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Old 02-18-2016, 03:41 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,502 times
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There is a strong possibility that our family will be relocating to Van Buren/ Ann Arbor Area with my spouse's job. She will be working in Van Buren and will be traveling extensively from DTW. We have no desire to live in Detroit. We were wondering if its best to just live in Ann Arbor and commute or live in a community between the two.

Here's the twist. We are a two mom family with 2 kids. Is it better for us to actually live in Ann Arbor (being a younger/ hip college town) or are the outside areas of Ann Arbor also really diverse and welcoming? Any help would be greatly appreciated. BTW- our kids are HUGE Wolverine fans as my spouse is from Western Michigan.

Thank you!!
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:48 PM
 
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Belleville, Canton, Livonia are all reasonably priced cities with good amenities and close to work.

Ann Arbor and Plymouth would be the two pricier nods.

Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor won't turn heads with a two mom family. This isn't Zeeland. Nothing to sweat.

Congrats on the new gig!
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor MI
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are the kids school age?
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:48 PM
 
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Yes. They are 8 and 10. We will also be looking for great schools in that area. I hear Ann Arbor Schools are all great. Any better than others? What about non-denominational private schools?
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:48 PM
chh
 
Location: West Michigan
420 posts, read 605,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwahl3 View Post
Yes. They are 8 and 10. We will also be looking for great schools in that area. I hear Ann Arbor Schools are all great. Any better than others? What about non-denominational private schools?
If you can afford Ann Arbor, go for it. It's an awesome town with great schools, plenty to do, but if it's out of your price range I'd look in Canton, which isn't as expensive but still has a stellar school system and is close by.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:29 AM
 
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With Canton you'll have to watch school boundaries lines really close. A lot of the cheaper housing stock in Canton goes to Wayne - Westland or Bellevue schools. (Way worse than Plymouth Canton) You'll notice that a lot of the listings will stress all the "great charter schools your child could attend".

Also, not all schools in Plymouth/Canton are equal.

I would NEVER use the word "stellar" to describe the elementary school my son attended. I'd say "mediocre" and "stingy" are more accurate.

In comparison to nearby school districts, yes, the word "stellar" could apply, but the reality isn't "all that". Especially if you already have experience in a "good school district" and have something to compare it to.

One of elementary schools (a more "desirable school" in a 'more' desirable part of the district) really hasn't been good about adapting to special ed students being placed in their school (after a few buildings were closed) and teachers/students/parents are really ignorant about how to deal with their needs.

I have a friend who's a para in this school who struggles to do her job because teachers think they can treat these kids like neuro-typical kids, then she has to deal with parents and kids who are just rude and disrespectful towards the atypical kids because they are "different".

At the school my son attended last year, the educators had good intentions, but they really didn't want parental input during the IEP process. Other parents I know have also had issues with teachers not paying attention to their kid's IEP and different learning issues. One parent I know pulled her kid and started homeschooling because she got tired of having fights with the principal and the teachers over what her kid could realistically do.

We heard what a great district PCCS is and we really weren't impressed once we got there. We were determined to "give it a chance" and "keep an open mind", but it was just one thing after another (and not in a good way). Save yourself the trouble and just don't move there.

Every district has issues, but I'd choose Ann Arbor Public over Plymouth-Canton any day. I have a friend who has her kids in King elementary and they love it. They had their kids in one of the local Catholic schools and when they put him in King, King was so much farther ahead of where the Catholic school was.

There are also a few private schools in Ann Arbor that are worth looking at, if you don't believe that the public schools will serve your kids well. However, Ann Arbor Public has a great reputation and its well earned.

Our son is currently in South Lyon schools and we love it. Night and day difference at how we've been treated by staff and our kid's needs are being met. I'd bend over backwards for the teachers and staff at my kid's current school because of how they've treated our family from day one. They've answered all of our questions and helped us get integrated into the school community.

Most people in this area really don't care if you are a lesbian couple raising kids.

Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Ann Arbor MI
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I live in Ann Arbor and I have a grandson about to enter kindergarten next fall. Unfortunately the elementary school 3 blocks from their house is one of 3-4 out of 20 that score very poorly. So even in Ann Arbor one needs to do some homework as to which schools are doing well and which ones are not.
Ann Arbor has a schools of choice program which allows for kids to move to different buildings but it depends on openings. Right now my daughter is scrambling to find an alternative to the school her oldest son is closest to.
There are charter schools up the wazoo in SE Michigan but they are hit and miss as to how good they are. If your not familiar with charter schools here is a PDF link below explaining them.

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/PSAQA_54517_7.pdf

This link offers scores for every public school in Michigan. That includes charter school but not private schools.

http://http://www.michigan.gov/docum...s_465183_7.pdf

There is certainly debate about how important those rankings are. I contend that people should be aware.
There may not be huge differences in the level of education for a 10 year old between a 75th percentile and a 90th percentile school but there sure as heck is a difference between a 25th and a 95th.
An elementary school teacher has to deal with what she/he is faced with. If 28 of 30 kids are 25th percentile kids and 2 are 95th percentile kids those 2 are going to "suffer" because the teacher has to deal first with the reality of the other 28.
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