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Old 02-12-2008, 12:38 PM
 
49 posts, read 197,418 times
Reputation: 18

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Hi, my family is likely relocating to Dubuque in the coming months. We have two children ages 5 and 8 (going into K and 3rd). We are having a really hard time getting information on schools in Dubuque. We have alot of vague assurances "all the schools are good" but we are looking for specific, "insider" information on the good and the bad in Dubuque. Can anyone help ? On the website "Greatschools.net" none of the data is particularly favorable. We had a possible relo to Florida a few years ago, and Florida is known for horrible schools, yet their scores/rating by this system are above Dubuque's - which I know is not a valid indicator !! We lived in Iowa years ago pre-kids and we know that the educational system on a whole is great. However, there are always good and bad in everything and we'd like to really study our options because we don't want to move schools twice. The real estate agents are vague, and obviously the school system is not going to single out particular schools.

Specifically - which public schools are considered the best ? Which ones are considered the worst ? Why (if you know)? What about the parochial schools ? Are they considered better than the public schools, or worse ? Why do people choose the parochial schools over the public, and vice versa ? Where we live, parochial schools are considered the back-up for when you have a crappy school district. Not many people send for religious purposes, but DUbuque seems mightly Catholic, and maybe that is the reason why. Are there any private non-Catholic schools - like private day schools ? Where do the doctors and lawyers all send their kids to school (and I ask that because they have the ability to pay for a quality education and can give good/bad info). Our home search will focus around the best district we can find, and if the right school for our kids happens to be private, we would work it out. We are not just interested only in "test scores" but about the heart and soul of the school. We would like the school to be a wonderful, positive community that really cares about the kids.

Any and all advice is welcome. If you are not comfortable posting on the thread for any reason, you can private message me too. Thanks SO MUCH.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Iowa City/Dubuque, IA
100 posts, read 503,983 times
Reputation: 65
Hi, zombiemommie! I'm a graduate of Dubuque's public school system, so I hope I can answer some of the questions that you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zombiemommie View Post
Specifically - which public schools are considered the best ?
For your children, you'll be looking at grade schools, obviously... and I would say that you cannot go wrong with Bryant, Carver, Eisenhower, Hoover, Irving, Kennedy, or Sageville schools. All are exceptional, and located in thriving, family-friendly neighborhoods. I went to Eisenhower E.S. myself. Bryant and Irving have BOTH been named "blue-ribbon schools," which is quite a prestigious award. You'll want to look for schools on the West Side of Dubuque, and all the ones I mentioned are there, with the exception of Sageville (north) and Bryant (south).

Quote:
Which ones are considered the worst ? Why (if you know)?
Generally... Audubon, Fulton, Lincoln, and Prescott schools are considered the city's worst, and it is because they serve more low-income/higher-minority neighborhoods, have lower test scores, and so on... However, even the city's "worst" schools could not be considered terrible.

Quote:
What about the parochial schools ? Are they considered better than the public schools, or worse ?
Parochial schools here are considered to be somewhat (but not greatly) better than the public system. Dubuque has a population that is 75% Catholic, so the parcohial system has been a major part of the educational community for a long time. However, tuition costs have gone up in recent years, and many Catholic families that HAD sent thier children to parochial schools are now in the public system. Catholic schools are still important, however, and continue to show strong achievement, as would be expected.

Quote:
Why do people choose the parochial schools over the public, and vice versa ?
Religious reasons, mostly. Also, tradition. Parochial schools have strong ties to many families, especially the individual parish schools. Also, Dubuque's Catholic high school (Wahlert H.S.) has exceptional sports/extracurricular programs which attract students/families. Public are chosen over parochial for cost reasons, mostly. Many parents choose to enroll their children in the public system, but send them to religious education on the weekends/evenings.

Quote:
Are there any private non-Catholic schools - like private day schools ?
Dubuque Lutheran School is a full-time, private Protestant school which opened a few years ago, although it, and all Catholic schools are open to all students regardless of religion or place of residence.

Quote:
Where do the doctors and lawyers all send their kids to school (and I ask that because they have the ability to pay for a quality education and can give good/bad info).
Generally, the professional classes send their kids to the parochial schools, especially at the high school level. You'll find many doctors/lawyers sons & daughters at Bryant, Carver, Kennedy, as well as Ressurection, St. Columbkille's, and St. Anthony's.

These links might be of use to you:

Dubuque Community School District: Welcome to the Dubuque Community Schools!
List of public school websites: Our Schools Main Page
Holy Family Catholic School System: Holy Family Catholic Schools
Dubuque Lutheran School: Dubuque Lutheran School, 2145 JFK Rd., Dubuque, IA - 563-588-0614 (http://dubuquelutheranschool.com/index.cgi - broken link)

Good luck, welcome to Dubuque, and let me know if you have any additional questions!
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Dubuque Metro, Iowa
209 posts, read 1,030,649 times
Reputation: 129
Everything that the above poster has stated couldn't be more true--

The real-estate agents and school system will not single out any schools as being "worse" than others. They may say, though, "Hempstead is a great school, one of the best..." or something to that effect, like they had when my wife and I moved here and enrolled our kids in school 25 years ago.

I would say that the downtown schools, mainly east of JFK have a reputation for not being as good as the westend schools. Some of the best schools are:

Elementary: Carver, Kennedy, Eisenhower...
Middle: Roosevelt is better than Washington.
High: Hempstead is better than Central by far and better than Senior.

Now, where are they?

Carver is on Radford Road, in Asbury, take Asbury Road west and turn left on Radford.
Kennedy is near the intersection of Asbury and JFK... It is off of Foothill Drive.
Eisenhower is off of JFK, I believe off of Spring Valley Road in Asbury, to be more specific.

Roosevelt is by Carver, on Radford Rd. in Asbury
Washington (Alternative) is right off of the Grandview exit on 20.
Jefferson is one of those schools I would single out and say it is not a good school.

Hempstead: Off of Pennsylvania, near the intersection of the Arterial and PA Ave.
Senior off of N. Grandview between the colleges... Loras and Clarke.
Central off of Bluff Street is another one I would single out and call below average, it is off of Bluff Street.

Western Dubuque Schools are a great option as well.

I read something about a year ago about how Dubuque Schools, Public and Parochial, ranked 7th best public schools in the nation... I believe it is on the Greater Dubuque Development website.

Parochial Schools are not necessarily better, but many consider them to be better. Holy Family Catholic Schools... They are great, if you are a Catholic!

The above poster pretty much summed it up, I just thought that I would add.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:15 AM
 
49 posts, read 197,418 times
Reputation: 18
Wow, thanks. I'm hoping to get some first hand parent experience, also.... DBQer, your information is just what I am looking for, and Askme, thanks too !
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:54 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,368 times
Reputation: 14
It's true the schools and teachers are all excellent. I love the way it is run. Example: if your kid is sick they want them to stay home vs hassling you for doctors notes. You can take a vacation if you want to. The kids all still test really high. They are happy at school. Many many programs for kids. The inner city ( downtown ) schools are the only ones you might hesitate on. All others west, north and south are great. So just look at a map. The west side of dbq is an excellent place to live. My kids go to Eisenhower and I think it is a 10. The parochial schools are mostly catholic and good as well. This excellence continues through high school and college. Education here is top notch and the people here are nice. I'd say more kind then any place I have ever been. Family values are the norm in Dubuque. Outside of hard winters and kind of basic shopping- it is nearly perfect. Your kids will do wonderful here.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:21 AM
 
3,491 posts, read 5,374,772 times
Reputation: 5398
This thread is pretty much done. I was curious about what zombiemommie had decided and checked her profile. She selected New Jersey and then quit the forums after a couple months.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:15 PM
 
164 posts, read 284,000 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by zombiemommie View Post
Hi, my family is likely relocating to Dubuque in the coming months. We have two children ages 5 and 8 (going into K and 3rd). We are having a really hard time getting information on schools in Dubuque. We have alot of vague assurances "all the schools are good" but we are looking for specific, "insider" information on the good and the bad in Dubuque. Can anyone help ? On the website "Greatschools.net" none of the data is particularly favorable. We had a possible relo to Florida a few years ago, and Florida is known for horrible schools, yet their scores/rating by this system are above Dubuque's - which I know is not a valid indicator !! We lived in Iowa years ago pre-kids and we know that the educational system on a whole is great. However, there are always good and bad in everything and we'd like to really study our options because we don't want to move schools twice. The real estate agents are vague, and obviously the school system is not going to single out particular schools.

Specifically - which public schools are considered the best ? Which ones are considered the worst ? Why (if you know)? What about the parochial schools ? Are they considered better than the public schools, or worse ? Why do people choose the parochial schools over the public, and vice versa ? Where we live, parochial schools are considered the back-up for when you have a crappy school district. Not many people send for religious purposes, but DUbuque seems mightly Catholic, and maybe that is the reason why. Are there any private non-Catholic schools - like private day schools ? Where do the doctors and lawyers all send their kids to school (and I ask that because they have the ability to pay for a quality education and can give good/bad info). Our home search will focus around the best district we can find, and if the right school for our kids happens to be private, we would work it out. We are not just interested only in "test scores" but about the heart and soul of the school. We would like the school to be a wonderful, positive community that really cares about the kids.

Any and all advice is welcome. If you are not comfortable posting on the thread for any reason, you can private message me too. Thanks SO MUCH.
I can tell you from experience that Dubuque Schools are terrible! I moved to Dubuque in 2009 and I quickly learned that they are incredibly academically behind. My kids went to Holy Ghost, Fulton, and Eisenhower and Eisenhower being the best. When we moved to Dubuque my daughter was entering 3rd grade she was coming home with addition and subtraction she was doings things she had already learned in second grade in Georgia. We moved to West Des Moines into the Waukee school district when she was entering 6th grade. Her teacher made comments that she should have learned most of the material last year but sadly she hadn't. Luckily she caught up quickly and is doing well but she fell behind when she was in Dubuque.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:33 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,322 times
Reputation: 10
I would say the best elementary schools in town are Carver, Bryant, Eisenhower, Irving, maybe Sageville.

In terms of middle schools, many on this thread have said Roosevelt is the best, but as a current high schooler I have found no difference in educational quality between Washington (where I attended) and Roosevelt, at least in terms of honors classes, which has been my experience.

For high school, again, Hempstead and Senior are very comparable, and are both great schools.

Most of the private schools in Dubuque are Catholic. They are great schools, but not any better than the public schools in my opinion, just have wealthier students (on average) and a bit more resources. I have several friends who attended these schools, who said they were fine, but not very open minded or accepting in terms of LGBT issues or different thinking in general.

Overall though, Dubuque has great schools, one of the better school districts in the country.
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