Best area in Spokane to raise a family (Seattle, Puyallup: middle-class, sales)
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Gonzaga University is the university just north of the river downtown with a full campus, dorms, etc. The WSU downtown campus is continually growing (I just drove through there this morning and there is a ton of new construction going on). Whitworth College is now Whitworth University and has a beautiful campus and VERY courteous students - many of them from outside this area, and international students too. When we first moved here, I found several Whitworth student babysitters who were very good with my kids. They were some of the best young people I've met - especially when you hear all the crazy stories of college student life.
Aren't those quite different than the "real" campus?
So how much time have you spent on the Riverpoint Campus?
Just to clarify, these only offer top notch master's and undergrad degrees in multiple programs, are doing advanced research, have seen millions in public/private development over the past few years, and will likely be seeing the first few 1st year medical students from the University of Washington spending their first year learning/working right in our downtown.
It's an urban campus. Excellent point though as the the pep rallies, formal dances are a bit lacking but not missed.
Well, I have to say I've enjoyed reading this thread that's been going on for a year. My family is considering moving from Everett to Spokane. My husband could easily transfer and the price of housing is a big draw. Also, I've heard that the schools are really good. I have kids with special needs (2 mildly autistic, one cerebral palsy, elementary, middle, and high school ages) and have heard that Spokane, namely District 81, is pretty progressive--that's very important on our priorities because we don't want to end up somewhere that we can't get services for our kids. Wendy, I'd be interested in those school links you were talking about. And what's the thing with real-estate agents not being able to suggest school districts? If you're new to the area and can't ask your trusted agent, to point you in the right direction, what are you supposed to do?
Gotta comment on the person who hated Spokane after moving from The Bitterroot. Well, DUH! You moved from gorgeous, Podunk, MT where people still don't lock their doors to fairly urban Spokane. What did you expect? It doesn't even compare. My parents both came from the Corvallis/Hamilton area and my grandmother still lives there. I'd move there, too if there were any job opportunities. Besides, all the retired Californians have made house prices rise!
And the guy who had it out for the lice--welcome to the real world. Our school nurse has gotten to the point where she's only allowed to send out one "Lice Alert" bulletin a month no matter how many times they've found it in your classroom. I have one child who has been a lice magnet and two others who have never had them. Water soluble Tea-Tree Oil has been the best thing to keep them away and a 3 hour mayonaise wrap and nit-pcking has been the best thing to treat them--he's right about the medicines not really working anymore.
Having said all that, I'd really like to be pointed to the right direction what area to be looking in(what the original post was asking, but I don't think was ever really covered) and where to stay away from. Don't really want to live on the wrong side of town, but not somewhere too white collar either. Somewhere where most of the people own their homes and work hard for them. Thinking about building something or remodeling/adding on to a smaller home to make it handicap accessible. Right now, I don't really want to spend more then $200K, although my husband would say $250K. If we do it, it'll be next spring when it's the best time to put our current home on the market.
Dieing to take a quick trip over and have a nosey!
For schools you can follow this link and search by elementary, middle, etc. as well as by zipcode. Spokane Schools
You can take it with a grain of salt as it is a site that bases rankings on standardized numbers and not firsthand knowledge but it is a good general resource. In general, most district 81 schools are very good, mead schools are good, and central valley schools are good as well. For district 81 you'll generally find that schools on the south hill are strong but there are other areas of town that have schools that are good as well. With a budget between 200 and 250 you should be able to find/build something in a nice area with good schools.
You can also follow this link for district 81 and every individual school website has test/scoring/attendance information. Spokane Public Schools
In my opinion the Mead School District is horrible. Mead High School doesn't have a cafeteria, forcing kids to eat on the floor. The teachers are very sub-par, teaching from xeroxed worksheets and book pages.
The kind of judgment the administrators use is horrible, keeping classes in session while schools are remodeled, when the school poses a fire hazard.
Reading proficiency scores are higher than average, probably due to "funneling" students to the Mead Alternative High School just down the street.
If your child is talented or gifted academically in any way, it better be because they know how to buddy up to the teachers, because that is the gold standard for succeeding in that district.
If you want your gifted child to thrive or your average child to improve, enroll them in Dist. 81.
Yes, it is true. There is good and bad everywhere. We have lived in Eugene, Oregon. Missoula, Montana. Oregon City, Oregon (Portland Metro). So that is my experience. I haven't lived back in the Midwest in a long time or ever back east so this place might seem like heaven in comparison.
Eugene was pretty wacky but seems like it has grown more conservative over the years? Not quite the same hippy population. I would prefer living there to Spokane. Eugene is more open minded to different types of people, so the poster from Tucson might consider that area.
I agree that the people in Spokane are very friendly. But there is a definite small town mindset that many natives will agree with. Eugene and Missoula didn't have that. I am wondering if it has something to do with those towns having public universities?
Visiting would be good. You could decide for yourself. There are some lovely homes in the south hills, but probably with big price tags.
The sex offender thing is true though maybe it isn't as bad as bigger cities? It is definitely all in the perspective!
Another curious thing about Spokane is the head lice! I don't know what is up with that. Having lived around a lot of Oregon and part of MT and kids in daycare in different places and going to different schools we never saw lice until we came here. I was told there is a full-time person at the county health dept. in charge of lice since they are becoming resistant to the current treatments. At my work place as a nurse I see a fair amount of it. My kids picked it up from school and we thought we had it knocked out and they are back. In 13 years of having children, Spokane brought us our first lice problem. People say it is everywhere and I believe that to be true, but there seems to be a particular problem with it here.
Head lice is all over the USA, and so are bedbugs. It's due to the EPA taking certain pestisides off the market. I got a bed bug bite from a well known hotel chain, this past May, and it was the first time I "EVER" had that happen. I had to get up and leave the hotel and drive all the way home dead tired, because I was not going to stay in a strange bed after that. My daughter in Virginia Beach told me that her daughters got lice in school, and my sister told me her grand daughter got it in her school in NC. So, believe me, it's everwhere, due to no bug killers that work anymore. I hate to think of what's coming next.
Yes, that is true. I think we just had a lot of bad luck in Spokane. And having never experienced lice in all the many areas we had lived before it was yet another strike against Spokane. Even though it is everywhere. I think Spokane was just too much culture shock for us. I thought that having lived in Eugene Portland metro prepared us for city life but Spokane is very different from those two places.
This is the first time I have posted and have been reading these threads with interest. We currently live in Alaska and are thinking of relocating to the Spokane area for jobs after my husband retires from the military next year( I am in the medical field and he wants to go back to working hydroelectric power). We live in a small town just north of Anchorage with less than 30,000 people and we like it that way.
What about the towns of Nine Mile Falls and Colbert? We are hoping to get a house with some acreage (5 or more), but still be with in driving distance to Spokane for work. We are also looking for good schools as we have excellent schools here in our town of Eagle River.
As far as lice, I know it is every where, but my children are 9 and 13 and we have never had a problem with it and I would hate to start now. Is it less of a problem in the smaller towns? Being in the medical field, it is true that certain drugs are no longer working for lots of diseases and problems. That is why I have turned more to alternative natural health products to help with these issues instead of dangerous chemicals. There are several essential oils out there that can help with lice and other diseases, but the essential oils do have to be pure and not adulterated in anyway. If you are interested you can e-mail me privately.
As far as lice, I know it is every where, but my children are 9 and 13 and we have never had a problem with it and I would hate to start now. Is it less of a problem in the smaller towns?
I am beginning to think it might be less prevelent in small towns. I have tried doing some searches on it but haven't come up with anything concrete. I grew up in a small town in Illinois and no one in my family had it and I never knew anyone who had it. It's easy to think it is lower socioeconomic families who get it but that isn't true either since lice actually prefer clean heads to live on. I think given the difficulty of getting rid of lice in a family, it is much too hard work for some families to get rid of when parents are in prison or strung out on meth. That was getting to be the neighborhood I lived in, so maybe it is a neighborhoood thing in Spokane, not sure. We think we might finally be free of it now, but I am still on the lookout every week.
The original question had something to do with "I'd really like to be pointed to the right direction what area to be looking in and where to stay away."
Depends on what you're looking for in a neighborhood. Ample services w/in walking distance? Garland District might be for you, or maybe near Manito.
Typical suburban experience? Eagle Ridge (no services within walking distance), or perhaps five-mile or Indian Trail. More rural? Rockford, area in between Cheney & Spokane, or in and around Greenbluff.
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