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Old 08-20-2007, 09:49 PM
 
Location: the big apple
127 posts, read 701,995 times
Reputation: 77

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We were just in Georgia, and we really liked Athens, but we are now hearing that many families are "fleeing" to Oconee County, because of the Athens-Clarke County schools. Looking at the demographics, the public schools in Athens have a small white population, but when driving around Athens, I was struck by how few minorities I saw. I understand that Athens is around 60% white, but how does one explain that the public high schools have around 28% white students. There are not that many private schools for all of the white students to go to. Is it that there are not that many children in Athens, overall? Where are all of these black students coming from? I did not see much diversity at all? We are just confused. As I said, Athens is on top of our list. We also liked the Savannah area. I forgot to mention that we did not really care for Oconee Cty. We preferred the west side neighborhoods like Beechwood Hills, and ideally we would send our child to Athens Academy if possible.
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:31 AM
 
25 posts, read 159,722 times
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I think Oconee County, where I live, on the border of Barrow county is improving the school system every year, building new schools etc, but if you plan on sending your kids to a private school than move where you want, I live on 20 min from down town on a bad day.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:42 PM
 
Location: the big apple
127 posts, read 701,995 times
Reputation: 77
Default Let me simplify my questions:)

I realize the original post sounded convoluted. We loved some of the west side neighborhoods such as Beechwood Hills, Five Points and I think a place called Christopher Acres. It was directly north of Five Points. Five Points is too expensive, but Beechwood Hills and something similar would be perfect. We have a school aged child, so we want to be in a neighborhood with other children. Schools are very important to us, so we realized we would apply to Athens Academy. I'm wondering do the neighborhoods I mentioned have a fair share of children and where do they go? It doesn't seem they are using the Athens public schools. Is it really necessary for a family to move to Watkinsville in order to be in a family-friendly neighborhood? Thanks all.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Athens, Ga
81 posts, read 326,336 times
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The demographics for Athens are extremley skewed because of the inflation of overall population numbers by students at the Univeristy of Georgia. You won't see many children in the Five Points or Beechwood/Alps area, there are some but the prices are prohibitive for most families with children and the neighborhoods just don't lend themselves to family activity other than walking up and down sidewalks, for the most part.

There are also several private schools other than Athens Academy such as Athens Christian and Prince Avenue Christian that have fairly large enrollment and we have a large homeschool population also.

If you like the westside, I would look at Huntington Park Subdivison or something a little further out the Atlanta Highway. Best wishes!
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:24 PM
 
Location: the big apple
127 posts, read 701,995 times
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Thank you, Michelle. Are there any West Side neighborhoods that are established (no brand new developments), have a good amount of families, and have a population that includes professors and other educated types? We are looking for a place where we can all fit in (parents and child). Perhaps I should pm you?
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:35 PM
 
Location: the big apple
127 posts, read 701,995 times
Reputation: 77
Default Another thing

We really loved the idea of being near the Univ and downtown, but I guess that is not where the children are. Come to think of it, we didn't see many around. I attributed it to school starting and we were there during the week.

I may have asked this before, but how is it that such an educated city have such lousy public schools? Surely, professors live in Athens. We really want to make Athens work for us... There are just these few needling issues.
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:22 AM
 
3,670 posts, read 4,175,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChooch View Post

I may have asked this before, but how is it that such an educated city have such lousy public schools? Surely, professors live in Athens. We really want to make Athens work for us... There are just these few needling issues.
I think you have to parse info carefully about what is a good public school. I am a white parent in Dublin, Ga who raised 2 boys who graduated from Dublin High (whites were a 23% minority). Many people would say our city system is a LOUSY school, but this echoes and feeds the white-flight mentality and worsens segregation. Our boys graduated from the college-prep program with SAT scores of 1250 and 1440. The 70% white schools in the county school system have lower SAT scores than Dublin High. My sons now both attend UGA, with one in the honors program. They are somewhat disoriented, with UGA being about 92% white, since this is far removed from their childhood experiences. They still seek out their black friends who have moved to Athens from Dublin, and they don't seem very interested in the cookie-cutter girls from metro ATL (sorry, Cobb and Gwinnett girls).

What are you looking for in terms of education? Do the children feel comfortable only around suburban-types? If you and they can handle the diversity, I would imagine that the city schools would offer an excellent college prep experience.
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:10 AM
 
Location: the big apple
127 posts, read 701,995 times
Reputation: 77
Thanks for your feedback. I use Greatschools.com, and they provide all kinds of data on schools. The Athens public schools were all given low ratings except for Barrow Elementary. It looks like 60+% of the high school students graduate. I find that unacceptable. I hear about teachers spending time on behavior mgmt. I am a big believer in the power of the peer group. I want my child to be with predominantly motivated students with parents who have high expectations. For us it isn't about race. It's more of a socioeconomic situation. Ideally, I would love for my child to be with all kinds of students. We are coming from NYC, so we don't even think twice about diversity. To answer your question, we want a high performing school with involved parents and an enthusiastic and motivated student body.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Port Wentworth (North)
726 posts, read 3,346,508 times
Reputation: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishvanguard View Post
I think you have to parse info carefully about what is a good public school. I am a white parent in Dublin, Ga who raised 2 boys who graduated from Dublin High (whites were a 23% minority). Many people would say our city system is a LOUSY school, but this echoes and feeds the white-flight mentality and worsens segregation. Our boys graduated from the college-prep program with SAT scores of 1250 and 1440. The 70% white schools in the county school system have lower SAT scores than Dublin High. My sons now both attend UGA, with one in the honors program. They are somewhat disoriented, with UGA being about 92% white, since this is far removed from their childhood experiences. They still seek out their black friends who have moved to Athens from Dublin, and they don't seem very interested in the cookie-cutter girls from metro ATL (sorry, Cobb and Gwinnett girls).

What are you looking for in terms of education? Do the children feel comfortable only around suburban-types? If you and they can handle the diversity, I would imagine that the city schools would offer an excellent college prep experience.

I agree
There is a similar situation in Savannah.
My Daughter is also the UGA honors program, even though she graduated from those horrid inner-city schools.
Most schools have Magnet or Honors departments within the schools to reach both advanced or technically oriented students
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:31 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,054 times
Reputation: 17
Default White flight and Athens schools

The "white flight" sdtarted many years ago, but hasd now turned into "bright flight", with families seeking out the bertter schools in Oconee County. Oconee County schools perform sooooo much better than the Athens/Clarke schools do.

However, the Athens/Clarke school district just received district-wide accreditation, which is a change from the past where individual schools in the district were accredited. This is an improvement. The district is working on reducing the high drop-out rate in the high schools...they recently added an alternative high school for kids who just are not doing well in a traditional school (this is not a disiplinary school, there is another school for that), and the district is developing the Athens Career Academy in conjunction with Athens Tech for high schoolers who want a more vocationally oriented school.

But the Athens/Clarke schools have a excessively high rate of poverty, and with that, most schools have little parent involvement...children are disorderly, and there is a high level of disipline problems.

There are many private schools in the area, and many children from Athens attend private schools located in Oconee county. There are a large number of children home schooled. Barrow Elementary is probably the best elementary school in town, and the most diverse, due to its location in the University area (many kids are the children of grad students, many of whom are international students, who live in family housing served by Barrow). If your child is bright, the programs at the upper schools can be very good. But if you want a child who is well prepared for a college that is competitive, private school (Athens Academy) is the way to go.

OnlineAthens.com | News | State testing standards may be too easy 09/27/07 is a link to a recent story on state testing standards. It may be enlightening to you...there was another story on the accredidation on this date, also.

Many of the neighborhoods are filled with kids, but they are invisible. They are not out playing, but are involved with after school programs at their school or other activities. There are lots of things for kids to do, if you have the money to pay for it. We do have a good parks and recreation department that recently completed the Southeast Clarke Park with a nationally known skateboard park and the WOW playground, designed by kids for kids. Parks and rec also has a very good gymnastics program, as well as tennis and ACT (Athens Creative Theater, a drama program for children). The Lyndon house offers art classes for both adults and children. There are other private enterprises that cater to children's enrighment and activities.

Check out Athens Parent Magazine for information and services available to parents and children. (they have a web site, you will have to google it.)

Keep doing your research, location is important in Athens re-sale wise. Beechwood and 5 Points are very desirable locations...but not necessarily for the schools.

Good luck and welcome to Athens
Anne
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