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Old 12-12-2010, 08:02 PM
 
562 posts, read 1,781,556 times
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My Fiancee and I are trying to decide where to move and one of the more important things to us is the quality of schools. I am against sending my kids to private schools, some of which cost more a year than college does! We had settled on East Cobb, as I have heard great things regarding schools in that area. But recently had two friends move to Dunwoody. One of them lives of Mount Vernon, and I am not sure where the other one lives, but I know they paid around 800K on a foreclosed home, so it is in the nicer area of Dunwoody. They rant about how great the schools are in Dunwoody, saying they are some of the best in the state. I havent really heard anything about Dunwoody schools in the top SAT scores or anyone really talk about them on here. So I was wondering if other people could give me some insight, as I dont want to argue with them on that point and be wrong!
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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The early learning programs are great Austin Elementary & the 5th Grade Academy are both excellent schools, but Dunwoody HS is hit & miss. If you could get into the Chamblee HS district, then you'd be golden.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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Chamblee is only strong if your child is in the magnet program. Admission to the magnet program is by lottery no matter how strong a student your child is. Outside of the magnet program, especially at Chamblee High School, things are a bit more iffy.

Cobb is a far healthier school system than DeKalb. I can't tell if you have children yet, but if you don't it is possible that DeKalb may have turned things around by the time your first child gets to school. However, because this is DeKalb, you can't really count on this.

Very often, parents in Dunwoody don't really know what the schools in other places have to offer. This is actually true of parents in most schools everywhere.

Additionally, Cobb County is better functioning as a county than DeKalb. Dunwoody being a city only insulates you a bit from the general dysfunction of DeKalb.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:08 PM
 
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Thanks guys, we do not have children yet, but will in the near future. I know it is hard to plan for schools as things can change in a few years, but to us it seems like East Cobb schools have always been strong and have a better chance of staying that way. I guess my friends are talking about the early programs as they are both pregnant right now and so that is their main focus instead of looking at the middle and high schools which could get better in 10+ years. how are the early learning programs in Cobb? Right now we have some cousins who live in West Cobb and send their kids who are 3 and 6 to Montessori at 9K per year per kid!
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:20 PM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,857,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastminutemom View Post
Very often, parents in Dunwoody don't really know what the schools in other places have to offer. This is actually true of parents in most schools everywhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecuresident View Post
Right now we have some cousins who live in West Cobb and send their kids who are 3 and 6 to Montessori at 9K per year per kid!
I think the comment from lastminutemom that I bolded is so true. It's probably true of your cousins in West Cobb too. It's not at all hard to find private-schooling parents who are convinced the public schools are uniformly dreadful. Not, I think, that they actually know much about what's going on in the public schools (see the bolded comment again). Really, you have to seek information as widely as you can, and try to maintain a level head as you evaluate it for yourself.

It also depends a great deal on what's best for your individual child. My teenager is academically talented, socially reasonable well-adjusted and a good coper. She's done well at fairly academically competitive East Cobb public schools. In fact, I can't imagine how she'd be doing better at private school. I'm a believer in public education, but on the other hand, I have no trouble believing that private schools may help some children thrive more than they would in the public system.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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I agree, parents a lot of times dont know what is best or what is going on. My cousins are originally from New Jersey and they have bought into the hype about how bad schools are in GA and that is why their kids are going to private school (although I have heard West Cobb is hit or miss). But that is why we are looking for areas that have good public schools so we dont have to send our kids to private schools. Both my fiancee and I went to Public schools (although good ones) and we are both in the medical field. You do have to look at other things such as teacher to student ration, AP/IB programs, etc, which may be better in private schools. But at the same time I think private schools shield kids to much, and I want my children to be able to interact with people of all races, economic backgrounds, etc, because that is what is required in the real world. And even "rich" public schools such as Walton allow that more than a private school that is 10K a year to attend. Of course things like Parent involvement matter quite a bit also. And unfortunately the problem with public schools is that they are limited by the funding they get, which is directly tied to property taxes, so the areas that are more well off get more funding. With taxes being lower in GA than a lot of other states that creates a problem for schools, and it seems like no one seems to get it. Raise taxes just a little bit (and its going to cost a lot less than the 10K you are spending per kid) and the schools will get better. But everyone I have talked to- wealthy or poor seems to shut it down so fast I can barely make an argument for it. If you look at the areas that are known for better schools- East Cobb, Fayette, etc, the taxes are all higher there.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 6,506,691 times
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We had a similar situation about 4 years ago when all of our friends were moving to East Cobb because of the great schools, but my wife and I opted for Dunwoody instead. I will admit to being a Dunwoody homer, as I grew up there, but for both my wife and I it just felt better. True the MS and HS are not nearly as great as Walton, Pope, Lassiter, but they are not that bad and schools can change so quickly (our child is only 1.5 now). For me it boiled down to a lot of other intangibles that, in my opinion, were just better - I like the location of Dunwoody, the layout, and fact that it is its own city developing an identity, etc. If your decision is soley based on schools, than East Cobb is 100% your best choice...for us the disparity wasn't big enough to offset all the other items that Dunwoody offered (that were important to us). Good luck! Either way I'm sure you will be very happy - both are great places to live.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:02 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,857,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecuresident View Post
... And even "rich" public schools such as Walton allow that more than a private school that is 10K a year to attend. ...
ecuresident, you've mentioned the 10K figure a few times. Just so you know, the kinds of private schools that people would choose over Walton have tuition that's about double that, and more. I just quickly checked current high school tuition at Lovett, Westminster, Woodward and Pace. They're all over $20K per year. Also, I believe that tuition is far from your only cost, if your child attends one of those schools, or similar.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
196 posts, read 206,731 times
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I've lived in many states & taught in & had my kids attend many public schools. In my experience, schools in GA are extremely weak. This is a fact we can't hide from. There are still good schools here, but the bad ones are so much worse than the weakest schools in other states. If your child gets stuck in a dead-end school there's not much you can do in the short term unless you can afford private schooling, and it's hard to know how things will be 14 yrs in the future.

Good luck.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:35 AM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 5,496,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slambango View Post
I've lived in many states & taught in & had my kids attend many public schools. In my experience, schools in GA are extremely weak. This is a fact we can't hide from. There are still good schools here, but the bad ones are so much worse than the weakest schools in other states. If your child gets stuck in a dead-end school there's not much you can do in the short term unless you can afford private schooling, and it's hard to know how things will be 14 yrs in the future.

Good luck.
Most Cobb schools aren't weak.

CCSD News and Announcements


If you click through to look at individual schools you'll see most East Cobb schools average on the ITBS in the mid 80s to 90s. I think scoring as well or better than 90% of the US is pretty darn good.

Cobb grooms middle school students for college-level coursework *| ajc.com


more food for thought in the above article.
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