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Old 05-03-2016, 04:00 PM
 
179 posts, read 87,913 times
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We are seriously considering moving from Chicagoland to Iowa City to be closer to family. We have two children (oldest will be in 3rd grade this fall and youngest will be starting K). Are there any elementary schools/other schools that are known for their advanced/accelerated programs? Both kids test consistently in the top percentile for their ages and we really need an environment that allows differentiation within the classroom and can challenge them (like what we have here). Obviously the goal is to keep them engaged without overwhelming them. I know this can sometimes be a bit of a fine line to walk.

Based on what I've seen online from rankings, it appears that Lincoln Elem and Wickham Elem score the highest between a 9 and 10. Can anyone speak to the programs here? What about class size?

I'm also a little concerned when looking at junior highs and high schools. The highest ranked school from what I can tell is North Central in North Liberty but I'm seeing 7's and 8's. High school wise, West High ranks the best but it's only scoring a 6. We are coming from an area where elementary schools, junior highs and high schools are all 9's and 10's and I was hoping to find that in the IC area.

Any input would be GREATLY appreciated. We could swing private school without a problem but I'd like to go public if the schools can accommodate our needs.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:02 AM
 
Location: MetroWest Boston
317 posts, read 320,196 times
Reputation: 412
I assume the ranking numbers you are throwing out are from Greatschools.com. Keep in mind that is only one metric. Other websites like niche.com can offer additional insight.
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:00 PM
 
27 posts, read 27,082 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by olive03 View Post
We are seriously considering moving from Chicagoland to Iowa City to be closer to family. We have two children (oldest will be in 3rd grade this fall and youngest will be starting K). Are there any elementary schools/other schools that are known for their advanced/accelerated programs? Both kids test consistently in the top percentile for their ages and we really need an environment that allows differentiation within the classroom and can challenge them (like what we have here). Obviously the goal is to keep them engaged without overwhelming them. I know this can sometimes be a bit of a fine line to walk.

Based on what I've seen online from rankings, it appears that Lincoln Elem and Wickham Elem score the highest between a 9 and 10. Can anyone speak to the programs here? What about class size?

I'm also a little concerned when looking at junior highs and high schools. The highest ranked school from what I can tell is North Central in North Liberty but I'm seeing 7's and 8's. High school wise, West High ranks the best but it's only scoring a 6. We are coming from an area where elementary schools, junior highs and high schools are all 9's and 10's and I was hoping to find that in the IC area.

Any input would be GREATLY appreciated. We could swing private school without a problem but I'd like to go public if the schools can accommodate our needs.

Thank you in advance!
I live in North Liberty. Moved here from out of state two years ago. Kid was in ICCSD for a year, now is in private. My thoughts:

Advanced/accelerated programs: they have them in elementaries. I'm not sure how standardized they are among the schools. I'm pretty sure there are within the school pull-out programs for students who qualify. There is some in-class differentiation as well - at least there was in our school.

Lincoln/Wickham: Excellent schools right now, but take the current districts with a grain of salt. The board is looking at redistricting elementary schools now in advance of a new east-side school opening in 2019 (it will open next year to current students in other schools to allow renovations in those schools but will not get its own students until 2019) and a new north corridor school opening in 2019 IF a GO bond passes next year. The redistricting WILL impact Lincoln and Wickham. Even if the bond fails, redistricting will likely be required for overcrowding, especially in the north corridor, and that will include Lincoln and Wickham, too. Also, there's a push to bring greater balance to free and reduced lunch percentages in elementary schools which may impact redistricting. Not sure where that will end up.

Class sizes: Large and getting larger, especially in the northern part of the district. Over 30 in upper elementary grades not uncommon up there. Push to keep class sizes smaller in poorer schools. Class average of 34 in North Central this year. The school board is considering a proposal to set target class sizes based on free and reduced lunch percentage in a school. Higher percentage of FRL = lower target class sizes and vice versa.

High school: Again, take the rankings with a grain of salt because they will change next year. Liberty High School will open in 2017 in the northern part of the district. High school district maps have been revised to include Liberty, but the school board isn't totally happy with them, so they may change.

General thoughts: All of Iowa is suffering from massive underfunding of schools. Local school districts have little power to change that (they are limited by law in how much they can spend). Peruse the ICCSD website, especially school board documents for the past year or two to get a feel of where the district is and where it plans to go. There's a lot of change coming in the next three to five years.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:50 AM
 
708 posts, read 774,488 times
Reputation: 509
I think the GO bond will have a tough time passing.
My kids are doing/have completed the SEJH/City High track. There is a lot to offer advanced learners.

SEJH is way to crowded though, imo, not sure when the Board will address that.

Once Liberty high opens it would be hard to imagine they will have all the same offerings as City and West. I think those of us who have high schoolers will be in for some surprises, no matter where our kids go to school, once the new high school opens....I'm thinking some cuts will happen across the board.
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