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Old 01-18-2008, 09:10 AM
Location: Cincinnati
6 posts, read 19,898 times
Reputation: 10



My wife and I are researching the Greenville/Spartanburg areas before I accept a position there with a major engineering firm. We have 4 Children. A 16 year old daughter (going on 27 ) who plays viola for the local youth orchestra, a 14 year old son who is very athletic and has an IEP (Individual Education Plan because of a learning disability and speech impediment at our suburban Cincinnati School), 12 and 9 year old boys who love sports, video games and are gifted students who play Sax and Trumpet in the school's Jazz band. They are very social kids across all cultural and racial lines and love to participate in community activities including boy scouts, baseball, basketball, and football leagues, etc.

We are a Christian, African American family by the way, and our household income is in the 175,000 to 200,000 range. We are looking for a home under $300,000. We enjoy being involved in our community thru coaching volunteering for events etc. Greater Cincinnati is made up of small communities that make up the whole metro area, with each village, if you will, having its own store chains, unique community events, etc. that are enjoyed by those that live there and those from the surrounding areas too. Its not utopia but we're kinda used to where we live and we hope to find some of the same things if we relocate to Upstate, SC.

Having shared some of my background information I would like to know specifically how the schools are from some of the people who have children that are of the same age as ours. Of utmost importance to us is the attention given to children with learning disabilities and how well does the area schools follow the guidelines set forth by the NCLB act. Are the teachers actually "highly qualified". Test scores gathered for Greenville Co. schools at greatschools.org are disturbing. Are there similar activities there for my children that I described above? Are there similar neighborhoods, like I described above, in Metro Greenville that will allow me to shop for groceries, for example, without having to drive for 20 min. or across town each time I need something thats not a major purchase? What type of fun activities are there..six flags, waterparks, movie theaters, indoor malls? Do major events come to town such as WWE and TNT wrestling (my boys love wreastling), monster truck events, rodeos, the circus, UniverSoul circus, concerts from contemporary/urban artists as well as ole school acts. Every now and then George Clinton would do an impromptu at Bogards in Cincinnati. (I'm telling my age - 42).

Positive or negative replies are welcome. Race to us does not matter as much as some but your opinions based on your personal cultural experiences will be appreciated because we don’t want to end up somewhere we are not wanted. Not a knock on Upstate, SC, but unfortunately I have to consider this even where we live now. What my children are exposed to is critically important to us. We cant completely shelter them but we at least want to know what to expect.

Thanks for your help

Grace and Peace

Last edited by peaceruler; 01-18-2008 at 09:55 AM..
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:57 AM
69 posts, read 322,635 times
Reputation: 18
We decided to homeschool our LD child b/c the NCLB schools were letting her fall through the cracks, bigtime. It was sad and scary to see what was going on in her public school and it was all "the test the test the test the test" all the time.

They had no time to deal with a speech delayed, dyslexic child with several processing disorders.

We have gotten excellent help at CDS though. We have gotten help there that was denied us in the public school, b/c they didn't have enough SLPs to go around, my dd was denied ST at school, even though her delay was significant it wasn't as bad as all the other kids whose SDs had been ignored at home for 5 or 6 years.

There are a lot of other people here in my shoes, don't be surprised if you have to seek private ST, and I highly recommend it. What remediation my child did recieve was severely lacking.
If you have the money look at private schools, if you have the time look into homeschooling and if you can't do either of those at the least look into private ST.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:05 PM
Location: Cincinnati
6 posts, read 19,898 times
Reputation: 10
Default peaceruler

Thanks ILMK for you help.

We will continue to do more research and we may drive down for a weekend to check out the town and surrounding areas.

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Old 01-23-2008, 10:02 PM
Location: Tennessee
603 posts, read 2,341,276 times
Reputation: 504
Sorry but I feel the need to climb on my NCLB horse. I currently live in Kentucky, but I grew up in the Greenville/ Travelers Rest area and worked in schools there before I decided to marry a Kentucky boy. I'm a special ed teacher in a school that is currently tier 4 in the No Child Left Behind Act (that's bad). No Child Left Behind does not effectively judge schools. One year my school failed because we had a "no" on graduation rate but passed every other qualification. You see, a school can have effective special ed classrooms, talented teachers, thriving students, and vast improvements in test scores and still fail NCLB if they have one "no" on any of the areas. Often, schools have good NCLB scores because the children are primarily affluent kids and have nothing to do with the quality of education they are receiving.
My advice is to check out the schools personally and not be worried about test scores. This past year I had to decide where to send my daughter to kindergarten. The school that we decided on did not have the highest test scores, but the principal knew every student by name. The students were well-behaved and seemed to be thriving. I'm so happy we chose that school. She loves it. If I had chosen the school solely based on NCLB scores, she would not be there. Hey--I'm getting better. I wrote two paragraphs about No Child Left Behind and didn't utter a single cuss word. I didn't even say that No Child Left Behind Act leaves more children behind than ever. Oh-I guess I did say that.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:49 AM
Location: Cincinnati
6 posts, read 19,898 times
Reputation: 10
Default Re: Charz

Thanks Charz,

very helpful information. You are right, we've had similar experiences in that a school may have had teachers that were...I'll say not very motivated...and the principle, (who did care), just needed a parent, (that cared), to file a state complaint to light a fire under......

My opinion is that good test scores start at home. And parents that don't at least check to see if their kids are doing their homework and are studying daily are the root cause of low scores in all of our schools. If we can find a school where the principle and at least most of the teachers care, then my kids should do well.

We hope to visit Greenville during our kid's shool in-service day over a long weekend when hopefully we can talk to someone in the Simpsonville, Mauldin area schools.

This Forum has been very helpful, I appreciate the response. You can gather so much information by researching on the internet, but you can't always rely on the accuracy of the information. An in person visit is a must.

Grace and Peace
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:30 AM
Location: Simpsonville, South Carolina
335 posts, read 1,181,907 times
Reputation: 141
My daughter attends Greenbrier Elementary and we are zoned for Mauldin Highschool as well. We have had no problems with the school, and our neighbors all seem pleased with their children in the schools as well. Let me know if you have any other ?. liz
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:58 AM
Location: Cincinnati
6 posts, read 19,898 times
Reputation: 10
Default Re: Liz

Thanks Liz,

We we are begining to focus on the Mauldin/Simpsonville areas because it will be close to my job and shopping etc. My wife would like to know about stores, malls, theaters, resturants and such in the area. Do you find that area convenient for you and your family such as grocery shopping, is there a costco or sams, walmart, kroger. How is traffic during the day in the mauldin area?

My boys and I (my wife and daughter want to join in eventually) love to golf. Are there lots of Golf courses in The Greenville area?


Grace and Peace
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:30 AM
Location: Simpsonville, South Carolina
335 posts, read 1,181,907 times
Reputation: 141
We have enjoyed living in Mauldin. We have been there 5 years. We currently have our home for sale, and are building a house in Simpsonville. Shopping is very convenient from our home. We are about 2 miles from Butler Rd and the Kmart shopping center. All 3 grocery stores are there as well, Bi-Lo, Ingles, and Publix. We can also go up Miller Rd , and be by the new shops at Greenridge in about 10 to 15 minutes. That is where the new best buy and lots of others are. You can also go up by Duke's mayo and go in the back way. Costco is only about 15 minutes as well. We try to go in the back ways and stay off Woodruff Rd to avoid some traffic. The cinema is also there on Woodruff Rd. Restaurants are all over this area. Very convenient to a lot of places. Sam's and Wal-mart is also on Woodruff Rd. You can also go in the back way to Fairview Rd in Simpsonville, and be there in about 10 minutes. The mall is on Haywood Rd, about a 20 minute drive from Mauldin. We are close to many golf courses off Ashmore Bridge Rd in Mauldin. There is Bonnie Brae, Hejaz, and several others. Traffic is not bad in Mauldin at almost all times. The only time it gets backed up a bit is turning from Laurens rd onto Butler at rush hour in the evenings. Any other ?'s. Liz
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:42 AM
Location: Cincinnati
6 posts, read 19,898 times
Reputation: 10
Now, does Simpsonville have its own set of malls or stores. I discribed Greater Cincinnati in my initial post as a city made up of many smaller villages that has its own set of stores, resturants etc. On the map, Simpsonville seems further away from Greenville. Will that move be a little less convenient for you or will you be able to shop and the same stores in that area? Just trying to get a general feel for the layout of the metro. In otherwords does Simpsonville have the same amenities as Mauldin or Easley, or Taylors, etc.

For example, The Hamilton County library system has branches in almost all the neighborhoods in the Cincinnati metro area, as well as the YMCA, motor vehicle registration centers, etc. How does this compare to Greenville metro?

thanks Liz
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:43 AM
12 posts, read 57,550 times
Reputation: 12
Default Schools and Communities

Peaceruler, Let me start by saying that I am a teacher in the local school system and have views that are influenced by that. However, let me second the earlier post that you should not rely solely on test scores but visit the schools that interest you.

Greenville County Schools has a wonderful fine arts program housed in a brand-new, state-of-the-art Fine Arts Center off of Wade Hampton Blvd. My daughters participate in the visual arts program there which meets twice weekly throughout the school year.

When we moved here the schools were about to be redistricted due to growth; this is always a possiblity at most districts in booming areas throughout the South. We were very happy with Woodland Elementary and know many who have been very happy with Oakview Elementary.

Beck Academy, a public, International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, is an example of how you must take the ratings on GreatSchools with a dose of salt. Those test scores are based on the results from two years ago and have not been updated. The school relocated to a new building and welcomed a larger and new population a year ago which resulted in much higher test scores. The teachers are caring, capable and intent on student learning. It has been my experience, though, that most teachers are that way. You will always find a few bad experiences in any school but I feel they are often the exception not the rule.

JL Mann, Riverside, Hillcrest, and Eastside High Schools plus many others have very good reputations. Remember, you will always be your child's best advocate and if you are willing to play that role you should be able to find schools that meet your needs. Certainly, the teachers will work with you in partnership to best serve your children.

Also, please be aware that South Carolina has some of the toughest state learning standards in the country. Students scoring proficient in 6th grade on reading in SC are scoring at an equivilent level as a 10th grader in Texas according to one outside educational consultant I heard speak a couple of years ago. GreatSchools cautions against comparing schools from state to state since each state is allowed to set its own assessment criteria. It is fair, though, to compare schools within a district by using test scores.

Like another poster said...don't get me started on NCLB...

I have never quite seen the need for private education here. In some cases, class size is larger than what is found in the public schools. But, I know from experience, most if not almost all of the teachers I work with are caring Christian people.

Ultimately, you need to visit the schools, talk to people in the neighborhoods, stores, etc. and make your own judgements. It has been my experience that Greenville is a wonderful, family-friendly place to raise children. Plus, the climate and location are much nicer than Ohio's...

Good luck!

I may be in your boat soon...
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