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Old 07-05-2020, 12:52 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,529 times
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Hi there, and hope you all had a good Fourth.

We’re considering a move to the Columbus area and wanted to consult the City-Data community about some questions we had.

We’re looking for a suburb that has great schools and is a great place to raise a family. Dublin, Powell, and Upper Arlington all seem like great options. However, we’ve had trouble finding smaller school districts with the same great ratings and communities. By small, I mean ~1,000 students or less at the high school.

The only ones we’ve seen so far are Bexley and Grandview Heights. Does the City-Data community have any recommendations as to other great suburbs with smaller school districts around the Columbus area?

Also, while searching for this, we saw there are public schools such as ’Columbus Preparatory Academy' and ’Metro Early College High School,' among others. Since I’m assuming these schools are for students within the Columbus city limits, is there a resource I can use to find what their school boundaries are? Furthermore, is there a resource I can use to find what their feeder schools (elementary, junior high) are?

Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and we look forward to your responses.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:50 PM
 
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Bexley and Grandview Heights are great older communities with top-notch schools. Grandview Heights High School is quite small, with Bexley High School a bit larger, but still only 700 students or so. Another great small school district you might consider is Granville. Although Granville is a bit of a hike from the city, it's a really nice town (home to Denison University), and the high school isn't nearly as large as most suburban Columbus schools.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cbus76 View Post
Bexley and Grandview Heights are great older communities with top-notch schools. Grandview Heights High School is quite small, with Bexley High School a bit larger, but still only 700 students or so. Another great small school district you might consider is Granville. Although Granville is a bit of a hike from the city, it's a really nice town (home to Denison University), and the high school isn't nearly as large as most suburban Columbus schools.
Thank you for the response. It would be a bit of a trip but it’s doable. Seems like a nice town with lower property taxes; I’m assuming that’s because it’s not in Franklin County.

Also, do you know anything about Hamilton Township? I believe it’s in Obertz. That’s another one we’ve been looking into.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:59 PM
Status: "sipping coffee" (set 4 days ago)
 
287 posts, read 450,841 times
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You might want to look at the Worthington schools.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dustin183 View Post
You might want to look at the Worthington schools.
Will do, thank you.
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:09 AM
 
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
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While more rural in scope and size, there may be some developments or large exurban lots, especially as Dublin fills its outward sprawl pushing into Plain City, zoned to Jonathan-Alder HS. About 650-700 students but unlike Bexley and Grandview Heights or even Granville, the district is mostly rural. Most development will likely be around Plain City, which puts you near US-33 taking you north into Marysville or south into Dublin. Traffic can be tight around the US-33 and I-270 interchange with people going in towards Columbus for work. Dublin has plenty of shopping options, including but not limited to the Tuttle Mall area (which is actually Columbus City limits). But traffic around Plain City itself would be fine.

Personally, as Dublin does build out, which at this rate will probably be another 10-15 years max, I expect development to pick up in portions of Jonathan-Alder Schools, especially around Plain City and the US-33 corridor.

If you want even smaller, portions of the area between Plain City and Marysville are zoned to Fairbanks local. This district is probably even more rural and has about 350 students at the HS level.

Outside the Delaware area, again, more exurban to rural in nature, is Buckeye Valley. It makes a rough upside down "U" shape around the Delaware area, though does not cover Delaware itself. Buckeye Valley Local HS has about 700-750 students. Delaware would be the closest shopping destination followed by Polaris. Access to I-71 can be hard as Delaware and Polaris have caused massive build-ups in traffic with roads and interchanges that are barely, if at all, keeping up with the increases. The west side of the Buckeye Valley district can see slowdowns on US-23 and OH-315 as you go through Olentangy, Powell and into the I-270 area.

I would also recommend Big Walnut HS, in Sunbury, Galena, and the surrounding exurban and rural lands. They are on the top of your range at about 980 students, and will likely grow in the coming years, especially as development spreads north from Westerville and New Albany. Sunbury will have most of your local mom-and-pop necessities and Kroger. Larger shopping trips can be done in Delaware to the west or down in Polaris area or Westerville. Again, same traffic concerns around I-71 and US-36 and getting through Westerville and over around Polaris can be hard at times.

Finally, along the US-33 corridor between Pickerington/Canal Winchester and Lancaster, there is Bloom Carroll Schools. The HS has just under 600 students. While exurban and slightly rural, it has a slightly smaller footprint than Jonathan-Alder or Fairbanks. It is also a little more developed, and likely will continue to see some development with US-33 being upgraded between Columbus (I-270) and Lancaster's beltway. Lancaster is probably your closest shopping, and the area probably ties to Lancaster a bit, much like Granville is to Newark. But Pickerington and Canal Winchester shopping are not terribly far. But most stores will be best accessed in Lancaster.

Overall, Columbus' suburban school districts are setup over large areas. And when sprawl began in earnest in the 50's/60's and into the 70's/80's, many of these districts got very large, resulting in many having 2-4 high schools in the school district. Even then most are 1000+ students, especially the in demand districts. And if you want Grandview Heights or Bexley style schools, expect to pay more for what you want. Bexley probably has the wider range of home prices to Grandview Heights, but you still pay a premium for what you get. Plus high property taxes (Bexley lacks almost any commercial offices). Grandview might be steadier property tax wise, but I do not recall if Grandview Yard is in their city limits, or Columbus'. Granville does likely have cheaper property taxes due to being Licking County, and having Denison University in-town to offset some of the burden.

But as noted, Granville is a ways out, as it is essentially a suburb of Newark, but many do commute into New Albany and Columbus. Outside Newark, most amenities are going to be in New Albany, Easton or Westerville. OH-161 being an expressway grade highway helps with the flow into Columbus now.

While Hamilton Local Schools perform OK, the area is surrounded by lots of warehouses and industrial projects. It does not have the same cache as Bexley or Grandview Heights, and if I would choose to live outside I-270, I would pick Granville over Hamilton Local every time. Also, with Hamilton Local, you have the local water treatment plant in the area. And while there are OK parts to south Columbus, there are more pockets of crime and neglected areas compared to north of I-70. Shopping would be in Grove City, which is not too far, but more likely you'd be driving to Lennox Town Square near OSU, Hilliard-Rome corridor or Pickerington. There are no local malls south of I-70. The exceptions being Eastland, which I would not recommend as a regular shopping area as it is pretty neglected the dying River Valley Mall in Lancaster. While River Valley itself is not much, there is plenty of big-box and strip mall stores around it that are in decent shape.

My recommendations (including the two inner-ring suburbs):

1) Granville
2) Grandview Heights
3) Bloom-Carroll
4) Bexley
5) Big Walnut / Sunbury
6) Jonathan-Alder / Plain City
7) Fairbanks
8) Buckeye Valley
9) Hamilton Local / Obetz
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