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Old 02-29-2008, 06:53 PM
 
Location: SE Nebraska
12 posts, read 30,330 times
Reputation: 13

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My husband is stationed at Offutt; we live in Peru. My daughter, who is in 8th grade, was attending school in New York this year. We've been planning to move closer to the base in March or April, and for her to start high school there next year.* But life happened--as life tends to do--and we're moving NOW. (Or next week...I do need a house to move into.)

We are definitely using the public school system. Our first pick is the Papillion-La Vista school district. Is there a difference in the quality between the schools in this district? (North vs South) I need "the scoop" from other parents!

I know Bellevue is closer to the base, but after six years of this commute, ten more minutes doesn't matter. I'm not ruling Bellevue out, but based on the information from each district's website, it's not my first pick. I prefer the course selection in Papillion-La Vista.

I've read the curriculum, but would appreciate any comments on what the classes are really like. I really need to know about the school environment. Some more questions:
- What kind of atmosphere do you notice in the school(s)?
- Are students expected to respect the teachers, the staff, and each other?
- Are students given respect?
- Are parents considered allies or interlopers?
- Does the school understand students come from different environments, or do they assume the kids have lived mirror-image lives?


*My daughter did grades 3 through 7 in Auburn. Seventh grade (located in the high school) was hell. We won't send her back. I homeschooled her when she was younger; I can do it again, but I'd rather get her back into school ASAP.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,529,905 times
Reputation: 890
No major difference at any level. In High School the "north" or "old school" (The Monarchs) is the original high school so its a little older building, but it is currently going thru upgrades funded from a major bond issue that was passed last year. The South school (The Titans) is only 5 years old so its a very nice faciliity.

I like the Principal (Glover) at the old school much better than I like the Principal (Schoenwise) at the new school - but personal preference... I can give you someone that's just the opposite of me...

Really, I don't think you can go wrong in any of the elementary, jr high, or high schools in the District.

Parental involvement in Papillion/LaVista Schools is highly encouraged (at all levels)... if fact, the district just received an award from the Governer last week along with a grant for some specific programs that build off of parental involvement - you will see no issue with this aspect.

Because of the long-time military influence in this community the school is very understanding of various backgrounds and experiences - very supportive of its military families.

On a side note: If for any reason you do move back to homeschooling, there is a homeschool network in the area, so you'd have that support system as well.

Really, I'd just look for the area of town and house you want and then just go to the assigned schools in the PLV District.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:56 PM
 
8,180 posts, read 11,271,816 times
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I also have a daughter who is in 8th grade this year.
She goes to La Vista Jr High and, I have to tell you it is a great school.
I feel that academically it is top notch, they do expect a lot out of the students. There had been an instance this year that a boy was teasing my daughter during class. I told the guidance counselor about it, and by the end of the day the boy apologized to my daughter and when a friend of his started to tease her, he told his friend to knock it off. I cannot tell you how impressed I am by this schools willingness to stop bullying! Sadly, not all schools are like this.
We visited the high school (the older one) and again was very impressed. They are serious about academics. I also liked how the high school has five guidance counselars, all of which only perform a specific functions i.e. academic, social, etc....
We moved to the PLV district because we felt it was big enough that our children would meet a lot of different people, yet small enough that they wouldn't get lost in the crowd. I could not be happier.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:32 PM
 
Location: SE Nebraska
12 posts, read 30,330 times
Reputation: 13
Dave,

Thank you so much--that's exactly the information I was looking for. I'm glad to hear they are both quality schools. I know the area, and I feel very safe there, but I found some comments on school review sites that made me wonder if I'd missed some unsavory element. I'm glad that wasn't the case.


It's great to hear they're used to students who are military kids. In Auburn, her dad's career hurt her: not only was she the only military kid, it was indicated her father was an uncaring parent. Not a good situation for her or us. Her school in NY was near an Army base, and that made a huge difference for her.

I understand the personal preference on the principal: I'm not fond of one down here, although a lot of people think she's terrific.

Thanks for the info on the homeschool group--if I have to finish the year this way, it's good to know there is support around.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,529,905 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianehb View Post
I know the area, and I feel very safe there, but I found some comments on school review sites that made me wonder if I'd missed some unsavory element. I'm glad that wasn't the case.
Curious what the comments were in case folks on the board can clarify them?
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:43 PM
 
Location: SE Nebraska
12 posts, read 30,330 times
Reputation: 13
Five guidance counselors? Nice! My high school could have used that. :/

The response to the kid's bullying was great--evidently he got much more than a demand to apologize, since he stopped his friend. My daughter took a sexual harassment complaint to the principal in 7th grade; the kid stopped touching her, but he didn't stop harassing her, and she definitely didn't get an apology. It gave her a tattletale reputation, as well. The hallways were awful. (Not an exaggeration: I was harassed when I was there, too.)

I'm looking forward to the better environment, as well as the academic options. It's nice to see a large number of choices for electives and groups, as well. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be many options if you aren't athletic.

I'm checking out a house in La Vista tomorrow or Monday, hopefully it works out. Thanks for the info!
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,529,905 times
Reputation: 890
Note: When you are looking to move into the PLV School District, check out the city or SID taxes where you plan to live. Papillion has the lowest city taxes in the metro area and I think LaVista is close behind; however, if you get outside the actual city limits and live in an SID taxes can vary widely (SID's throught the metro vary widely on their part of the tax)... so some in PLV District have very reasonable taxes (from a Nebraska perspective), while others in the same school with similiar house could be very high ... it all comes down to the whether you are in city limits and if not, then the SID.
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