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Old 09-24-2016, 01:10 PM
1 posts, read 859 times
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We are considering relocating to Bloomington next year. I am interested to know the best High School in terms of safety and test scores, also college readiness. I am also interested in the best neighborhoods. Although a house would be nice I am also very open to buying condo/apartment that is large and close to downtown. In particular how safe is Bloomington? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:05 AM
Location: Bloomington IN
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There are 5 high schools in MCCSC plus the high school (Edgewood) in the district, Richland-Bean Blossom, that serves Ellettsville.

I'll assume you're not interested in the Graduation School which is for students that are at risk for not graduating or have previously dropped out. Hoosier Hills Career Center focuses on building and skilled trades, child care, etc. for those students that want to get a jump start on careers outside of a traditional college degree area.

Personally we never considered the Academy of Science and Technology for our children. It's gone through several iterations as a project oriented high school and technology high school. There are exceptions, but the best and brightest in Bloomington don't typically attend this school as there are fewer advanced classes, etc. It serves a niche that is a bit hard to describe.

The above three schools are open to students living anywhere in the district.

That leaves Bloomington North and Bloomington South. I am a former high school teacher. When we moved here 15 plus years ago we researched each school. What we found is that they really are equivalent in quality and prep for college. One year South has higher test scores. The next year North has higher scores. Courses offered are generally equivalent. There are numerous opportunities for advanced placement classes and college level foreign language courses at each school. Both schools offer dual credit courses that allow students to receive college credit in English and Math. The credit is issued by IU. Some students also take a class at IU while in high school. Our son took a couple computer science classes at IU while in high school. Both of our children graduated from South. Both started college technically as sophomores due the credits they received in AP courses, dual college courses, and from taking 6 years of foreign language starting in middle school.

The big difference is the schedule followed in each high school. North follows a block schedule with 3 trimesters. South follows a more traditional 2 semester schedule.

What you need to know is that this is a town built around the University and education. It matters here and expectations are high for a quality education and college prep. Graduates are admitted to colleges all over the country including elite Ivy League schools.

Most of the downtown area is assigned to Bloomington North. The link below shows the boundary map. You can also put in an address to find the assigned school.

Overview / Boundary Maps

Both are safe schools.

About living downtown: east of Walnut will be primarily student neighborhoods closest to downtown. Most of the houses in this area were converted to student apartments or are rented to students. There are a few condos downtown, but none are what I would describe as large. Most are 2 bedroom condos. I think there are some proposed new condos being built west of College, but again these are aimed at empty-nesters and young professionals. The target market is not families and prices start in the high $400's or low $500's for a 2 bedroom plus den. They are under 2000 sq. ft. and haven't started construction yet.

Generally the houses west of downtown are what I would call old workers cottages or bungalows. Most are 2 or 3 bedrooms and under 2000 square feet. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between and don't go up for sale often.

East of downtown the "family" neighborhood closest to downtown is probably Elm Heights. Again, the houses there are generally at least 60 plus years old. Expect to pay a minimum of $400,000 for a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath under 2000 sq. ft. house. The larger houses typically are in the $500,000 plus range and generally sell quickly. Most will have a 1 car garage.

Regarding safety in Bloomington: it's a generally safe town. There tends to be a lot of property type crimes close to campus. Lots of public intoxication and drunk driving arrests close to campus. Assaults tend to be related to those arrests. Drug related arrests seem to be increasing throughout Monroe County as is the case in most places. Statistics show a larger number of sexual assaults. Most of those cases are on or near campus and tend to be date rape types of situations. This year though there have been several sexual assault cases near a couple of trails. An arrest was made this past week related to a few of those cases. As a female I generally feel safe going out at night alone. I am smart about things though. I don't go into a parking garage at night alone. I don't walk through dark alleys alone at night. I make sure my car is locked and my keys are in my hand ready to get into the car.

As far as your terms "large" and "best." That's pretty subjective. I think my neighborhood is the best, and it's about 14 miles from downtown.
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:13 AM
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Default Neighborhood

If you want to live on Ballantine Street on the South and East of Campus those are some very awesome (and expensive) homes.
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:56 PM
Location: Near The Kraken
9 posts, read 4,875 times
Reputation: 11
Former resident who put a child through the schools. Both north and south high schools have similar demographics regarding economics, a mix of rich and poor go to both. I think that North has more racial diversity but I dont have the figures to back that up. My son went to North and had a good experience but he had many friends at South.

We lived in the much more affordable west side (west of 37) and got more space for our dollar and had no issues living there. The near west side may be worth a look as downtown is walkable from there. Close to North high school around the golf course the houses are affordable, i had a few friends there.
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