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Old 01-31-2014, 03:30 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,696 times
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Hi all - we are a family with 2 elementary-aged girls preparing to move to Howard County, in part, because of the schools. We were aiming to buy a house in the Centennial or River Hill high school districts based on their strong reputations. Our realtor, however, mentioned that many families are moving OUT of the Centennial district and into the Mt.Hebron high school district because their kids found Centennial to have too much academic pressure/provoke too much anxiety, etc. Our kids so far are doing really well in school so I think they are on track to be good students and we wanted them to be in an environment where lots of kids are focused on doing well and on getting into top colleges. On the other hand, I don't want them to be miserable. Are their any former students or parents of any of these schools who can share their opinion or experiences? Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:00 PM
 
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I think this agent simply wants to sell you a house in the Hebron district. I have experience with Centennial. I doubt people have just now decided to start moving to another district for that particular reason since Centennial has had that reputation for more than 20 years. Yes, it's is a highly academic school, but so are all the schools in the northern part of the county. If there appears to be more pressure, it may be because Centennial has the largest Asian population of any of the high schools and my experience is that they put pressure on themselves, because their families expect excellence and nothing less than all AP classes. My kids did great at Centennial and I never wished they were anywhere else. If you're going to choose a house based on a less stressful academic school, then you might want to look at a school that really is less academic, and with a much smaller number of Asians. That's not Hebron.

I suggest being very careful believing what any real estate agent tells you regarding schools. Do your own research. Which you're doing, so yay!

Last edited by newhart; 01-31-2014 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:37 PM
 
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Sounds like Tiger moms putting pressure on their kids. Yikes!
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:15 PM
 
580 posts, read 665,693 times
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Originally Posted by NJ2MDdude View Post
Sounds like Tiger moms putting pressure on their kids. Yikes!
Yes, God forbid everyone not get a blue ribbon for participating, and having parents expecting kids to try their best.

The pressure will only grow...college...grad/professional school...work. May as well learn at an early age how to cope with it.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:05 AM
 
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I tend to agree with the other posters - I went to a different Howard County high school, but my cousins went to Centennial (albeit a decade ago) and they all ended up being successful college graduates. I think as long as you and your spouse are realistic about academic expectations for your children and supportive (without putting too much pressure on them to excel), that they will be fine at Centennial.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Ellicott City MD
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We are in Howard County with elementary school age children, but we stayed away from Centennial. We have no regrets about that decision. There are lots of good high schools in Howard County. We hear a lot of the same feedback about academic intensity at Centennial that your realtor relayed. We have even heard about it at elementary schools that feed Centennial. However, I've never heard of people intentionally moving out of the district. You will pay a significant premium to be in that district, and you have to decide if it is worth it to you.

Also, as someone who went to a very well known college and has done alumni interviewing, I have to disagree with the PP that says the pressure will only grow after high school. I think the pressure peaks in high school in many ways, especially because it is the worst combination of pressure and maturity to deal with it.
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Old 02-01-2014, 01:43 PM
 
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Default thanks!

I really appreciate all of your comments. Thank you for the input. I guess our next step is to visit the different schools.
Thanks again. THis forum and website is so helpful.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ccmove View Post
I really appreciate all of your comments. Thank you for the input. I guess our next step is to visit the different schools.
Good luck, and feel free to message me with any questions. I had several kids go through Centennial.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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I'm in the Mt. Hebron district, though my kids are not in high school yet. I have heard the same thing your realtor is talking about, but that is is not exclusive to Centennial. We neighbor the Centennial district and I couldn't justify paying $25,000 or more for the same style of house. So based on that, and my research about the area high schools, we specifically chose Hebron. I don't think you'd be remotely disappointed with Mt. Hebron if you chose it. Centennial has great kids too but we have friends in their feeder middle schools who are moving bc of the pressure and teachers not being able to help kids with ADHD.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:43 AM
 
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To the OP, if you want to be in this part of the county, may I suggest you simply choose a home and a neighborhood you love and can afford. All of the schools you have mentioned will be fine. And since your kids are young, there will be changes in the schools, their reputations, and maybe even with boundary lines before they get to high school. I would definitely try to be in a large community so that you will have a voice if redistricting comes up. We are in a very small neighborhood that didn't have a voice, and we weren't close to any particular school, so we got redistricted twice. If you can find an area that actually has a strong feeder system that won't get disrupted, your kids will have a strong base of friends and will love whatever school they're in. So if you can, try to be as close as possible to the schools. For instance, if you want to be in either the MHHS or CHS district, don't look at homes south of Rt 40 and east of Rt 29. They are in constant jeopardy of being moved.

Also, if you are concerned about the academic pressure, maybe you could look at county schools outside of EC. Have you considered Glenelg? It doesn't have that super high academic reputation, but it's a solid, very good school. Not very racially diverse, but that means it lacks the Asian academic influence/pressure. Or Howard? Howard serves some lovely communities and is a good all-around school. It is more diverse so it doesn't have the highest-of-the-high test scores, but it's a nice school.

Last edited by newhart; 02-02-2014 at 08:54 AM..
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