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Old 09-19-2014, 08:07 PM
5 posts, read 7,776 times
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Hello! My husband and I are self-employed and live in the Midwest. After researching and visiting many areas, we are strongly considering relocating to Prescott because of the climate. One of my children has mold allergies and health problems in damp weather. We believe a drier climate would serve him well.

We have visited Prescott twice and are planning another visit this fall. My question is, where are the families? I know they are there somewhere because the schools we toured (Abia Judd and Taylor Hicks over the summer) were full for my children's grades, and we would have to live within the schools' boundaries to send them there. However, most of the homes we saw advertised and looked at (up to $425K) were seniors' homes and described as "main level living" or main level master with 2 'guest' rooms, etc.

Is money put into the schools, parks and other infrastructure? Is a family-friendly town? I politely went up to the very few families I saw and struck up a conversation about the area, (in the town square and at Goldwater Park) and they were ALL from other areas (Phoenix, etc., trying to escape the heat). I didn't meet ANY Prescott families. Nor did I see children playing outside, etc. during all the driving around we did looking at homes, neighborhoods, etc. (We were there for a week and a half the beginning of July and again the end of July/beginning of August, before school started.)

We have moved a few times due to work, and really want to find a home for my elementary-aged children to finish through high school. Where we live now has an excellent school district and is very family-oriented. I realize nowhere is perfect, and it is what you make of it. However, we will be a plane ride away from all of our family and friends, will be leaving good schools, etc. Moving this far away again (we used to live in the beautiful PNW) is scary. If it wasn't for my son's health, we would stay where we are now.

I would appreciate anything you can say, pro or con about Prescott. Any input on the elementary, middle and high schools would also be VERY MUCH appreciated. Many thanks! (Sorry so long!)
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:19 PM
Location: Prescott AZ
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I don't have kids so take this with a grain of salt, but I think Prescott is very family-friendly. That said, it is a retirement town which skews the population towards the elderly.

I think the public schools are considered OK, maybe not great.

There are a number of interesting charter schools here, like Skyview and Northridge (HS) you might want to take a look at.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:55 PM
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Thank you, Agorski, for taking the time to reply!

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Old 09-23-2014, 03:04 PM
Location: Telecommutes from Northern AZ
1,035 posts, read 1,033,128 times
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My wife works with a lot of younger families. They struggle up here in Prescott because things are expensive and decent paying jobs scarce, but they make do. I think once you get plugged into a school or other places like a church you will start seeing a lot more families around. Where all the younger families live is probably scattered around a bit. Out on the roads sometimes it seems like there are almost exclusively Californian retirees here driving SUVs around but that isn't really the case. Employment is the biggest hurdle to enjoying life here, so if you two are bringing your own jobs with you then you will be in good shape (as long as those jobs are stable). As far as living in the right area to fall within a given school boundary I'd talk to a Realtor (there are several regular posters on the this thread that are in realistate that might be able to help). It is a great area, camping, hiking, festivals, trips to Phoenix and Flagstaff are fairly close, snow and cold in the winter but not nearly like the midwest, hot in the summer but not nearly like Phoenix, lot's to do and see. Good luck.
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:07 PM
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Infocyde... thank you so much for your detailed response! I really appreciate it.
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:30 AM
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
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Abia Judd Elementary in Prescott and Granville Elementary are the top-rated schools in the area.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:38 PM
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Thank you, Briansperspective, for your perspective!
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:43 PM
Location: Back and Beyond
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We moved out of Prescott partly because it is not geared towards or friendly towards kids, IMO. Not to say there isn't kids or families, but it is definitely geared toward the rich retired crowd.

They just closed down two elementary schools, and the town voted against a very small tax increase to support the school district. That says ALOT of how much they care about the kids and the future of the town, IMO. They are going full steam ahead with the charter school over the public school thing and time will tell how that works out. Arizona ranks close to last in education as well, so keep that in mind. There is also the halfway house issue, which isn't horrible, but also isn't going anywhere.

There are other more kid friendly towns in similar dry climates, IMO. Keep in mind for every family that moves there, there are probably 10 retired people that also move there. I have no statistic to back that up, it's just my observation.

I do give Prescott a harder time than maybe it deserves, but only because it had so much potential. It is a beautiful place and very close to amazing hiking and the ease of access to the national forest is rivaled only by a handful of other towns. It is great for retirees or people who don't have rely on the local economy. For a family trying to squeak out a living there, not so much. Not that it can't be done, but maybe harder than you think.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:25 PM
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Wheretolive22 did you decide if you are moving to Prescott (or did you move there)? We are also considering a move with 2 small children, but have the same concerns. Any info would be helpful! TY
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Old 04-02-2015, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
They just closed down two elementary schools, and the town voted against a very small tax increase to support the school district.
Washington and Miller Valley? That's a shame.

It seems rather odd to me that a town that has metastasized to that extent would actually close schools, even if the demographics veered older. It wouldn't surprise me if the per student school budgets are far higher than they used to be, though (corrected for inflation).

One fairly obvious bit of data I can see is by looking at the staff directory for Lincoln School. When I went there, lo these many years ago, there were two teachers per grade (K-6), a librarian, a principal, a part time nurse, a school secretary, and two janitors (plus a couple of lunch ladies that should up for an hour or two).
Now, in addition, I see an equal number of 'special area' professionals.

Is the education a lick better over, say, 50 years? That would surprise me.

The moral is that I wouldn't be disappointed in Prescott for not being willing to spend an infinite amount of money on schools. Taxpayers don't see value per dollar and it's a situation you'll find in practically any town at this point.
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