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Old 08-13-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,818 posts, read 15,432,391 times
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We have not witnessed that part of the spectrum. Both our kids are in advanced courses, straight A's and do get challenged. Our family places the emphasis on education, not sports or hunting. We guide them to accept challenges and look for advice from teachers that they would consider valuable.

There's a lot of good teachers and there's a few bad ones. Same goes for parents. Good parents guide their kids to good people and good things. It's not all the schools fault.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Brew City
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I get all of that. Good parents make the difference.

I just don't think education is considered a priority in Montana as a whole. In the HelenaIR today there is a school schedule. Why do kids have so many days off during the year? There is an early realease day every.single.month. Take the day off to be in a parade?

I felt like I received an average education at the time but comparing it with the ecudation here, I am comfortable believing the schools in NW Ohio are superior.

Conneaut Elementary, Bowling Green, OH
294/1670 Average math score 89.7 Average reading score 93.6 Combined 183.3

Jim Dary Elementary, Helena, MT
133/165 Average math score 51.0 Average reading score 80.0 Combined 131.0

A 51 in math is not acceptable to me.

I used those as examples because that is the elementary I attended and the school my children are assigned to here in Helena.

Here are the high schools

Bowling Green High School
Math 90.5 Reading 92.5 Combined 183.0

Helena High School
Math 55.0 Reading 73.0 Combined 128.0

Capital High School
Math 58.0 Reading 81.0 Combined 139.0

Demographics are similar at all three schools with a little more diversity in Bowling Green as well as more free or reduced lunch students. So what gives in Montana?

I really don't mean this to be a dig on Montana but education is one of my biggest worries currently living in this state. Aside from the elementary and high school levels, the higher education selection is very limited.

Last edited by Vegabern; 08-13-2013 at 03:40 PM..
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,818 posts, read 15,432,391 times
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I don't really use scores as a great measure of a 'good school'. Back in Inwood WV the kids went to a Title I school. Very poor area with high mobility rates (parents moving around), LMI designations, etc.. They got a WONDERFUL education there. When we moved to MT they were both slightly ahead of their peers.

Now- Inwood WV 'national scores' are LOWER than Montana! Riddle me that?

So much of it has to do with the home. Most of the curriculum is fairly standard across the country. Granted there are some schools that have greater resources and better paid teachers, but hey we are right in there as parents working on algebra, geometry, english and sciences. We get our kids into all the extra STEM based seminars around here (some good stuff through ExplorationWorks!)

My son is working with the forest service developing a noxious weed control protocol / control program the for Trout Creek drainage. He's been with biologists learning how to set up control study areas, develop best management practices etc.. Been in the field at least 3 times so far this summer developing it. He's 14 years old.

If you want your kids to get great education you need to take advantage of a lot of the resources and programs that are not only in school, but offered in the community. There are a lot of underutilized resources in Helena and Montana. We (as parents) simply investigated them and offered these opportunities to our kids. But again we promote education above all else. Other parents may have different priorities, but I can assure you there are some quality educators and professionals out there that are more than willing to help kids in Helena succeed.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:25 PM
 
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I was surprised to see so many schools in Helena did not make AYP. Usually that is attributed to ethnic minorities, ESL students, Title One.

Part of that could be because of the high rate of SPED kids inclusion is huge in Montana, if for no other reason than there are no special schools for SPED kids, but normally SPED kids are not included in testing.

Not sure why so many scores are so low in Helena.
Helena
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Brew City
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I completely agree with you, Threerun about parent involvement and learning outside the classroom. However, I don't believe that negates poorer performing schools. It's not a one or the other kind of thing for me. I want both.

I don't rely on scores and rankings exclusively but it is the best way to visualize results.

I'm happy your son is getting hands on experience with the Forest Service. My husband works for the Forest Service here in Helena.

This has nothing to do with good schools or bad schools but I wish I could find a private school that wasn't religiously affiliated. I see these science magnet schools in other parts of the country that I wish I could send my kids to. Your two options in Montana are public school or Christian school.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:47 PM
 
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I believe that is part of the issue with getting health care providers in Helena, they want quality education for their kids, and Helena does just not compare.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,818 posts, read 15,432,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
I was surprised to see so many schools in Helena did not make AYP. Usually that is attributed to ethnic minorities, ESL students, Title One.

Part of that could be because of the high rate of SPED kids inclusion is huge in Montana, if for no other reason than there are no special schools for SPED kids, but normally SPED kids are not included in testing.

Not sure why so many scores are so low in Helena.
Helena
Inclusion is huge here. My wife has a masters in SPED and it is a huge part of schools here.

If you look at the national school scores, Montana is actually at par or above most of the country, especially as compared to the south. I would not compare Helena to Bethesda Maryland where I once worked, mainly due to the economic disparity between the two areas (and educational attainment of the parents). You have to, have to, have to do this this stuff at home. Schools were never meant to provide a panacea for parental idiocy.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Montana
37 posts, read 76,298 times
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We homeschool. Many reasons, but mainly we have a special needs child and after talking to other parents, who had a hard time getting services and IEPs in schools, we choose to ditch public Helena schools. Plus, we live 20 minutes northeast of the main part of Helena. It takes the buses until 4:30pm on a day with no snow to get kids out here. Snow? You'd be home sooner if you walked. Last bit that chaps me like a raw sunburn is Montana's decision to join up with the Common Core crap. No way am I supporting that.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:50 AM
 
1 posts, read 621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagewitch View Post
We homeschool. Many reasons, but mainly we have a special needs child and after talking to other parents, who had a hard time getting services and IEPs in schools, we choose to ditch public Helena schools. Plus, we live 20 minutes northeast of the main part of Helena. It takes the buses until 4:30pm on a day with no snow to get kids out here. Snow? You'd be home sooner if you walked. Last bit that chaps me like a raw sunburn is Montana's decision to join up with the Common Core crap. No way am I supporting that.
Hi! We are thinking of moving to Helena, and I was wondering if you can give me some info on the homeschool program you are using? My son has Asperger's and I feel he would benefit more in a home setting. Thank you!
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