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Old 10-22-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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Hello,
We are a nice family of five relocating to the St. Louis area. Our kids are middle-high school age. They are very strong academically with some interest in the Arts (choir and strings) as well as Math and Science. Please give any and all comments on the two high schools to help complete our search. Yes, we have visited the schools, but that only gives me a limited view. I'm wondering what they are really like and what the locals think. Thanks for any helpful information.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ArtsFriend View Post
Hello,
We are a nice family of five relocating to the St. Louis area. Our kids are middle-high school age. They are very strong academically with some interest in the Arts (choir and strings) as well as Math and Science. Please give any and all comments on the two high schools to help complete our search. Yes, we have visited the schools, but that only gives me a limited view. I'm wondering what they are really like and what the locals think. Thanks for any helpful information.
Hi, ArtsFriend - I can help you out regarding the strength/quality of the various strings programs in the STL area. I am a strings instructor/orchestra conductor at the Community Music School (CMS) of Webster University.

If your choices are between Kirkwood and Ladue, Kirkwood, in my opinion, from the elementary level to high school, is just about the best in the area. Parkway Central is also tops. Ladue is very good, but in terms of through and through quality within the school itself, the strings teachers at Kirkwood and Parkway Central are tops.

At Kirkwood, Patrick Jackson conducts the high school orchestra and also teaches at one (or more?) of the elementary schools. He is a TREMENDOUS instructor, he is OUTSTANDING at teaching beginners solid fundamental skills. Mr. Jackson, I think, doesn't sleep, because he also conducts the Young People's Concert Orchestra (YPCO) at CMS. He is a very demanding, inspiring, somewhat intimidating - he demands nothing less than a student's best concentrated effort - at the high school level. He's one of those kind of conductors that every player thinks that he's constantly looking at them. Nothing gets by him. CMS is lucky to have him.

I am not that familiar with the relative strengths of the various school choir programs. But if I had a high school kid who had a great interest in strings, we'd buy in either Kirkwood or Parkway West.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:57 AM
 
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Default Ladue Schools

We relocated from NC four years ago and have four kids in Ladue schools. We have been very happy with the schools both elementary and middle school. My kids are all artistically inclined and have excelled in the orchestra and band programs. I also have one that has been in the advanced math track since elementary school so that has kept them challenged. I wouldn't be qualified to say that Ladue is "better" than other schools but it has been a good school system and location for our family. Good luck!
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:51 PM
 
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Thank you for your comments.
While my daughters have enjoyed playing in orchestra, it is not the most important and wouldn't be the determining factor. Between the three of them, they have very diverse interests including Drama, Creative Writing, Visual Art, Science, Advanced Math, and some sports. Mainly, I hope they can do well enough in high school to get major scholarships for college. I hope to find a school that will help them get qualified. I'm still a little lost on this.
Thanks again!
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
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^Honestly, I wouldn't make yourself crazy over this decision. Both are very good school districts and I feel confident your kids will do well in either if they're academically minded. Ladue has a slightly stronger reputation in the metro area, but from a test results standpoint Kirkwood performs just as well, and, if you look into it, even a bit better.

Are you guys looking to buy or rent? If it were me I'd probably look for a home you like in either district and make your decision that way.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aragx6 View Post
^Honestly, I wouldn't make yourself crazy over this decision. Both are very good school districts and I feel confident your kids will do well in either if they're academically minded. Ladue has a slightly stronger reputation in the metro area, but from a test results standpoint Kirkwood performs just as well, and, if you look into it, even a bit better.

Are you guys looking to buy or rent? If it were me I'd probably look for a home you like in either district and make your decision that way.
^^^^^^^^^ This.

Really, they're both excellent school districts. Don't sweat it. I just gave my perspective of a professional string teacher, that's all. You can't go wrong academically with either choice.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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I appreciate the reassurance.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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Agree, no major concerns with either school districts - both are well funded. Safe, suburban, "bubbles." I am biased toward Ladue because I live there, but Kirkwood seems to have more cheerleaders-- people who live there seem especially proud of the community. I have said this before, and I have no solid evidence to back it up, but I suspect there are a lot more home owners in Kirkwood who were raised in that community - it seems to have a high nativity index. Most everyone I know who lives in Kirkwood is from Kirkwood. Most people I know in Ladue are from somewhere else. For that reason alone, I prefer Ladue - I guess I relate better to "outsiders."
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 31,638,868 times
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^This is funny to me, and a reminder of how much perception can play into these kinds of things, but having not lived in either but having friends and family in both I would have thought/guessed there would be more "transplants" (in quotes because I also mean intra-metro migration) in Kirkwood than in Ladue.

I went to high school out in St. Charles county and there are plenty of former classmates who now live in the city, more still who still live only a few blocks from their childhood home, and a decent chunk who have left the St. Louis metro, but aside from those big three I also have noticed there is a notable contingent who have moved to the Webster/K-Wood corridor -- far more than those who have moved anywhere else (other than the city like I said) in the metro.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:04 PM
 
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Funny you should mention the "outsider" phenomenon. It actually is an aspect that is important. I did notice that when I visited Kirkwood. Ladue appeared to be more of a melting pot. I like that about it. Good point.
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