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Old 09-06-2009, 12:01 AM
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,865,929 times
Reputation: 135


Moving to Dallas from Austin. Not all that enthused about it, but am trying to live with it. (We've lived in Dallas twice before, both stays were abbreviated and we had no kids.) Suburbs filled with thousands of new homes and no trees give my husband hives, so we're looking at areas around White Rock Lake, Greenville, North Dallas, Park Cities. We're not totally Austin people, but we do like patronizing the local businesses, living among other young professional families, and we appreciate a certain quirkyness that can be found in places like Austin or Portland. Chain restaurants and Walmarts are not our thing.

Need some neighborhood suggestions, however, the caveat is that it has to have a good PPCD and LD program at the elementary school.

I have a 4 year old, "E", with a medical condition that makes her look different (yes, people stare at her and it's annoying) and she is slightly behind - maybe by a year both academically (as much academics as 4 yo's have) and socially. She is in a PPCD program in Austin in one of the best elementary schools in town. I like it too - it's small, very neighborhood oriented, upper middle class professionals kids, multi cultural (while the neighborhood is predominantly white, there is variety in make-up with Asian, Indian, and Hispanic children). One of the things I really like about it is that kids are so accepting at this school. There is not a bullying problem (I can foresee bullying becoming a problem for E because she looks different). In fact, after a district line change, there were some new kids at the school making fun of a child with a facial difference on the playground. The kids who had been at this school for a while told the new kids "we don't do that here." That is the kind of place E needs.

The classroom routine structure created for kids with ADD and autism is good for her. Additionally, her speech and social skills have improved a great deal by her attendance at a daycare with typically developing kids. I think the best place for her is a school that is smaller in size, has an involved parent group, a good leader in the principal, isn't afraid to have LD kids at the school (if they "bring down" their numbers or whatever), and has a tolerant kid population. So, what are suggestions for this type of school in residential areas that would appeal to us?

(Side note, I went to Lakewood Elem's website after reading some good things about it and saw that they have uniforms?! - Which school districts have uniforms? Or is it by school? I just thought it was weird. There's something about requiring uniforms at a public school that irritates me.)

Ok..other issue is my 2 1/2 year old who is at the other end of the spectrum and appears to be a brainiac. She's eating up vocab words in Spanish, describes things in detail to us, has told her father to show her chess, and is attentive to everything. She needs a school that will cultivate her creativity, challenge her academically, start foreign language in PK or K, have music and/or dance options. I'm leaning toward private school for her. My husband's a brainiac and while I don't claim to be one, I was bored in public schools that were spotty as far as teacher compentence went. I went to an academically demanding private HS and lightbulbs went off...I wished I had been there all along. I don't want her to be the bored kid in public school.

So, suggestions there as well? We can afford tuition for one child at a fairly expensive private school.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:14 AM
563 posts, read 3,608,713 times
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Have a look at CFBISD (Carrollton Farmer's Branch). They have an exceptional program for kids with extremely high IQ ranges and are also known for doing a great job for kids with special needs. However, each elementary school is different and you may want to weed out the ones you want to avoid and pick the ones that might work best for you.
there is a lot of information on this forum if you do a search for Carrollton. The city itself is older, rated highly for family life, ethnically very diverse and not as crowded as some of the other towns. It is a bit run down so you may want to check it out before deciding anything. It is not as 'cool' and quirky as austin by any means
Good luck with the move.
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:22 AM
34,009 posts, read 53,997,398 times
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Carrollton/Farmer's Branch is an aging area and some of that not very gracefully done--you would have to be careful with picking a subdivision
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:52 AM
403 posts, read 875,329 times
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There are a few really good LD-specific schools, I honestly couldn't tell you which they were, but that's an option. As for the advanced 2-year-old...I think most preschools cover the same stuff, honestly. You can always augment her genius with other music and language programs outside of preschool, of course.

Don't knock the uniform, it's a life saver! No arguments what-so-ever in the morning, and no decisions. It's wonderful.
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:18 AM
Location: The Big D
14,862 posts, read 40,304,933 times
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I was just talking to a neighbor the other day that pulled their child out of the public school even though it was a magnet and they were there for him being "gifted" but he does have a learning disability. They have put him in a school close to White Rock Lake called Dallas Academy. You might check into it.

I love the Lakewood area. Beautiful area and love the homes and architecture. Great place to live to walk to area shops and restaurants.

As for the school uniforms. It is up to the district to allow a school to vote on it. Even though some of the schools in a district do have "standardized dress" they don't all have it. It is more "standardized dress" than actual "uniforms". The kids can wear khaki or navy skirts, shorts, slacks and red, navy or white tops. They can be purchased at any store that sells them. Most schools with the "standardized dress" policy have free Fridays where the kids can wear jeans and a school spirit t-shirt. They can also "win" free passes by good behavior to wear whatever they want as long as it follows the ISD's dress code (skirts/shorts fingertip length, etc). I have one child that started a school this year that does the "standardized dress" and LOVE IT!!!!! Makes getting ready in the mornings sooooooooooooo much easier.
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:22 PM
16,086 posts, read 39,056,494 times
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Lakewood Elementary and Dallas Academy might be a good combination. Lakewood and East Dallas are more "Austin" than Austin sometimes. We are absolutely allergic to chain stores and franchises! One of my classmates who is president of a local neighborhood association wants to print "Keep Lakewood Quirky" bumperstickers.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:12 AM
318 posts, read 1,560,023 times
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Love that idea, Lakewooder, about the "Keep Lakewood Quirky" logo. How cute! That's what I love about Lakewood, too. Besides it being so pretty.
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:08 PM
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,865,929 times
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So my new issue is that I did some calling around to DISD schools, and while Stonewall Jackson and Lake-something... are very good schools in that northeast White Rock area, that is not where the learning disabled kids go. My daughter would have to go a less desirable school (80% economically disadvantaged and 30% non-native speakers) which isn't my choice, so I'm inclined to avoid DISD altogether because I feel that I will never know year to year where she will end up. Plus the calls I made to three different DISD schools were completely unfruitful - some people didn't know who I should talk to, or the person wasn't available, and no one could answer any of my questions about PPCD.

I have been checking into HPISD as an alternate and had the complete opposite reaction - got a returned email within the day with answers to all my questions and an invitation to visit one of the schools. The obvious downside to HP is the rent prices and potentially the snooty neighbors (though probably not all of them are like that?). However, I'm thinking that I'm willing to make some sacrifices financially to make sure E is in the right place that is good for her.

Another alternative we have recently been looking at is RISD, but have not made any phone calls there.

Anyone want to weigh in on our experiences thus far?
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