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Old 04-18-2012, 10:43 AM
11 posts, read 11,433 times
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Ericajoe, my situation mirrors yours. can you give me details regarding what schools did you visit? what part of Durham did you visit? I am going back and forth between Chapel Hill and Durham also. its the schools issue that keeps me undecided so your input will be helpful!
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:37 PM
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You guys are so over my head! I'm a somewhat new father (1 year old daughter) and have started putting some thought into our housing future because of our local schools. I live off of 98 in Durham and simply do not think I could feel good about sending her to the schools that are closest geographically. Can someone please give me an "into" course into the options available? Am I stuck with the closest school? What is a charter? Magnet? Are we going to have to move? Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:45 PM
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Charter = an independent school that is publicly funded.

Magnet = a public school, often in a distressed area, that offers extra programs intended to draw in families and students from outlying areas.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:31 AM
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CChampagne, a good place to start is the Durham Public Schools website itself. You can get a general sense of the calibre of each school by comparing their "scorecards," though it doesn't give you the complete picture if you are looking at a magnet school, for example. You can look at the "Choice Program" section to see the various options available if you are not happy with your base school. There is a lottery to enter them, so there are no guarantees. With magnet schools, there is a special program in which your child is enrolled that may or may not be completely separate from the rest of the school's general education and therefore perform differently. Hillside HS is generally considered an undesireable school, for example, but I have heard very good things about their special programs there. The best way to get to know those programs is to visit the schools themselves. There are also charter schools, which are also publicly funded, though you enter a lottery for them as well. They are run individually, rather than through the county school board, and have different guidelines than DPS schools. And lastly, another option within publicly funded schools, DPS does give you the chance to transfer to another school if there is space available after those zoned for it are enrolled if you can say that it's more convenient to your work, closer to childcare, etc. We have several friends who are attending another school in the district this way to avoid the school they are zoned for. Again, no guarantees, but it's a third option of avoiding your base school.

OP, we were in the same boat as you trying to decide between Chapel Hill and Durham. We have been very happy with our school of choice here in Durham. Its performance is on par with CH schools, so I feel like we hit the jackpot. We got to live in our most desirable area with a nicer house and did not have to sacrifice our children's education by doing so.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:42 AM
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hey gator what school does your child attend? I am in the same boat also.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:17 PM
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We moved to SW Durham two years ago and couldn't be happier with Creekside Elementary. It's very diverse but the teachers are excellent and we've had a great experience.

Middle School seems to be the biggest "problem" with the Durham public education system but we have 5+ years until our children are that age so we're hoping they get things fixed up a bit by then.

That said, middle school is terrible for everybody. Zits, puberty, and 1200 other kids is nobody's idea of fun. I just want it to be safe.
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