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Old 02-07-2010, 06:31 AM
 
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I was poking around on Zillow last night and noticed that several of the elementary schools in Bethlehem have really low test scores. I can live with a school that faces some challenges because of ethnicity/class issues, but I don't want to put my kids into a school that is near 'failure'. Are there any that folks here would describe using that word?

Or more clearly put, are there schools to avoid at all costs in Bethlehem, and thus areas to avoid buying in? For example I saw a home online in the Fountain Hill area that looks great, but the elementary school there had really low scores compared to the rest of Bethlehem...

Thanks
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:12 AM
 
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It's a shame because Fountain Hill is a nice neighborhood, at least right around the hospital. BUt the southside elementary schools are filled with needy kids from southside. And it only takes a few blocks to go from the nice hospital district to the drug infested part along 378.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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Sadly, I think Matt is correct.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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A follow up question - everyone seems down on Easton, but in western Easton the Wilson Borough Elementary has really excellent scores - why do folks shy away from this area?

Thanks again
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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Sorry, one more question - I am from the Minnesota originally and they have open enrollment there for schools, I don't suppose PA does the same?
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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There is open enrollment for elementary school, not sure about the middle or high schools
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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What do you mean by open enrollment? You have to attend the school within your district. If you live in Saucon Valley school district you cannot attend school in Southern Lehigh or Bethlehem. In my school district, Southern Lehigh, there are general borders for the elementary schools but they can change them but you will still be going to a school within the school district and it's not your choice.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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Yeah the whole "open enrollement" confuses me too.

Wilson is still basically an inner city type school, albeit a smaller one than Easton or Liberty or Freedom. West Easton has some palatable sections but they're tightly packed in, on narrow streets, and there is some crime. Plus some of the neighborhoods are going in the wrong direction. It is kinda a tossup and depends on your kids' age and needs. The average student at Wilson will test better. But, Easton has more of the top end kids from Forks and Palmer mixed in with the absolute bottom from south side and downtown. An honor student may benefit more from Easton and their bigger resources, whereas an average student may fare better at wilson. Liberty I can't recommend. Also some sections of south side bus to Freedom which may be more palatable, check out a map. I wouldn't pick any of these three if I had kids, honestly, but then again I went to Parkland...
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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Fountain hill is only good for about 2 blocks, everything else is nuts. What school do the kids that live in Pembrooke goto? I would never put my kids in the Bethlehem SD NEVER!
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_PSU View Post
Yeah the whole "open enrollement" confuses me too.

Wilson is still basically an inner city type school, albeit a smaller one than Easton or Liberty or Freedom. West Easton has some palatable sections but they're tightly packed in, on narrow streets, and there is some crime. Plus some of the neighborhoods are going in the wrong direction. It is kinda a tossup and depends on your kids' age and needs. The average student at Wilson will test better. But, Easton has more of the top end kids from Forks and Palmer mixed in with the absolute bottom from south side and downtown. An honor student may benefit more from Easton and their bigger resources, whereas an average student may fare better at wilson. Liberty I can't recommend. Also some sections of south side bus to Freedom which may be more palatable, check out a map. I wouldn't pick any of these three if I had kids, honestly, but then again I went to Parkland...

Okay, so Matt, since you are from Parkland, maybe you should stick to Parkland information. Wilson is NOT an inner city type school. Why would you say that? Just because not everyone has silver spoons in their mouths like most of Parkland distrist does not mean that they are inner city. Wilson is a small district that graduates about 150 or so a year. West Easton is not part of the city of Easton. It is its own borough and part of the Wilson Area SD. In general, it is a small, fairly quiet town. As far as crime, isn't there crime everywhere? You will not find a lot of it in West Easton. Wilson also includes Williams Township which, in case you are not aware, has many homes that can more than compete or best those in the Parkland district.

What exactly do you mean by "the top kids from Forks and Palmer?" Does that mean that only the best ones come from those areas? Or does it mean that NO children from the actual city area are of worth? WOW! That is a loaded statement. I know plenty of kids from Forks and Palmer who I wouldn't let my children hang out with (we lived in Palmer).

As far as the test scores go, every time I read someone asking about it, I get frustrated. Because some schools have a larger variety of socioeconomic differences, you will often find that may affect the test scores overall. That doesn't mean that the kids aren't getting the same education in each school, just that maybe in certain districts, the parents may be more proactive with their child's schooling. FYI, my child (who attended Easton)knew more and learned more than a friend's child from Nazareth. Their child, a senior in high school, recently asked us if Dallas was a city or a state and that child is on the high honor roll every marking period. It goes without saying that school is what you make of it.
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