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Old 06-27-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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I've moved a lot and I've found the hardest thing is evaluating schools. 1.) People typically usually only know about the school their kid goes to and if they've had no issues, they think it's great; 2.) People rely heavily on test scores and other artificial markers to evaluate schools.

Coming from Austin, I really want to choose schools for my kids where kids are NICE. We lived in a suburb of Austin and kids were really, really, really mean. And very closed socially (meaning, their social worlds were set with ppl they'd known their whole lives. No real room for a new kid moving in).

I'm looking for a junior high and high school where the people--kids and adults--are genuinely friendly and genuinely embrace difference. Real difference, not cool masquerading as difference. (I have one kid who is overweight and another who is gay.)

Sorry if I'm coming across harsh or bitter, but after 5 years of living in the burbs of Austin, I'm 8 kinds of over how ppl have treated outsiders.

Thanks for the help! I really appreciate it.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
10,078 posts, read 5,606,789 times
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That's a great question! And I agree it's every bit as important as the Academic Progress and Testing a School
Makes. (I only have one child, a Son who is in college - he went to Jessie Clark Middle School (hated it) and Lafayette
High School (No complaints there) although they have police stationed at Lafayette (makes me wonder about the safety -
but maybe all H.S.'s have that nowadays? I am not sure. My son never had any problems but he is Geek (and proud of it! lol)
and very academic minded.) I have heard lots of great stuff about Dunbar.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
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^Sorry that I couldn't have been of more help though.
Welcome to Lexington!
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:33 PM
 
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The staff and administration at Morton Middle School state that they are committed to stopping bullying in its tracks as part of the school's goals. How much this translates into the classrooms immediately before and after classes, hallways, cafeteria, gymnasium, library, and playground, where students may not be supervised as closely, may be subject to question, but at least those goals are very much in place. Middle school kids can be very mean-spirited, no doubt due to their own insecurities and immaturity. High school is usually somewhat better in regard to overt bullying, but can be rife with gossip, snobbism, exclusion and rumor-mongering, again due to immaturity and peer pressure.

So - what to do?? Unfortunately, your children's traits put them at risk. If your overweight child can lose some pounds before school starts, or at least firm up a bit and increase his or her activity, that will help. Make sure your child's clothing is becoming and stylish and doesn't add pounds. A good haircut and good grooming can make a big difference as well.

Most high schools have Gay-Straight student alliances, which should be helpful to your other child. What are your children's most positive qualities? That's what needs to be emphasized here. Are they into band or orchestra, languages, speech and drama. etc.? If the other students can be lead to perceive your children as good in these or other areas rather than stereotyping them as "fat" or "gay" and not bothering to get to know them fully, your children are far more likely to have good experiences.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:25 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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I'd avoid any school in Fayette County. I moved here when I was 11 and 99% of the people were downright sadistic. I know lots of other people who moved here from other places and had similar experiences. I would strongly recommend the surrounding counties.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:08 PM
 
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censusdata, did you really attend every public school in Fayette County?? How long has it been since you were eleven?
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
229 posts, read 337,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
I'd avoid any school in Fayette County. I moved here when I was 11 and 99% of the people were downright sadistic. I know lots of other people who moved here from other places and had similar experiences. I would strongly recommend the surrounding counties.
If anything, I would venture to say that the surrounding counties would be the less-accepting ones. I didn't go to school in Fayette County, so really, what do I know? But, as a whole, this city is more diverse and progressive than most others in Kentucky.

Scorpgrl11, I don't blame you in the slightest for being guarded. I have an almost 5-year-old who will be starting kindergarten this fall. She's white, blonde, blue-eyed, petite (btw, looks NOTHING like me haha) and I'm scared to death. I'd be every bit as guarded and anxious about this if I were you. I don't think you're being harsh or bitter. I think you're being a good, protective parent.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:11 AM
 
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All of the high schools have security present.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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CraigCreek, honey, if my our could lose weight, we would've done it. We've done everything. We all eat healthy. My hubby is Type I diabetic (what's often called juvenile diabetes, the kind you're born with), so no corn syrup, no sugary stuff, no junk.
I've had her to docs, who agree: there is a chemical issue, but who.knows what it is.

Also, the no bullying thing is a state mandate. And...we had the same thing in our Austin suburb. Means nothing. Guess I should've mentioned both my husband and I were public educators and administrators before we moved here.

Census, I'm sorry to hear that. Which schools did you attend? Those kids sound like the kids where we came from.

Emaline, thanks. Your daughter looks like I did as a kid. I was so tiny!!! Yes, that is a hazard in itself. Ppl will try to run over her. She's gotta be fierce, draw lines, don't let ppl cross them.

Appreciate all the info. Looking for more. It all helps.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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Well, scorpgrl11 sweetie, sorry you seem to have taken my suggestions amiss.

I repeat - even if your daughter's excessive weight is due to a medical condition, helping her making sure she's dressed in flattering and fashionable attire, has a good haircut, and is helped to make the best use of her talents will go a long way towards helping her find friends and be accepted in school. Ditto for your gay child.

It's interesting that you state that if your daughter could have lost weight "we" would have done it; that "we've" done everything", that "we" eat healthy, etc. Is it possible that you are attempting to control of your daughter's life in areas where she might do well to assume some control for herself? You can serve all the healthy meals in the world, but once a child is your daughter's age, she will have access to less healthy food at times when she is not with you. Similarly, she can decide for herself how much exercise she does or does not take. Certainly you want to encourage healthy eating habits, and it's commendable that you're attempting this. But in reality, it's up to her. Just as the choice of whether or not to wear those cute new clothes will be up to her...

Assuming that because the "no bullying thing" is state-mandated but not locally enforced in Austin, TX's public schools means that the same will occur here in Lexington may or may not be accurate. Why assume that because something negative occurs in one city means that the pattern will repeat elsewhere? Why catastrophize? Are you possibly either setting up your kids for failure, or making excuses in advance if they should run into difficulties? Why not assume that they'll be treated fairly by their teachers and administrators, will make good friends, and be reasonably happy, rather than assuming that because they had difficulties in Austin, they are doomed to the same pattern here?

While it's wise to identify traits which may complicate their acceptance in a new place, it's also wise to emphasize positive characteristics. Perhaps your overweight daughter has lovely eyes or beautiful hair. Maybe she's a great reader and can write creatively. Perhaps she is a wonderful, empathetic and considerate, kindly friend. Maybe your gay child is a great musician, or is artistic, or is good in sports or has a fabulous sense of humor or can act. Make sure their teachers know these things. Often shy students can hide absolutely brilliant lights beneath bushels. A caring adult can help lift those bushels.

I do know, having worked with kids for over a quarter of a century.

I hope your children will do well in their new schools, and will be very happy here.
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