen to them
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:52 PM
 
55 posts, read 91,141 times
Reputation: 65
also dont forget that carnegie, bellaire, and debakey destroy any suburban high school
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Knob Hill
2,053 posts, read 3,094,915 times
Reputation: 2241
Somewhere in between all these rantings lies the truth.
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