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Old 06-18-2013, 01:02 PM
 
119 posts, read 296,737 times
Reputation: 81

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My wife and I have three kids. We've been renting in Kenwood for the past 4 years and are ready to purchase a home. Want more space and like the unpretentious atmosphere of Olympia Fields. We've found several nice homes in our specific price range. We want to be able to price in doing a complete remodel to our personal taste before moving in. Does anyone have any specific information on how safe the area actually is? Home burglaries, car break ins, things like that. Stats don't tell the whole picture, and want the opinion of actual residents or people who are more familiar. How is the environment at rich central? Son would be a freshman next year. And wondering if it is a safe environment at the school. Our kids don't get in fights and we want to make sure they are in a safe learning environment.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:59 PM
 
Location: The Chicago Area
24 posts, read 162,739 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbuck View Post
My wife and I have three kids. We've been renting in Kenwood for the past 4 years and are ready to purchase a home. Want more space and like the unpretentious atmosphere of Olympia Fields. We've found several nice homes in our specific price range. We want to be able to price in doing a complete remodel to our personal taste before moving in. Does anyone have any specific information on how safe the area actually is? Home burglaries, car break ins, things like that. Stats don't tell the whole picture, and want the opinion of actual residents or people who are more familiar. How is the environment at rich central? Son would be a freshman next year. And wondering if it is a safe environment at the school. Our kids don't get in fights and we want to make sure they are in a safe learning environment.
Rich Central is not the best high school for your child. I honestly would recommend Munster, IN over Olympia Fields.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:37 PM
 
119 posts, read 296,737 times
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Originally Posted by Vicky. View Post
Rich Central is not the best high school for your child. I honestly would recommend Munster, IN over Olympia Fields.
Not sure if any of the collar counties would be a good move for our family. Certainly not looking to move out of state. Our kids are doing stellar in the schools that they are currently attending. We feel where we are living now in Kenwood, that Kenwood Academy would be an excellent school for our son to attend. So we aren't looking to change entirely from the demographic makeup of the area that we currently live in. I am sure my kids would do well just about anywhere. But, having three black biracial kids we feel they have performed extremely well in academic environments where they are not just one of a handful of black students. And socially we are sure they would have a better experience in a neighborhood like Olympia Fields. Plus Olympia Fields has convenient metra service. My wife and I both are just getting a bit burnt out with city living. So it's more about a lifestyle change. We are ready for the large house and yard. I like the feel of olympia fields when I drive through the neighborhoods. The tree lined streets, large yards, beautiful homes, and all of that.

Last edited by gregbuck; 06-18-2013 at 06:46 PM..
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:48 PM
 
119 posts, read 296,737 times
Reputation: 81
Again, any personal insight on Olympia Fields would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:44 PM
 
28,455 posts, read 84,757,345 times
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Default No contest...

If the driving factor in your decision is schools with a strong minority component AND good academics I would consider Homewood-Flossmoor over Olympia Fields / Rich Central without hesitation.

The US New College Readiness Index (which is very useful way to assess access and success in AP and other demanding courses) is at 35 for HF. That compares favorably with Kenwood Academy at 26 and utterly demolishes Rich Central at a troubling 5.1 ...

For comparision sake other suburban high schools with a signficant African American population:

Downers Grove South 23

Bolingbrook 11.7

Thornwood 7.3

Evanston 46.9

OPRF 50.3
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:38 PM
 
119 posts, read 296,737 times
Reputation: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
If the driving factor in your decision is schools with a strong minority component AND good academics I would consider Homewood-Flossmoor over Olympia Fields / Rich Central without hesitation.

The US New College Readiness Index (which is very useful way to assess access and success in AP and other demanding courses) is at 35 for HF. That compares favorably with Kenwood Academy at 26 and utterly demolishes Rich Central at a troubling 5.1 ...

For comparision sake other suburban high schools with a signficant African American population:

Downers Grove South 23

Bolingbrook 11.7

Thornwood 7.3

Evanston 46.9

OPRF 50.3
I am already very familiar with all the stats. Homewood-Flossmoor High School is great and we have also been looking in flossmoor. The particular home that we are very interested in and are making an offer on is in Olympia Fields. Our kids are already performing very well and are actively involved in scholastic activities. Our oldest son is taking all honors courses and tested in the top 5 percent of his recent graduating class. He participates in debate and student government. We just want to make sure he has the opportunity to continue on the same path of academic success at Rich Central. Stats don't really matter, I'm more interested in learning more about the school environment. Is the school environment reflective of Olympia Fields and the other surrounding communities that it serves? I would like to find out is violence and fighting an issue at Rich Central. Whether or not academically talented students are provided a safe learning environment at Rich Central is what I am mainly concerned with. I would love to hear from any parents in the district or anyone else who has first hand knowledge.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Hoosierville
16,670 posts, read 14,093,082 times
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Why not read the reviews at greatschools.org? It took me about 2 seconds to find & read one about boy lighting a girl's hair on fire.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:47 AM
 
28,455 posts, read 84,757,345 times
Reputation: 18723
Default Got a note from a retired friend...

A former coworker recently retired from D227. She spent about 15 years teaching math in the district, including time at more than one of the campuses. Safety, in terms of fights and such, is generally OK but she stated that over the past five years or more there has been a shift toward less respectful students and some unfortunate cuts in funding, widely accepted to coincide with shifts in the economy: unemployment has really hurt the area...

The district is one of the larger multi-school high school only in the region and there has been some controversy about district boundaries / racial balance.

I wish I could say more positive things, as the OP seems to have their heart set on the value priced homes that are rather good sized in OF, but the trends are not encouraging...
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:42 PM
 
119 posts, read 296,737 times
Reputation: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckity View Post
Why not read the reviews at greatschools.org? It took me about 2 seconds to find & read one about boy lighting a girl's hair on fire.
I've seen the great school reviews and rating. There isn't a large number of reviews. There is only one from this year. I am fully aware that Rich Central and schools with similar demographics have a bad reputation. Some of it deserved by overall having more statistically under-performing students attending the schools. But most of it I mostly find is undeserved.

I was hoping to hear from area parents and residents as to how they feel about the atmosphere at Rich Central. I really don't put too much weight in just stats. There is usually never enough breakdown of the information for it to be very useful. Such as a starting point for the collection of the stats as to how far along the students were academically to begin with. A breakdown by categorizing economically disadvantaged students and non disadvantaged students. And categories of the two economic groups by race. In the current format all the stats do a good job of indicating is what Socioeconomic background the students are coming from and that's about it.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:58 PM
 
28,455 posts, read 84,757,345 times
Reputation: 18723
I suspect the lack of current reviews can be interpreted in several different ways. The majority of "anybody can post" internet reviews are often motivated by the disgruntled, which might suggest the majority of folks in those areas are happy with the status quo.

Alternatively the relative enthusiasm that most good schools conjure up prompts parents to proudly gush about how wonderful things are; those positive reviews also are known to help boost housing prices...

Maybe there is just less interweb penetration in those areas, I suppose that too says something.
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