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Old 07-23-2014, 02:46 PM
 
5 posts, read 9,142 times
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My husband recently received a promotion within in his company and is moving to GJ in a few weeks. We are from Yuma, AZ (yes its 116 today). I will be staying until our school year winter break. Question - which elementary school is considered one of the best? We are not going the private route or charter. Which area of town is good for a family? Is there one in particular to avoid?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
41 posts, read 134,474 times
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Congrats on the promotion!

My wife and I moved here more several years ago, and we got an earful from a ton of people about areas to avoid. Just be sure to take any advice you hear with a grain of salt, at least until you've had a chance to see these areas yourself. For example, you'll hear that Clifton (pretty much east Grand Junction) is bad. Sure, there are places in Clifton where I wouldn't want to own a home, but it's actually a pretty big area with some nice neighborhoods. The same goes for Fruitvale (next to Clifton) and Orchard Mesa (south of the Colorado River). I live in Fruitvale, and our neighborhood is great for families. You can find nice areas everywhere (like Clifton) and you can find some run-down areas everywhere (even in the Redlands, close to the National Monument).

My wife is a high school teacher in town, and while I can't tell you much about the elementary schools, I can tell you about the general areas. First off, don't let anyone scare you away from any of the high schools. Central High, for example, has a reputation for being lower on the totem pole than the other three high schools in the area (Grand Junction, Fruita Monument, and Palisade). That might have been true in the past, but these days the schools are very close in terms of learning environment. Some schools have more poor kids, some have more rich kids, but all provide top notch opportunities and a healthy environment for kids at any academic level. Fruita Monument has the best reputation, and Palisade offers the International Baccalaureate program. Grand Junction is a solid all around school. Central is about to have a science and engineering program that will pull kids in from all over the area.

I substitute taught at all four high schools last year, and my experience was remarkable similar at every one. This isn't like the Denver area, where some schools are exclusively rich kids and others are mostly poor. Every school is a mix of all kinds of kids.

The elementary and middle schools that feed into the four high schools in the Grand Valley have some more variety. Some are pretty tough, at least by Grand Junction standards. But it might just depend on your previous experiences. Anyone with experience in a truly tough school district will immediately recognize that this is a pretty nice one.

I just hope you won't write off any areas just because someone tells you they're bad. This is a nice place to live, and most of the people who criticize specific parts of town (or the whole area) are speaking out of ignorance.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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Thank you for your input! Arizona is notorious for their poor education system - so much that we have our twins in a private catholic school. We are looking forward to the move and not paying tuition! Our hometown borders Mexico, so we are used to a wide mix of economic and cultural background. The smaller town surrounding GJ look really nice, hope to get into something soon. Again Thank You!!!
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
6,288 posts, read 10,676,714 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAKO79 View Post
My husband recently received a promotion within in his company and is moving to GJ in a few weeks. We are from Yuma, AZ (yes its 116 today). I will be staying until our school year winter break. Question - which elementary school is considered one of the best? We are not going the private route or charter. Which area of town is good for a family? Is there one in particular to avoid?
Thanks in advance!
Avoid Clifton. Everywhere else is fine. (i used to live in Grand Junction.)
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:53 PM
 
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Thank you 80skeys!
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Western, Colorado
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Why are you against charter schools?
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:23 AM
 
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Nothing against charter schools - my son has cerebral palsy and he needs physical and occupational services. Do anyone know how the services for disabilities are in the state of Colorado?
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
41 posts, read 134,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Avoid Clifton. Everywhere else is fine. (i used to live in Grand Junction.)
Really? That's exactly the kind of attitude that some people show around here, and it's a real shame. There are certain areas of Clifton that I'd avoid (you'll know them when you see them), but there are a handful of neighborhoods that are great. Clifton is a convenient part of town to live in. You're not close to the mall, but you are close to a pretty good shopping area. You're close to the interstate. You have great access towards the south (Delta, Montrose) via 32 road. You're closer to the Grand Mesa, which is my favorite place for hiking and camping. Grand Junction's wonderful downtown area (actually the one place I wouldn't want to live - old, overpriced houses) is just a quick drive down the business loop. Sure, you might see more people with broken down cars and tattoos when you go to City Market for your groceries, but who cares? I wouldn't want to live in a place with just rich white people.

Now that I've finished my plea on behalf of Clifton and east Grand Junction, I will say that the Redlands (the place people in GJ typically think of as "nice") is a beautiful and wonderful place to live. The schools, especially the elementary and middle schools, are excellent. You live in the shadow of the Colorado National Monument and it's stunning scenery.

As far as schools go, our one charter school in Grand Junction is not very highly regarded. Many of their teachers are not even certified, and they have a massive turnover rate with their employees. As far as schools go, I think any public school in Junction will be equipped to provide services for your son. When I worked in the schools here in town (middle and high school), all of them provided special services for children with disabilities. But I would call the schools and talk to the principals - some schools might be a better fit than others in that regard. Especially if you're wondering about elementary schools.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:13 PM
 
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I've been in contact with MSD about the IEP process in Colorado - everyone has been so helpful, much different than Arizona. Thank you so much griff09m. We live in a border town so I'm used to different economic backgrounds. We (kids & I) plan on visiting the area during the year before we make the move.

Does GJ have any reasonable rooms/studio apt to rent. Spouse will be renting for a short while (6 mos) before we purchase a home.
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