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Old 04-02-2008, 06:54 PM
 
Location: South Bay
327 posts, read 917,369 times
Reputation: 191

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We're considering a move to Phoenix from Seattle around the August time frame. We have a good 5 years before schools are a concern of our newborn, but it's always good to buy a home in a great school district just for easier resale value. Does anyone on this forum have any sage wisdom into the good school districts and the ones we should avoid? Are there any local concerns about schools being under funded or not passing levies? Gang or drug problems? Any good websites that rank Phoenix area schools?

It's common knowledge which school districts in Seattle are excellent and which ones are not so good. You pretty much just follow the cost of living expense and you'll find that the Bellevue, Issaquah, and Lake Washington school districts are the best. This is pretty universal no matter where you live. So by this rational, I would hedge a bet that Scottsdale has some of the better school districts? But Phoenix is much bigger and more spread out than Seattle, so it might not be as simple as "following the money."

If anyone has any insight into the better school districts or any local challenges families are having with schools, I'd be interested in hearing your stories.

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Goodyear, Arizona
888 posts, read 2,289,230 times
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I'm sure there are many good school districts in this area. I only know of the areas in which we were looking for houses. Litchfield and Deer Valley have good schools. That being said, Arizona's good schools probably don't compare well with many schools outside of the state. We ended up pulling our daughter out of an excelling school and we put her in a private school. The reasons were mostly personal, but the curriculum was not stimulating. We moved from PA about 5 months ago.

arizona state labels for assessing school performance - datacenter - azcentral.com
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:57 PM
 
Location: When will Hell Freeze Phoenix, AZ
287 posts, read 844,731 times
Reputation: 210
We're in the PV school district. There are many types of neighboorhoods (some better than others) in this district. We've been for the most part happy with the schools. Also, where is the job located? You wouldn't want to live in Litchfield park if you're going to work in Mesa unless, of course, you don't mind driving...
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:56 PM
 
45 posts, read 186,870 times
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I know more than a few people who think the Scottsdale schools aren't that great. They're hurting for enrollment right now, although I don't know if one thing has to do with the other. We are taking a chance and enrolling our son in 1st grade next year in a school in the Paradise Valley district (the school is one in which a lot of Scottsdale district residents open enroll into). He's in private now.

I wouldn't get so stuck on a district as try to find a particular school that meets your needs. The school district might be so so, but a particular school could stand out and be perfect. We lived in the Deer Valley school district when my son was an infant and I knew that there was no way I was sending him to any of those schools near our home. And we were in a pretty affluent area. But another school in that district could be just fine.

Kyrene in Tempe is supposed to be a "great" district. Great by AZ standards or the rest of the country's I've yet to determine. I've also heard good things about Chandler schools.

Private school is a toss up too. We've spend a **** load of money this year for our kindergartener. Was it worth it over what he would have gotten in public? I don't know. I guess I'll find out next year. My daughter will be going to preschool in a private school next year and I know people with kids in 1st and 2nd grades there so I'll be able to compare.

It's a tough decision. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:14 AM
 
19 posts, read 94,876 times
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Try GreatSchools.net
We live in Gilbert and I've been pleased with the schools my kids have attended (I have one in Elementary, one in Jr. High and one in High School).
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:49 PM
 
Location: South Bay
327 posts, read 917,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycrazylife View Post
Try GreatSchools.net
We live in Gilbert and I've been pleased with the schools my kids have attended (I have one in Elementary, one in Jr. High and one in High School).
This is a great website. Thanks for the heads up. We're pretty picky about schools. How the average student scores at a school is one thing, but we're also concerned with the level of overall funding being provided to schools. I was talking with a family member over in the San Diego Carmel Valley area, and they're totally in an uproar over the school funding. I guess Arnold is cutting funding to schools to the point that the schools cannot even afford pencils. And this is one of the most expensive housing areas in the country! I dunno what they're doing with their Mello-Roose taxes over there. It just makes me very skeptical of public schools. I'll have to just do some homework in Phoenix.
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:50 PM
 
Location: San Diego originally
71 posts, read 197,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsugrad03 View Post
This is a great website. Thanks for the heads up. We're pretty picky about schools. How the average student scores at a school is one thing, but we're also concerned with the level of overall funding being provided to schools. I was talking with a family member over in the San Diego Carmel Valley area, and they're totally in an uproar over the school funding. I guess Arnold is cutting funding to schools to the point that the schools cannot even afford pencils. And this is one of the most expensive housing areas in the country! I dunno what they're doing with their Mello-Roose taxes over there. It just makes me very skeptical of public schools. I'll have to just do some homework in Phoenix.
Yes, we are having a big problem with our educational funding here in CA but CA has ALWAYS had problems with funding education, thus the reason I am looking to teach in AZ, I can't get a job here now. Being the most expensive place to live here in San Diego doesn't mean that our schools are being funded more because they aren't. I know now why they isn't enough money that goes into education. Property taxes aren't high enough. It's as simple as that.

Greatschools website has been a great website I have used since we have moved all over the country.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:37 PM
 
7 posts, read 49,358 times
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Gilbert, Kyrene and Chandler are all good district in the southeast valley. Of course, it depends what school you go to in the district - for instance, there's a big difference between Gilbert El and Val Vista Lakes Elementary!
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:22 PM
 
74 posts, read 278,755 times
Reputation: 38
Also keep in mind that so much of what makes a good school year is the teacher. You can be in the "best" school district, or a school with a stellar reputation and get a not so great teacher. Or, you can be in a school that doesn't necessarily shine and your child can get the greatest teacher and thrive. I would check out the school districts website and the teacher bios. In some of the schools you can put in a request for a specific teacher and most of the time get who you want. I agree, greatschools.net is a great place to start, although some of the newer schools that have only been open for a couple of years are not on there yet.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:45 PM
 
Location: NW Phoenix
477 posts, read 1,513,525 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshinne View Post
Also keep in mind that so much of what makes a good school year is the teacher. You can be in the "best" school district, or a school with a stellar reputation and get a not so great teacher. Or, you can be in a school that doesn't necessarily shine and your child can get the greatest teacher and thrive. I would check out the school districts website and the teacher bios. In some of the schools you can put in a request for a specific teacher and most of the time get who you want. I agree, greatschools.net is a great place to start, although some of the newer schools that have only been open for a couple of years are not on there yet.
Good point!!!
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