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Old 02-23-2011, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Mauriceville, Texas
39 posts, read 51,858 times
Reputation: 37
Default Schools - Multiple Areas

I am in the research phase of moving to Oregon. I am not tied to the job market at all so it is not an issue. I have narrowed down my search (sort of narrowed down still have lots more narrowing to do!) to the Medford/Ashland area, Eugene, Salem, Corvaliss, and possibly outskirts of Portland. The most important factor for me is schools. I want a place with exceptional public schools (too much to ask?).

I currently live in Texas and I am moderately content with my kids school it has it's positive and negatives like any school, but some stuff really bothers me. I do like that the schools my kids go to have a good amount of parental involvement and there is Gifted and Talented classes from elementary school up and not just an hour a day my 2nd grader is in a 2nd grade G/T classroom, and it is a safe school. I do not like the way the schools are very closed minded and don't bother with environmental projects (recycling is not encouraged, they still have a corporal punishment option and use it coaches especially will give "licks", kids have to remain silent during lunch, student body/teachers are not very diverse, very high teen pregnancy rate, MANY teachers are coaches who also teach which usually isn't the best idea, very limited recess, very little in the way of science until high school, and there is a very religious atmosphere that I don't think is appropriate for public schools-I am not trying to offend). Those are just a few examples and some may seem minor, but they still bother me and if I could find something a better fit that would be great . My oldest is in High School band, so a great music program is also important. He is also in all AP classes which is pretty standard in most high schools I have seen, but Texas is about to cut many of the AP classes from High Schools. Another option I like is when my son is a Junior/Senior he could co-enroll at the local state college and take a few credits, so if I could find a school that offers something along those lines that would be great!

I know every school has a different way of doing things and all schools have downsides and nowhere is perfect, but I want to make sure my kids will be challenged and since I have lots of choice in where I move I can be choosy.

Also are any schools in Oregon year-round or just 9 months? I prefer year-round if it is an option.

Any information is appreciated greatly. I have looked up statistics about school districts and schools but there are so many I thought getting first hand feedback from residents would be more beneficial. My dad lives in Medford, but has no idea about the schools! I am coming out there to look around March 6th so I would like to narrow my search down more so I can go to the schools and get first hand information and see the campus etc. and then check out the neighborhood and area and see if it is somewhere I want to be Thanks for any help!
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,853 posts, read 18,143,063 times
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Salem-Keizer is looking at cutting 400 teachers, sports, and possibly music due to budget woes so we won't have what you are looking for. We don't have a TAG classroom in the district anyway.

Lake Oswego has probably some of the best public schools in the state. There are great schools in the Portland West Hills and Corvallis has solid schools as well. I don't know whether or not they will have budget cuts.

Bend school district has a separate TAG classroom in elementary, but not sure about Corvallis. Whatever you do, read the local papers and find out the budget situation of the area you are thinking about. We have serious economic woes here and schools are hurting.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,744 posts, read 7,406,753 times
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All schools will have budget issues, they all will experience budget cuts.

What will make the difference is the parents and their contribution to the school and the expectations of the parents.

Choose a school with a high % of parents with college degrees and a school (in comparison to other public schools) with high test results. Basically, schools in college towns, those with a lot of parents in high tech, or professional parents.

This is YOUR research project.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Mauriceville, Texas
39 posts, read 51,858 times
Reputation: 37
I know all schools have budget issues, the bigger issue (to me) is what they choose to cut/eliminate when they cut their budget. They just cut the budget here in Texas so it's a nationwide thing I imagine.

@ Nell I have looked around at those sorts of places and that is sort of how I have narrowed it town to the towns I have narrowed it down to. I just thought I would ask in here to see if anyone have any first hand experience with some/any of the school districts out there, because while statistics will tell you a lot it doesn't give you the whole picture. I moved to a place in Dallas when my oldest was just starting school and I picked that neighborhood because it was supposed to be one of the best school districts in Texas, according to all the statistical information I found on it. It wasn't at all good in my opinion and we moved within a year. So I just like getting some input from people who know .
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,744 posts, read 7,406,753 times
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The grade schools that feed into Lincoln High school are very good (Portland Public Schools).

I have heard very good things about the Hillsboro and Sunset schools but I have no personal experience.

IMHO stay away from grade schools where there has been a lot of new homes built because of the % of children per household and the school may be very crowded.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:01 PM
 
2,866 posts, read 1,381,454 times
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Corvallis is the most educated city in Oregon (about half have a college degree and 1/4 have a graduate degree). The schools are very good and the budget problems aren't as severe due to the relatively stable economy.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,744 posts, read 7,406,753 times
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The OP also mentioned Medford/Ashland - Ashland would be the better pick.

Eugene used to be great too, particularly around the University.

I am an analyst at heart so I would look at testing data because you can encounter a stinker of a teacher in any school. Once you develop a short list visit the schools that make your short list. You can tell a lot by the vibe in the classrooms.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,744 posts, read 7,406,753 times
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I just found a school rating tool on RedFin. It provides info about testing and provides for parents comments.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Mauriceville, Texas
39 posts, read 51,858 times
Reputation: 37
Thanks for that Red Fin site it's pretty nice!! That is what I am doing Nell is using stats to research these schools to make a smaller list and then next week when I am in Oregon I plan on looking into them, I just wanted to see if I could get some feedback from anyone with kids in schools or teacher's who work in Oregon and if they had preferences for what they thought were better districts/schools.

Thanks everyone for the help so far!
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