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Old 05-26-2010, 09:00 AM
 
11 posts, read 19,616 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi,
My husband and I are moving to Johnson County and we have two small children and can't decide on where to live. Our budget for a house is $250,000. We would like a neighborhood with other young families. Out of Gardner, Olathe, and Shawnee Mission School Districts which do you think is best? Are the bigger or smaller school districts better?
Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Prairie Village, KS
472 posts, read 798,171 times
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I'd rank em

1. SM
2. Olathe
3. Gardner

They're all pretty good though you can't go wrong.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:11 PM
 
1,662 posts, read 2,829,155 times
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I agree with the ranking above. And I would put Blue Valley in there tied at #1.

But what is "best" is rather subjective. There are pros and cons to wealthy suburban schools vs more rural districts. So ultimately, you have to decide what your priorities are.

For example, my kids are not into organized team sports, so that was not even a factor when I was comparing schools and districts. I can't tell you which one has the better football programs.

Mine are a little older and so I was mostly focused on where they would go to HS. My top two choices were SM East and BV North. We ended up in BV. All will be very competitive academically. Personally, I like a district that is more established like SM and BV because they are pretty much through the "growing pain" stage and have had time to establish good solid academic and extra-curricular programs.

JoCo districts are a top choice for graduating teachers. The pay is good and it's a nice area. So, JoCo schools can easily attract and retain top quality teachers.

If I were you, I would check out all 4 districts. Visit some of the schools in areas you are considering, talk talk talk to as many people who have kids in those schools as you can.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:28 PM
 
11 posts, read 19,616 times
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Thank you very much! We have heard good things about Blue Valley too, we're just worried about how wealthy most of the kids that go there are (at least that's what we have heard). We won't be able to afford to buy our kids all the designer things and BMWs. Since your kids go there Samantha, do you think that is a big deal?
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,846 posts, read 9,741,290 times
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Wouldn't it matter more with the actual individual schools than comparing entire districts?

I know that took priority for us when we relocated more than how an entire district ranked.

Gardner is small, so it wouldn't matter much there, but with Olathe and SM, I would think it would matter more as to what part of the district than anything.

You can have a collection of great schools a lower ranked district and a collection of not so great schools in a higher rated district.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:04 PM
 
1,662 posts, read 2,829,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnconnell View Post
Thank you very much! We have heard good things about Blue Valley too, we're just worried about how wealthy most of the kids that go there are (at least that's what we have heard). We won't be able to afford to buy our kids all the designer things and BMWs. Since your kids go there Samantha, do you think that is a big deal?

Personally, I think it's only a big deal if you allow it to be. We are "middle of the road" for this area. My kids have definitely noticed that there are kids who have more than they do. But they also see kids who have less.

It's not a central focus. I'm a big believer in kids earning the "stuff they want" and I think we will be able to navigate the materialism thing okay. But it certainly is something we discussed ahead of time.

Truth is, that pretty much anywhere in JoCo or any nice suburban area, you are going to have to deal with this issue. We opted for the many advantages of living here and we think we will be able to get through the disadvantages. Ask me again in about 8 years!

(And it does vary some school by school. There are some schools in SM that have wealthier families than some BV schools.)
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:33 PM
 
11 posts, read 19,616 times
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I agree that there are probably some schools that are better than others in a district. What are your opinions on high schools in both Olathe and Shawnee Mission districts?
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:56 PM
 
Location: KC
285 posts, read 499,017 times
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Olathe Northwest is a great school. That is the one I have the most experience with. Everything is top notch in my experiences. Also the Olathe schools offer different emphasis options at each high school. Northwest has aerospace and engineering as well as e-comm, which is video productions, graphic design, animation etc. As for the rest of the Olathe schools they all have there benefits but I've heard good things about each. I'd put Olathe schools up there with any in the metro.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:59 PM
 
1,662 posts, read 2,829,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnconnell View Post
I agree that there are probably some schools that are better than others in a district. What are your opinions on high schools in both Olathe and Shawnee Mission districts?
I would rank the HS's in SM as:

SM East - I was impressed with their music and theater programs and their pre-law program
SM South - I was impressed with their pre-engineering program
SM NW
SM West
SM North

In Olathe, the only one I would even look at is Olathe East (I'm admittedly not a big fan of Olathe in general - but I know many people in that district who would be very quick to argue with me.)

In BV, I would rank them

BV North
BV
BV Northwest

But these rankings are of course quite subjective and all are competitive schools where kids are getting reasonably comparable educational opportunities.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:47 PM
 
Location: KC
285 posts, read 499,017 times
Reputation: 235
"I'm admittedly not a big fan of Olathe in general"

Everyone is entitled to their opinion so no worries, just curious what your beef is with Olathe?
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