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Old 05-01-2007, 09:40 PM
 
282 posts, read 947,587 times
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OK, I just reread your post. You said Horace Mann was the best public option for preschool (this might be true -- my response was directed at elementary public school rather than preschool). Willowwind has an excellent reputation but not many people here use private schools since the public schools are excellent.

The Catholic private schools here (Regina) are no better academically than the public schools, so their advantage would really be restricted to religious teachings. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:50 PM
 
282 posts, read 947,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calbear View Post
I'm reviewing temporary housing options right now but with 3 dogs I don't know how that will work out! My son is 4 so we're looking for a pre-school. I have information on Horace Mann Elementary, which seems to be the best public option. Mark Twain seems to be the only other public school with a pre-school program but has very low 3rd grade math and reading scores. We are also looking at the 2 private options, Willowwind and Regina. Any input you can give would be welcome. I'm looking to put down roots in the prairie soil and stay a while.
You might also consider a Montessori based preschool. My daughter did very well in the Coralville Montessori school during her preschool years. A great program.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:04 PM
 
7 posts, read 28,942 times
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Thanks. It's hard to get this kind of information when you're trying to move in from out of town so this really helps.
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:06 PM
 
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I have friends who have lived in several areas of the country due to his job. They far and away enjoyed Iowa City the most.
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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I"m thinking for cheaper housing you should check out Coralville, which touches Iowa City, but the housing prices are significantly lower. My husband and I are moving to Iowa City in two week, and I just wanted to live close to the middle of town, but for you Coralville would be nice. Also, we have visited a few times and the restaurant variety is pretty good. College towns often have a decent variety.
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Old 05-15-2007, 03:35 PM
 
282 posts, read 947,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brittany1337 View Post
I"m thinking for cheaper housing you should check out Coralville, which touches Iowa City, but the housing prices are significantly lower. My husband and I are moving to Iowa City in two week, and I just wanted to live close to the middle of town, but for you Coralville would be nice. Also, we have visited a few times and the restaurant variety is pretty good. College towns often have a decent variety.
It's true that housing is a bit less expensive in Coralville than Iowa City. There are some downfalls to Coralville, which is at least partly why. Traffic is one reason. If you want to live very close to malls, chain restaurants, etc. then Coralville is the place for you (note that the mall and other businesses are rarely more than a 10-15 minute drive away from within Iowa City, so living 'close' to shopping is not that big of a deal no matter where you are). But in general there is more traffic congestion in Coralville than Iowa City (if you can call this area congested by traffic -- really the traffic is a non-issue here anywhere!). Also, with a couple of exceptions, the elementary schools tend to be better in Iowa City, and with more variety. You will notice here that like anywhere, the real estate prices are very much proportional to the rating/reputation of the elementary school.

If you have children in elementary or middle school and are moving to the area, you need to be aware of the redistricting issue related to the high schools in Iowa City and Coralville. I can explain this in more detail if you would like (and your realtor will tell you this also). But for now, summarize it to say that I would not purchase a house in Coralville or the west side of Iowa City right now if I were coming in from outside the district -- I would focus on the east side.
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Old 05-19-2007, 07:59 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,823 times
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Default Iowa City Schools

I just wanted to make a comment regarding some of the posts on this board. I'm from a small town in Iowa and went to a small town high school. I attended Iowa for undergraduate and now attend graduate school out of state.

It surprises me that so many people seem to think that an elementary school's value can be judged simply on its test scores. The scores reflect many things, including the socioeconomic background of those who attend, so I'm not saying they are useless to a potential homebuyer. However, when saying as I've seen on this board that "Mark Twain is the worst school to choose in Iowa City, even though it's not bad", it seems that this statement is solely based on test scores. I do not have children yet, but one thing I will be looking for in a school is one that is diverse and will expose my child to children who come from racially and economically diverse families. I think it is one of the most important parts of education and if I support my child at home, I'm confident they will do equally well at any Iowa City school. I just see a lot of micro-management going on here. I would hope that more effort is put into improving the test scores at those schools than is put into people avoiding placing their children in them, but I doubt it.

Disclosure: I'm not in education, I'm an engineering graduate.
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Old 05-20-2007, 01:19 PM
 
7 posts, read 28,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newhawk View Post
I just wanted to make a comment regarding some of the posts on this board. I'm from a small town in Iowa and went to a small town high school. I attended Iowa for undergraduate and now attend graduate school out of state.

It surprises me that so many people seem to think that an elementary school's value can be judged simply on its test scores. The scores reflect many things, including the socioeconomic background of those who attend, so I'm not saying they are useless to a potential homebuyer. However, when saying as I've seen on this board that "Mark Twain is the worst school to choose in Iowa City, even though it's not bad", it seems that this statement is solely based on test scores. I do not have children yet, but one thing I will be looking for in a school is one that is diverse and will expose my child to children who come from racially and economically diverse families. I think it is one of the most important parts of education and if I support my child at home, I'm confident they will do equally well at any Iowa City school. I just see a lot of micro-management going on here. I would hope that more effort is put into improving the test scores at those schools than is put into people avoiding placing their children in them, but I doubt it.

Disclosure: I'm not in education, I'm an engineering graduate.
I'm coming from outside of Iowa City so statistics are very helpful to me as a starting point to look for schools and housing. I am moving from a big city with failed (not "failing" but FAILED) public schools, so my son goes to a Catholic preschool. I'm grateful to now have the option of excellent public education for him.

From the info I got from a web site called greatschools.net, Mark Twain does seem to have a diverse student body, at least racially (they don't give other demographic info) and I agree with you completely that a diverse educational environment is important. However, the stats say that less than 30% of the 3rd graders at Mark Twain tested at or above proficient in mathematics in 2003. Such a low score at Mark Twain is not encouraging even allowing for statistical error, the socioecononic backgrounds of those tested and other factors. That has to concern me as a parent who wants the "best" (in terms of the 3 R's) education possible for my son. But I also agree that stats don't tell the whole story and I plan to visit schools that interst me and talk to parents, teachers and administrators in person before I make a decision. I think it would be foolish not to do this within a school district that is very good overall by all accounts I've heard. I have to also discolse that I'm not in education, either.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:57 PM
 
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Newhawk - I just want to thank you for standing up for Mark Twain. I happen to live on the south side of Iowa City and two of my children attend that particular school. I just want to set a couple of things straight since this post could be read by many. I guess I'm sad to see how many in Iowa City like to talk about how they welcome diversity and then open enroll their children to some of the schools that were mentioned as "the best". One must remember that all the schools eventually merge into junior high and then into high school. I do agree that everyone wants what is best for their children. I think that parents who stay involved and help their children will have success anywhere - not just in "the best" schools. I happen to love the teachers at Twain. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about them. One fabulous thing that I love (thanks to the open enrollment issue) is that the school has extremely small classes. My kindergartener has 13 children in her classroom - allowing her more time with the teachers than in locations like Weber where the classrooms are overflowing. I hope that you will keep an open mind when you look into locations. My side of town does have very affordable housing, great neighbors and is within a reasonable commute to the University (where both my husband and I work). Sorry for such a "angry" reply, but I'm tired of people bashing on my school -- I guess I feel that until you have been a student or parent at Twain you don't really have the experience or knowledge to remark on it. Again, thank you for your reply newhawk!
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:06 PM
 
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,183,316 times
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Originally Posted by ic-epi View Post
But in general there is more traffic congestion in Coralville than Iowa City (if you can call this area congested by traffic -- really the traffic is a non-issue here anywhere!).
EXCEPT for home football games -- don't forget those! During those Saturdays, most of the "main" thoroughfares in Coralville AND in downtown and the west side of Iowa City are VERY clogged. For me, this would be the biggest reason to avoid Coralville and the west side... on the east side of town, you can run to the grocery store without encountering that mass of humanity. If you're a part of the scene, it's great fun, but if you're just trying to have a "normal" Saturday and get some shopping done, it can be a nightmare to be stuck in the middle of it all.
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