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Old 11-22-2019, 05:57 AM
 
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Can anyone list the progressive schools in the Lehigh Area? I am researching the best areas to live based off finding the type of schools we are interested in. I have a few near Philadelphia, but do not want to be near or in the city. thank you
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:40 AM
 
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What's a progressive school?

In the LV, Southern Lehigh has a Spanish Immersion program as does Moravian Academy. There is also the Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Arts.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:49 AM
 
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From your other post in the Philadelphia forum //www.city-data.com/forum/phila...ladelphia.html it sounds like you are concentrating on elementary schools instead of a school district. I think that's a mistake because by and large, elementary schools are nurturing and enjoyable. As a parent you can provide enrichment yourself with vacations and extra curricular activities as long as the culture of the school is one that you agree with. Where the rubber meets the road is middle and high school. When we moved here to Southern Lehigh I had a pre-schooler an elementary school child and one in middle school. Our focus was on a small school district where there were enough new people so our kids would make friends quickly and where the academics were strong but not over the top competitive. After looking at the districts within a fairly easy commute to my husbands job, we chose Southern Lehigh and it was a good choice for us.

Southern Lehigh today is better than it was 20 years ago when we moved but I think that's because the school board and the administration has changed and grown as more people moved in. There's more emphasis on inclusion and social emotional learning. New students are purposely welcomed, not just introduced. Diversity-wise it's still pretty white and the second most represented race is Asian, which, includes mostly Indian and Chinese students. Because of some racist incidents a few years ago, the administration has taken steps to change the culture of the district from one of sweeping incidents under the rug to confronting them head on, recognizing the problems and working on change. I really appreciate that and it's happening because it's coming from the top down - Newish Super and newish HS Principal. The Principal, btw was a former SL Assistant Vice Principal, moved to Saucon Valley to be the HS Principal there but moved back a year later after the SL Principal left. That says a lot about Saucon and Southern Lehigh. It's not unusual for Administration to move but not usually after just one year.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:16 PM
 
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Most of the schools I’ve looked at are only K-8 and then you choose a HS public or private to attend at that time. A progressive school (the term which I actually learned from someone who responded to my last post) is more based on the social /emotional growth of each individual child, nature based, inquiry driven, hands on, sometimes located on large land where children learn how to make their own food and collect eggs from the farm.. also includes academics of course but not based on standardized testing and some do not do formal testing like public schools
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Old 11-22-2019, 02:43 PM
 
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Gotcha. In Pennsylvania, the majority of students go to public school K-12 and generally don't choose which school they will go to after elementary because there is no choice in their district unless they want to go to a private or charter, and that's a minority of students outside of the cities. Schools are funded primarily locally so if you live in a wealthier area, your schools are generally better. I'm not saying that's right, but that's education funding in PA for now.

In the Lehigh Valley most of the districts surrounding the cities have one high school, one or two middle schools and 2 - 6 elementary schools. In Southern Lehigh we also have an intermediate school. At SL, It breaks down to two elementary schools serving kids k-3, the IS has grades 4-6, the middle school only has grades 7-8 and the high school is 9- 12. Inquiry driven, social-emotional learning and hands on are the buzz words in education right now. You'll see them mentioned in every school, public and private. Standardized testing is not something anyone likes - teachers, administrators or students but that's what the state and federal legislators want so it's going to continue to be done. Public charters have them too as do many privates. However, if a school is doing it right there is no test prep for it, it's just a day or two of taking tests.

You mentioned Circle of Seasons on your other thread. I love the concept of waldorf schools and even though I said that my friend, who works there, is not totally satisfied, that doesn't mean it wouldn't be good for you and your family. I think school experience is subjective. Public charters here are a mixed bag and it's not a slam dunk to get into. There is usually a set limit on how many kids from outside it's district are allowed. i.e. Circle of Season is located in Northwestern Lehigh School district so if you really want your kids to go there, you should plan on living in that area. It's a nice area anyway so that's not a negative. If you live outside of the area, your child will be bused there from the sending school district but it could be a very long bus ride. From my school district it's at least a 30 minute ride, probably more. https://www.circleofseasons.org/enrollment Seventh Generation is another charter school, with some of the qualities you are looking for located in East Penn school district https://sevengenerationsschool.org/ Both Emmaus and Northwestern are good school districts too so once they are through those schools, the MS/HS are good. Northwestern HS is a small one, Emmaus (East Penn) is big for our area.
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Old 11-24-2019, 05:26 AM
 
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Thank you toobusytoday this is good helpful information. I understand if I were to choose a public school district then you go to the schools in your area. It is the same way where I live on Long Island. If we were to choose the more progressive schools or Waldorf based then we would need to find /MSHS that could also work...even though that seems SOOOO many years away right now! I will look at both of the districts you mentioned. Seventh Generation seems great too, of course nothing is as telling as being there and seeing these schools first hand. I need to make a trip ultimately to make my decision.
Years ago before I moved to South Carolina I was looking at the Emmaus area and ultimately went with the south for the weather lol It was VERY HOT.

Last edited by gp3530; 11-24-2019 at 05:33 AM.. Reason: sp
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