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Old 06-27-2007, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6 posts, read 38,989 times
Reputation: 13

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We currently live in Columbia, South Carolina and my husband has been interviewing with a company in Grand Island, Nebraska. If he gets a good offer I would like to know something about the city. They sent us an information packet on Grand Island but they always make that stuff look good. We have a 7 year old daughter who will be in 2nd grade this year so the schools are my far biggest concern. I know SC is not know for good schools but the school she is in now is the best and is a GREAT school. I would hate to move her to a brand new place and into a just ok school or even worse, a bad school. Can someone tell me the good and the bad on Grand Island, and Hastings?
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
8 posts, read 69,562 times
Reputation: 18
I have lived in Grand Island all my life. I will try to give you as honest of an answer as I can. I don't know much about Columbia, South Carolina so, I can't compare the two which may help. I honestly would suggest Hastings anyday before I would Grand Island. I went to college in Hastings and it is a nice town. It just won the nations greenest city award this week! I worked in the elementary schools there and they have some great schools. I would say the main downfall of Hastings is that it is a smaller city(which may not necessarily be a downfall). The nice thing is you can drive to G.I. in about thirty minutes. I commuted it everyday when I was going to college and it is a nice drive really. What company is your husband looking at? That may help too. Grand Island is a meat packing town. Therefore, the hispanic population is large. I teach 6th grade at one of the three middle schools and I am almost the minority. I would say in the next few years I will be. I do teach at the "lower class" middle school though. For some people that is an issue, some not so much. I am assuming the other issues(drugs, etc.) are issues in Columbia since it is quite a bit bigger than Grand Island but maybe not. On the subject of schools we do have some really great schools. I did field experiences and subbed at many of the elementary schools before getting my teaching job. The best thing about the Grand Island School district is that they have really high standards. I think that is the case with most Nebraska schools. They take education very serious (besides paying teachers more ha, ha!) Anyway, hope this has helped. I would say for G.I. if you live in the right areas it is ok. Overall, I have to say that Nebraska is a great state to raise a family. The cost of living is low, it isn't overpopulated, most people have morals. OK hope this has helped. I would also reading some of the other Nebraska forum posts there is some good information about the area.

Last edited by NEgal; 06-27-2007 at 02:03 PM.. Reason: add some things
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6 posts, read 38,989 times
Reputation: 13
Thank you so much for the information! I would like to answer your questions to gain additional information and ask a few more questions if you don't mind. The company my husband is looking at is FSI filters. My husband is Italian so people already think he is mexican/hispanic most of the time anyway, so I definitely don't think that will be an issue. Here in Columbia (we actually live in a town called Irmo outside of Columbia) the population is 12,000 or so but because of our proximity to Columbia it doesn't seem that small. We mostly have caucasian and african americans here. As far as our states education system it is not the greatest but I have researched and researched Irmo (where the best schools are) and we reside in probably the best school zone here. I use GreatSchools.com and Schooldigger.com as references for helping to determine what are good schools and what are bad. When I look at Grand Island and Hastings I find the best schools are Engleman, Seedling Mile and Raymond A. Watson elementary. However, on the websites mentioned above they do not give them the best scores and that concerns me. The school our daughter is at now has a score of a 10 and tons of excellent parent reviews. If you were looking for the best elementary schools which ones would you choose to consider? Which school do you teach at? On this website I have read comments about drugs being a problem in Nebraska which is a big concern for me. However, my daughter is only 7 and so I really don't know what to expect. As far as where we are now I have not heard of any issues with drugs at her school and would be very surprised if there were. I would assume in middle school and high school there are things here and there but not much gets media attention. Thanks again for providing me with the valuable information, I greatly appreciate it!
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:21 PM
 
482 posts, read 2,056,134 times
Reputation: 196
What size of school is you daughter in now? You have several choices that all would work for you. You not only have Hastings that is 30 minutes south which does have an excellent school system, but you have Wood River that is 15 minutes west of Grand Island on US Hwy 30. There is Cairo that is north west, on NE Hwy 2, of Grand Island that has a school that is also about 15 minutes from Grand Island. St Paul is also 30 minutes north of on US Hwy 281. Central City is north east of Grand Island on US Hwy 30 that is about 25 minutes away. Aurora is east of Grand Island on US Hwy 34 that would take you about 20 minutes to travel to. Doniphan that is about 10 minutes south of Grand Island on US Hwy 281, the same highway that you take to Hastings. These are all middle sized schools with about 30 to 40 students per class. If you want something smaller then you have Palmer that is 25 minutes north east of Grand Island. Giltner that is east along I-80 then south. There is Trumbull that is south of Doniphan. These schools have maybe 15 to 25 students per grade if that. I would take the time and select a few schools to go visit then decide which one is the one that is best for your daughter and for both of you. We lived in Grand Island for a few years, but our youngest son never went to school in the Grand Island area. So I can not be of much help to you, but the pastor of the church we attended is in Doniphan and I think that the pastor is still there. He is active in the schools and I am sure that if you took a little bit of time to visit with him about the schools in the area he can give you some good advise. If you want his name telephone number send me a PM and I will give it to you. I will not post it to this open forum.

Either way you go you will find that Nebraska has some of the best schools in the USA. Good luck and if you do come to Nebraska then let me Welcome to Nebraska.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
8 posts, read 69,562 times
Reputation: 18
uscgal2002
Filter Specialists is on the northwest side of Grand Island which is one of the better areas of the city so that could be a good thing I guess. I would recommend any of the elementary schools in Hastings. Grand Island elementary schools(K-5th) I would recommend would be Engleman, Newell, Seedling Mile, Shoemaker, Stolley Park, and West Lawn simply because those are the nicer areas of town. I believe any of the elementary schools are great because of the fact that they are in the G.I. school district but the one's mentioned may be a little better. I teach at Walnut Middle School. It has 6th-8th grades. I don't know if that is the way they do it in South Carolina or not. The "higher class" (if you want to call it that) middle school is Westridge on the northwest side of town and Barr on the south side is the other middle school. We have two public high schools and I think 1 or 2 private ones. The drug problem here is a scary thing but I think it is a problem to some extent in any city. Let me know if you have any other questions. If education is your main concern, Nebraska is definitely a good choice.
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Sandhills
2,177 posts, read 3,218,976 times
Reputation: 2747
St Paul might be an option also to the north. Smaller town again, good schools, friendly community.
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Old 06-28-2007, 01:44 PM
 
Location: My heart is in Wyoming, my body is soon to follow.....
745 posts, read 3,712,304 times
Reputation: 307
Aurora is an excellent choice. There's a lot of new building going on there right now, and there's always new industry moving in. A lot of people make that drive to work everyday. Any place outside of G.I. is a good one in my opinion because of the prominence of tornadoes there, guess I'm still traumatized from the one in '80. You can look it up on the net.
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:50 PM
 
482 posts, read 2,056,134 times
Reputation: 196
Earniefan,

That was a bad one. Where were you living at the time? Which part of GI I mean. I was at the police academy at the time and I think that I was one of the first ones to come to Grand Island from the outside to help. I was in the Capital Heights area checking the homes there when the other tornadoes were hitting the rest of the town. I was helping dig out the bar on Locust Street where we found the first death at, I think was, the Padgoda Lounge on the west side of Locust Street. I think that I had about 8 hours sleep for three days waiting for the National Guard to show up then. You think that we can blame President Bush for this as well? Just kidding.
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6 posts, read 38,989 times
Reputation: 13
I would like to thank everyone for the great information. Now, can someone tell me how is life in general there? I've heard that everyone is very friendly there but for the most part it is like that here to. We do get a lot of transplants from the north here and sometimes they aren't the friendliest - it just depends on how long they have been here. Most everyone waves and speaks to everyone else. How bad is the snow in the winter? We only see maybe a day or two of snow every two to three years or so and when that happens - literally EVERYTHING stops! If you are living 30 minutes or so from work, would the snow really hinder you from getting to work? Can you tell me why the population is so low there? Does that mean people tend to leave there more often than stay? Would you say that Grand Island is a growing city or dying city? Do you think that FSI has a good or bad reputation out there?
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:45 AM
 
482 posts, read 2,056,134 times
Reputation: 196
Here is what you can expect for weather. Take the time and surf this web site as it has lots of pictures of Nebraska each month for several years back. It also has pictures from other areas in the midwest and from other places around the world.

Nebraska Weather and Climate

Expect days of snow and days of very cold temps in the winter, but the good side is that summer is just around the corner and you will get enough of very hot sun temps to thaw you out in time for the winter again. We manage to survive our weather here and you will to. You will learn, like most of us, on how to read the clouds.

As for the people you will find more friendly people than you will find those who don't want to speak to you. You will find both. Don't be afraid to start speaking to that individual in front of you at the check out counter of the store. Just say to your self that Nebraska has only about 1,700,000 people to meet and you just met one. When you move into a home take a minute to meet your new neighbors, because I am sure that they will take the time to come and meet you. Make the first move they will not shot you.
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