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View Poll Results: Best public elementary school
Grahamwood Optional 4 36.36%
Richland 3 27.27%
The Campus School 1 9.09%
Idlewild Optional 0 0%
Peabody Optional 0 0%
Riverwood Optional 0 0%
Sea Isle 0 0%
Snowden Optional 0 0%
Whitestation 2 18.18%
Other 1 9.09%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-27-2014, 10:46 AM
 
16 posts, read 59,151 times
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Hi please share your views on the best public elementary schools. I'm thinking Grahamwood optional program or Richland... What are your thoughts? I realize that a lot of schools have optional programs, but it scares me that a lot of those same schools don't have good grades on the Tennessee report card. I know that the schools report card includes the scores of the non optional students; however, for some reason I feel more comfortable sending my child to a non-optional school with great grades like Richland than one with poor grades. I'm willing to listen to any suggestions. I'm trying to give my future 1st grader the best education and I can not afford private school.

P.S- I live in the raleigh area and am trying to transfer my child to a school out of our zone.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:25 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
13,856 posts, read 17,557,286 times
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Since the merger I don't know how things work now, but is it possible to transfer to non-optional programs like Richland, do they have available spaces?

Campus is a school with a great rep, but from talking to other parents I heard you pretty much have to live in zone or have a connection with the university to get accepted. I don't know how true that is, but the school is not listed in this year's optional school handbook.

I'd put it at
Richland
Grahamwood Optional
Snowden Optional
Idlewild Optional
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:39 PM
 
16 posts, read 59,151 times
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Thanks for the response. Yes it's still possible to transfer to schools outside your school zone as long they aren't one of the schools that are pulling out of the scs district next year.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:48 PM
 
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I've heard the same about Campus school - great school, near impossible to get into unless you work for U of M.

Is there any way to see state report cards on just the Optional programs vs the regular program for each school?
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:25 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
13,856 posts, read 17,557,286 times
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I don't know about the 'state report card' but I'd be willing to bet the optional schools division at the board of education (linda sklar) would have some stats that prospective families might find helpful.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:15 AM
 
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Richland is the best. At Grahamwood you run the risk of your child being beaten by a jealous trad student.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:42 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
13,856 posts, read 17,557,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longtimelistener View Post
Richland is the best. At Grahamwood you run the risk of your child being beaten by a jealous trad student.
Fact or just hearsay?
There has always been a small undercurrent of envy where the parents are concerned, but I never saw that causing problems with the students. School admins used to try to downplay the differences and as far as I could tell it never really affected the kids much.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:55 PM
 
188 posts, read 330,012 times
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Witnessed first hand. The trad students are very jealous and it is obvious why if you pay attention. Class parties are big deals in the optional classes with parents and extras but the trads usually have no parents show up and have the bare minimum.
Mix an entire class into the lunchroom for a sock hop and you are mixing gas with fire.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:44 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
13,856 posts, read 17,557,286 times
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That's a shame. I know at one point there was a little bit of a campaign to try to get optional parents to donate stuff and volunteer time to the school as a whole, in an attempt to balance things out a little bit. Guess it wasn't very successful.
School within a school design is just ripe for those kinds of problems, needs really strong leadership to make it work well.
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Memphis, TN
47 posts, read 109,154 times
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I'm on my fourth year as a Grahamwood Optional parent and have never heard of fights between traditional and optional kids. My son didn't even realize there were two programs going on at the school until he was in the 3rd grade.

This year the school has 985 students, 443 are Optional and 300 are gifted (CLUE). Based on the 2013 TCAPs 96% of our Optional students scored Advanced or Proficient in Language Arts, 97% in math.

I can't tell you which school is the best as I don't have direct experience with the other schools, but I hear very good things about Richland, Campus, White Station and others. It's easier to get into an Optional program as it is to transfer into a "regular" school (i.e. Richland) as there are more spots. Plus you'll find out earlier if your child has a spot. Last year Grahamwood started testing prior to Spring Break....some parents didn't know if they got a Transfer spot until after school started. On the bright side you can apply to both an Optional Program and try to get a Transfer spot. Heck...you can do both of those AND try to get into Campus. Might as well!

I do know that you won't find a more diverse school in town. We've got white, black, Asian, Hispanic and Indian kids.....and a huge Jewish population as well. I've seen kids dropped off at school in beat up cars and in Audi SUVs.

We have very active parents and a PTO. In fact....check out back as we're currently erecting a 60'x100' Pavilion. This is phase one of two-phase project and we're really excited about it!

I hope that helps. I'd recommend you look at test scores, talk to parents, tour the schools, and consider asking some middle school teachers/administrators what they think. They are probably the people who can give you the best overall opinion as they see the "products" of these schools every year.
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