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Old 05-06-2013, 09:35 PM
7 posts, read 10,362 times
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We (A family of four- 2 small kiddos) are strongly considering a relocation move to Reno. I have never been there, and am wondering what the area is like for families of young children? I have been trying to research school options as well. My husband has a job offer and we have housing lined up, so neither of those are a concern at this point. Do people in Reno head out to Lake Tahoe a lot? I know that area is pretty. Any info would be super helpful!
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:08 AM
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We relocated to Reno almost 2 years ago with 3 school-aged kids. I find that Reno is a very nice size. It's big enough that it has most anything you want, but the city is not so large that traffic or distance is daunting.

Schools vary completely by the neighborhood. We've had kids in a couple of the Southwest elementaries and couldn't be happier with their experience. I've spent time working in some of the poorer schools and it breaks my heart at how differently those kids experience school.

One thing that really impresses me about education in the area is that the school district has created some really interesting magnet programs at the high schools. There is an international academy at McQueen, International Baccalaureate at Wooster, Performing Arts at Damonte, as well as other programs which would allow a student to graduate from high school with 2 years of credit from the community college, or Microsoft certification.

For all the good that we have found, graduation rates are appalling. Even students who do go on to college often need remediation. If your family is interested in getting a good education, it is certainly there to be found. If you don't care, it would be very easy for children to just get by and slip between the cracks.

Outdoor opportunities are great here. One of my favorites is the Sky Tavern Ski program. It's a cooperative learn to ski program that is cheap and the whole family can learn to ski.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:06 PM
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Having lived here almost 30 years, and the only child going off to grad school this summer...schools all depend on the neighborhood. Even then, you have to pick and choose amongst the teachers (good and not so good at every school) or choose to homeschool. Bright children will not be challenged by the district curriculum so plan to supplement a lot on weekends, evenings, summers. Even 20 years ago we found plenty of activities to enrich our daughter's education. And there is a lot more to do now.

If housing is no object I would aim for the suburban southwest...Lenz, Hunsberger, Gomm Elementary Schools (I also think Pleasant Valley is awesome if you want to be a bit more rural or closer to Carson City but still in Washoe County, PVES is also one of the smallest schools in the district with a very close community feel).

If you do not supplement your children's education they will not be prepared for college. Teachers simply have too many students at the low end and too much material to cover to cover higher levels of subjects. Either find something your kids want to learn more about or find subjects outside of the curriculum to teach them. Be sure to get in lots of math and science which the district lacks. They also don't cover much geography and history unless they choose certain electives in high school. Most of the focus is on reading at grade level and basic (think GED) math. But the kids at the low end really suck up teaching resources.

Save like crazy into a 529 for their college educations. The state has a very highly rated 29, even at national standards. Take advantage of it if you can. Then send your kids out of state for college. The local kids who can't afford much stay in NV at community colleges and universities. They gum up the system with remedial classes which leave very few sections of upper division classes for the students who are there for an actual degree program.

If you enjoy outdoor activities you will find the area ideal during all four seasons. The summer brings out the water sports..kayaking on the Truckee River (even a whitewater river park downtown), lazy days on the beach at Tahoe. Winter is all about sledding, skiing, boarding. Spring and Fall are very pleasant times to be outside in moderate temps. There are plenty of organized sports for the kids as well.

When you tire of outdoor activities we have a children's museum, an arboretum with a museum and playground, the university hosts some pretty impressive speakers a few times each year, there is a philharmonic and a few theater productions that come to town And when you run out of things to do in Reno, San Francisco is only 4-5 hours away for a zoo, tons of museums, ethnic culture, the ocean, and shopping.

Good luck with you choice!
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:00 PM
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Thank you both so much! I have a degree in Elementary Education and both my husband and I put ourselves through grad school, so solid education is something on our radar for sure. I so appreciate your insights!
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:01 AM
Location: Over here
281 posts, read 536,786 times
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Although Reno is not like the big cities as far as family event places such as Six Flags or Zoos, etc, I think it is a nice place for a family. I have a lot of friends with young families and they do plenty. I don't have kids but I went to public school and college and did fine without "supplement education". I think it really comes down to the parenting!

I don't know about others but my friends and I go up to the lake a lot. That is one of the beauties about living here is the close proximaty to the scenery and activities at the lake or river. It is not a far drive and great for skiing or going to the beach in the summer. There are nice bike paths along the Truckee both at the lake and in Reno. Although I am ready to leave after being here almost all my life, it is still a beautiful city and I think it would be great for newbies with a young family...I'm just ready for something different.
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