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Old 04-12-2008, 09:22 AM
1 posts, read 6,808 times
Reputation: 10


I need your help and guidance...

We are moving from a Western suburb supposedly known for it's schools... and have 3 children (6, 8, 10).

Our guildelines are as follows:

-Excellent school district (not completely competitive)

-It can't just be determinted by the test scores & teacher to student ratios - I am looking for a district that offers alternative methods to teach subjects if needed and doesn't let the average student fall through the cracks.

-If my child needs extra assistance, I don't want them to be denied because they are not a minority and can speak English. My children are not physically or mentally challenged, they are just not always the top of the class...

-Within 30-40 minutes of Wood Dale (husbands job) & O'hare

-Family friendly town

-Friendly people

We are looking at Highland park, Northbrook, Elmhurst, Libertyville, Buffalo Grove and Glenview. I've outruled, Evanston, Hinsdale, Winnetka, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Palatine and the New Trier school district . I want to be in an area that's close to parks, preferrably a thriving downtown and places to walk other than just a cul-de-sac in a subdivision. We are in the $800k to $1,000,000 price range and would love to be in Cook county for the taxes but it's not a requirement. Look forward to your feedback and the inside scoop that the scores don't tell you.

Thank you in advance for your time and feedback.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:05 AM
28,461 posts, read 78,262,942 times
Reputation: 18590
If you are in the $800k-1M range and you rule out places like Hinsdale, Winnetka, and Barrington and anyplace in the New Trier district you must have some very very odd criteria... I think perhaps you have a major misconception about how good schools tend to give students an advantage in get accepted into competitive colleges -- it ain't like the kids are pirinnaha that compete for attention/knowledge...

Highland Park is the nicest town you have not ruled yet, mostly because it is the most uniform -- really hard to say that a town that compact has any significant differences in schools or such. Of course your money will go least far there. Property with lake frontage would be a tear down in that price range, though you could probably find a few habitable things inland ... It is Lake Co.

Libertyville is solidly in LAKE CO, has a super high traffic section of Milwaukee Ave that is sorta "downtown" but is has very large percentage of cul-de-sac subdivisions too -- lenghty commute to WoodDale too.

WoodDale is not a pleasant commute to Lake Co -- your hubby would have a much better commute to Elmhurst, but that town is about 5x bigger and has huge differences in schools by attendance area. It is in DuPage Co.

Looking at you list I have no idea what criteria you are using to asses where you want to live. Buffalo Grove has no downtown and is the epitome of cul-de-sac subdivision. Glenview is really like two or more separate towns with significant differences in the various areas. Northbrook technically has a downtown -- nothing like that of Evanston or Winnetka, but it is a very spread out town that has a whole bunch of subdivisions too. Those towns are all in Cook Co., but believe me NONE of 'em are a bargain when it comes to taxes. The corrupt & incompetent Cook Co. Board has no restraint to their spending or taxing. At least the growth of taxes is capped in DuPage.

Guess what, students fall the cracks all the time. It usually ain't the fault of the school, if you want to be a PITA parent your kids will get attention... Even then ATTENTION won't magically make them "top of the class". There are lots of kids that go to good colleges and get rewarding careers without being top of the class.

English is the majority language of every school in every area you have listed, Elmhurst might have a handful of schools with any signficant ESL population... I don't understand your motivation for moving -- your kids are still in elementary school. Do you really thing moving is the answer? Where are you moving from? Is the market so resiliant where you are that you are comfortable that yur existing house can be sold to keep you in the $800k-1M range???

I have no idea what "family friendly" means. I drive around and walk around all kinds of towns sometimes solo sometimes with my family -- sometimes I get waves at but that is about all. I think the only "family hostile" places I know of are where it is unsafe to live, or perhaps where it would taking winning the lottery to live decently.

There are a lot of towns NOT on your list that have really nice schools and terrific amenities too -- from Wheaton & Glen Ellyn to Downers Grove, Oak Brook, Clarendon Hills, Western Springs and La Grange none of them would be a bad drive to WoodDale. Or maybe you could just stay put and work with what you've got...
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:20 AM
216 posts, read 680,931 times
Reputation: 86
Wow, this sounds like you have had a tough experience. I can say a lot for Elmhurst. I have two children and both have gotten assistance whenever they, or I, have asked for it. My daughter routinely goes into h.s. early to get help and there has never been a teacher to turn her down. They have a math lab that gives help before, during, and after school also. The middle schools have plus classes to help with students organizational skills and have many after school opportunities for studying or assistance. At the elementary level, the schools are very good and added assistance really depends on the teacher, but again, my children have always gotten what they need. It is important for all parents to push for help for their children and be their advocate. I admire you for looking beyond numbers and seeking opinions. I am sure other districts will fit this criteria. I have heard very good thinks about LaGrange/L.T. also from friends. Best of luck and feel free to email me directly if you have more specific questions about the area.
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:40 PM
30 posts, read 94,361 times
Reputation: 28
Default Alternative education


Perhaps instead of moving to another public school--really, how much different can they be when they have state-wide mandates they have to adhere to?---perhaps what you should look into is a different form of education altogther.

From what you have written, I would highly, highly recommend a Wldorf school. There are two major ones in Chicagoland. The Chicago Waldorf (k-12) is in Rogers Park. people commute to it from alllll over. YOu should have no problem finding a home within driving distance in your range.

The other major Waldorf school is in Warrenville--Four Winds Waldorf(K-8) Google them and Waldorf education in general and see if it something that would work for your family.

Personally, I would never move to *another* public school--there isn't that much of a difference.
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