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Old 06-02-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Clinton, CT
25 posts, read 42,622 times
Reputation: 16

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My wife and I are moving to the area from CT with 2 kids. Oldest will be in 1st grade next year...youngest still in pre-school. We're strictly looking to rent (for $1300 or less) until we sell our home in CT. Problem is we're having a difficult time finding a rental that meets some of our criteria (i.e. townhome/duplex/house, quiet street & good yard, & storage space) in the more reputable school districts like Guilderland, N. Colonie, & Shen.

We have, however, found a few decent places in S. Colonie, but seem it does not have nearly as good a reputation and generally ranks much lower amongst Albany schools. Even had a realtor who, while obviously not coming out and saying directly, looked a bit uncomfortable when we asked about the South Colonie school district and reading between the lines of her response, we could tell her opinion was not so high.

Can anyone give some guidance as to why S Colonie schools do not have nearly as good of a reputation as some of the surrounding districts? Is there significant differences between the elementary schools? Are differences in education/resources noticeable even at the elementary school age? Are some of the elementary schools considered better than others?

When we look to buy next year, my wife would love for my son to not have to change schools again. I'm trying to convince her to be open minded since our son is only in 1st grade and given the size of areas zoned to each elementary school is so small, it may be difficult to avoid that anyway.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:53 PM
 
65,539 posts, read 91,343,363 times
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Part of it could be that it is more "diverse", but when looking at scores and other info., it is that bad at all. It is closer to Albany too. So, that could be why the realtor felt that wat, as there could be an assumption that the "diversity" and location might make people and out of state folks in particular, uncomfortable. Even with this said, the district is 81% White and the grad. rate was 87% in 2010. I only saw that the district didn't do good in terms of standards for students with disabilities and the Black grad. rate didn't hit the state target rate of at least 80%. That rate was 79% in 2010. You can get this from the NYSED Report Card for the district and you can google NYSED Report Cards 2010. Then, click on Accountability and Overview Report and Comprehensive information report. Click on the county and district you want.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Albany, NY
335 posts, read 760,881 times
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Agree with everything ckhthankgod said. South Colonie is more economically diverse than the other towns. And I really mean diverse; I'm not using it as a code word for poor. There is a mix of kids from all over the spectrum. If you look at the stats, the vast majority of kids do NOT receive free lunch, but the percentage is still more than the virtually 0% it is in the other towns you mentioned.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the more diverse a community is, the more areas in which they have to meet adequate yearly progress on the school report cards. For instance, if a district only has a handful of ESL students, Latino students, free lunch students, etc., then they don't have to worry about making adequate yearly progress in those subgroups because they are not required to count those subgroups separately. A district like S. Colonie has a lot more areas in which they can "fail" solely because they have more subgroups to measure. Shen is big and also has to measure every subgroup, and you'll notice that they have received poor ratings in some of these subgroups in the past.

For what it's worth, I currently have a summer worker in my office who just finished back-to-back student teaching assignments in elementary schools in S. Colonie and Guilderland. She greatly preferred S. Colonie. She said the district seemed to value the contributions of all kids, the students had much less entitled behavior, and they were less cliquish and bullying. The administration in S. Colonie seemed more open to communication and involved in the school. This is just one person's impression from a short time in the districts, but she has an excellent sense of kids and education.

Of course, I'm a person whose kids go to school in the Albany City School District, so you may decide not to trust my judgement .
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:24 AM
 
65,539 posts, read 91,343,363 times
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Great points sarchivist and I'd rep you if I could. Having many subgroups can play a part in the reputation of a school or district. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is of low quality for all groups or even as a whole. Looking at information on South Colonie schools, I think most people would go with a school district of it's caliber.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Saratoga Springs and Copake Lake.
263 posts, read 570,036 times
Reputation: 174
Free lunch 0% in Shen, N. Colonie and Guilderland? I think not, every child with parents that work partly under the table ( construction, restaurant, landscaping etc) eats free, 20% + free and reduced in the above Districts.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Albany, NY
335 posts, read 760,881 times
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@Roland 544 - Well, looks like we are both sort of wrong, although I did say negligible, not 0% . I was looking at demographic info today. In 2010, free lunch in Guilderland was 4%, in both Shen & N Colonie it's 7%, S. Colonie is 13%. My district, Albany, is 50%. Check out the New York State Report card (https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb/Home.do?year=2010 - broken link).
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:27 PM
 
1,320 posts, read 1,299,819 times
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I have lived and worked for years in the areas you are researching. Back in the late 80s thru the early 90s, North Colonie schools were preferred over South Colonie for (in my opinion) some misinformed and/or biased reasons. There is more diversity in SC; & NC was back then a bit more affluent. Then in the late 90s til maybe 5 years ago, the tide started to shift. With the affluent families came the means to buy drugs, & north colonie schools started to have their own set of problems.

Recently, there has been high end residential building in the North Colonie district...but SC has also had some building of its own, at an array of prices. I mention this because no longer is an expensive area to live a good barometer of a quality school district. South Colonie families cross all demographics, more so than NC. They are extremely involved & proud of their schools; there are many clubs, activities, & sports to join.

Go to the websites of both SC & NC schools....even visit the schools in person. I think you will find SC can hold its own with NC, and then some. Visit if you can, parks like The Crossings & Cook Park. Your children would probably do very well in either north or south colonie...I just happen to be partial to SC.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:36 PM
 
65,539 posts, read 91,343,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bridgerider View Post
I have lived and worked for years in the areas you are researching. Back in the late 80s thru the early 90s, North Colonie schools were preferred over South Colonie for (in my opinion) some misinformed and/or biased reasons. There is more diversity in SC; & NC was back then a bit more affluent. Then in the late 90s til maybe 5 years ago, the tide started to shift. With the affluent families came the means to buy drugs, & north colonie schools started to have their own set of problems.

Recently, there has been high end residential building in the North Colonie district...but SC has also had some building of its own, at an array of prices. I mention this because no longer is an expensive area to live a good barometer of a quality school district. South Colonie families cross all demographics, more so than NC. They are extremely involved & proud of their schools; there are many clubs, activities, & sports to join.

Go to the websites of both SC & NC schools....even visit the schools in person. I think you will find SC can hold its own with NC, and then some. Visit if you can, parks like The Crossings & Cook Park. Your children would probably do very well in either north or south colonie...I just happen to be partial to SC.
This is basically what I also believe it comes down to. SC has had a decent volume of diversity for a longer time, but has always been a quality SD. NC schools are now on par in terms of diversity, but flip the Black and Asian percentages of SC.
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:18 AM
 
2 posts, read 684 times
Reputation: 10
Wondering if someone could give me an updated insight of things now in SC schools it's down to 53% rating. Plummeted shortly after these previous posts. Around the time of these posts it was about a 75% ish give or take 5/7 pts. Ranking about 430-450 / 800 or so NY school districts. NC is just shy over 100 something out of 800 something school districts as of this posting.

Read as much as I could about it. Lots of complaints, zero budget for improvement towards the district. Elementary schools rated the worst vs middle or high school. El schools ranking from 3-5/10, middle school 5/6 / 10 and hs 7/10.

NC schools 6/7 / 10 for el, 7/8 / 10 for middle n hs.

Also read families taking there families out of the school district, as numbers keep shrinking and crime going up in this area. I know it's overflow from Albany in general being closer to poorer areas plus Central Ave. read a post from 2017 (the newest type posts I've read), saying like 1k-1,250 students leaving the district compared to a few yrs prior.

Last edited by Schoolseeker; 02-22-2019 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:02 AM
 
65,539 posts, read 91,343,363 times
Reputation: 14359
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoolseeker View Post
Wondering if someone could give me an updated insight of things now in SC schools it's down to 53% rating. Plummeted shortly after these previous posts. Around the time of these posts it was about a 75% ish give or take 5/7 pts. Ranking about 430-450 / 800 or so NY school districts. NC is just shy over 100 something out of 800 something school districts as of this posting.

Read as much as I could about it. Lots of complaints, zero budget for improvement towards the district. Elementary schools rated the worst vs middle or high school. El schools ranking from 3-5/10, middle school 5/6 / 10 and hs 7/10.

NC schools 6/7 / 10 for el, 7/8 / 10 for middle n hs.

Also read families taking there families out of the school district, as numbers keep shrinking and crime going up in this area. I know it's overflow from Albany in general being closer to poorer areas plus Central Ave. read a post from 2017 (the newest type posts I've read), saying like 1k-1,250 students leaving the district compared to a few yrs prior.
What source are you referring to?

Here is some info from the NYSED Report Card: https://data.nysed.gov/profile.php?instid=800000055401
https://data.nysed.gov/profile.php?instid=800000055406
https://data.nysed.gov/gradrate.php?...d=800000055406

Also, be careful with a site like greatschools.net, as they usually just go by test scores. However, it seems like they just changed their rating system and in turn, even if a school may score high, but doesn't improve, it can actually adjust the rating down due to less improvement, if I'm not mistaken. Here's its criteria: https://www.greatschools.org/gk/ratings/

Hopefully, others will chime in with more specifics, but generally, South Colonie is known to still be a good/solid SD.
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